Estrogen is both the most loved and the most hated hormone. It’s definitely one of the most widely known hormones (if not the most widely known hormone). On the good side, estrogen is responsible for the growth and development of female sexual characteristics and reproduction. But on the flip side, it’s also responsible for mood swings and much more.
Some people have low estrogen levels because of their genetics. Others end up with low levels because of a thyroid disorder. But whatever the cause, you need to identify the low estrogen symptoms and do something about it. And while estrogen levels can vary from person to person, it’s important to know what the normal level is and why estrogen is so important. Bear in mind, estrogen levels decline naturally as you age and get closer to menopause.
Why estrogen is so important
Estrogen is a hormone present in the body in small amounts. But even in small amounts, estrogen has a big role in helping you achieve overall good health. Commonly associated with the female body, estrogen is produced by men as well, but women produce it in much higher amounts.
Here is a quick breakdown why it’s so important.
- Causes breast changes in teenagers and pregnant women
- Responsible for sexual development of girls when they reach puberty
- Controls the growth of the uterine lining during the menstrual cycle
- Regulates food intake
- Regulates body weight
- Is responsible for controlling insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism
- Estrogen is involved in bone and cholesterol metabolism
What is a normal level?
Testing your estrogen levels is done with a blood test. If you notice low estrogen symptoms, you need have a test done to confirm the situation.
Here are some of the ranges for women before and after menopause:
- Mid-follicular phase: 27-123pg/mL
- Periovulatory: 96-436pg/mL
- Mid-luteal phase: 49-294pg/mL
- Postmenopausal: 0-40pg/mL
- Following menopause: under 10pg/mL
Why you have low estrogen levels
In women, estrogen is produced in the ovaries. Anything that affects the ovaries can cause low estrogen or high estrogen levels.
Here are some causes for low estrogen levels:
- Excessive exercise
- Premature ovarian failure
- Eating disorders
- Chronic kidney disease
- Turner syndrome
- Autoimmune condition
- Low functioning pituitary gland
Women over 40 years old might experience low estrogen symptoms as they approach menopause. The time of transition towards menopause is called perimenopause, the period during which the ovaries still produce estrogen but not as much as before. You’ve reached menopause when you no longer produce estrogen.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the low estrogen symptoms.
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