By now, most of us know that low estrogen levels is an evident characteristic of menopause in women. However, it becomes a cause for concern if estrogen levels dip while you’re still in your reproductive prime. Read all about low estrogen causes in the following article.
Although it’s a primarily female hormone – which means there should be no reason for its deficit in the female physiology – there are times when estrogen levels can hit an extraordinary low, throwing your complete sense of being off-balance! I mean, come on! We women look, act, emote and behave the way we do all thanks to the interactions of the twin hormones estrogen and progesterone with the rest of our physiological systems. Both these hormones are crucial to the health and well-being of all members of the fair sex and yet, there are those times when they turn their backs on you! Take menopause, for instance. It’s that time in every woman’s life when the very biological essence of her being a woman begins to diminish, what with estrogen production nose diving to drastic depths accompanied by a steady decline in progesterone levels. However, besides menopause, there may also be other low estrogen causes that can lead to a lot of health complications in women in the long run. These various causes of low estrogen levels are being discussed in the following segment.
Low Estrogen Causes In Young Women
Menopause apart, there are certain medical and lifestyle factors that can adversely affect estrogen levels in women who are still in their menstruating age and are in their reproductive prime. Following are some common reasons behind abnormal decline in estrogen levels in women:-
Hysterectomy is the name of the surgery which is undertaken to remove the uterus, either totally or partially. In partial hysterectomy, the ovaries are left behind and only the uterus is removed. In total hysterectomy, the ovaries and fallopian tubes are also removed along with the uterus. This leads to a surgically induced menopausal state where the organs that produce estrogen are the ones that are surgically tampered with. Hysterectomy may be necessitated by medical conditions such as cancers or other malignant growths on the removed organs. Estrogen levels can be brought back close to normal by undergoing estrogen replacement therapy and by signing in for alternative therapies that stimulate the body to produce more estrogen to make up for the sudden deficit.
♀ Exposure to Radiation
Exposure to radiation, such as when undergoing chemotherapy, can disrupt the normal functioning of the endocrine glands and may lead to radical hormonal imbalances. Decline in estrogen is often a result of exposure to radiation over long periods. Even after such an exposure has ceased, the body may take quite some time to get its hormonal balance restored. However, the recovery time differs from individual to individual.
♀ Fitness and Lifestyle Issues
Excess rigorous workouts, physical and mental stress, smoking, alcoholism, too little body fat and eating disorders are some of the most common reasons why so many young women suffer from low estrogen symptoms these days. In order for the relevant glands to produce sufficient amounts of estrogen, the body needs to strike a perfect balance between nutrition and rest. Owing to the unhealthy and incorrect notion of killing the curves to look good, teenage girls and young women resort to crash dieting and subject their bodies to punishing exercise routines. This often results in irregular menstrual cycles which is the primary indicator of insufficient estrogen production by the body.
♀ Afflicted Endocrine Glands
A lot of times, medical conditions affecting thyroid and pituitary glands have a detrimental effect on the production and levels of estrogen in the body. An ailing pituitary gland is unable to send across appropriate chemical signals to the ovaries to produce estrogen, and thyroid disorders affect the overall metabolic machinery of the body by stunting the growth, repair and functions of other glands in the body. Treating these conditions individually is the only way to restore normal estrogen levels in such cases.
♀ Other Causes
Genetic disorders such as Turner’s syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome and ovarian cancer are some other reasons behind low estrogen levels in the body. Also, women undergoing hormone therapy and taking testosterone or progesterone supplements often require additional estrogen supplementation to maintain its normal levels in the body.
The fact that low estrogen causes weight gain has been established not too long ago. As a woman approaches menopause, the estrogen levels go down. Since estrogen is stored in the fatty tissues, the body makes all efforts to retain all the fat it can in order to keep the estrogen levels from slipping. Also, when estrogen levels start dropping steadily, the male hormones, the estrogen countering androgens, face little resistance and their levels rise in the body. That’s what makes all that fat from your hips and thighs to shift towards your belly. No wonder, post menopause, certain aspects of female health, such as the belly bulge and increased risk of heart disease, become similar to typical male health issues. With that I’d like to sign off, hoping you found this brief discussion about low estrogen syndrome, its causes and treatment helpful.