Hormones are vital to a healthy body; these chemical messengers are the body's way of regulating itself. Hormones help to control many different functions such as hunger, sleep, and physical development. To perform optimally, the hormones in your body must work together in a harmonious balance. However, sometimes certain levels of hormones drop for any number of reasons and this can have a devastating effect on the rest of the body. Keep reading to learn more about estrogen and why estrogen levels in your body may be dropping.
What Is Estrogen?
Estrogen is a hormone that is produced in the pituitary gland. It is synonymous with the female body and helps regulate the menstrual cycle. Estrogen also helps to regulate both fluid and sodium retention. When estrogen levels drop, it can cause a number of unpleasant side effects including fatigue, hot flashes, and night sweats. Memory loss and a difficulty concentrating are also associated with low levels of estrogen, as are painful joints, vaginal dryness, and dry skin. Keep reading to learn more about estrogen and what cause low estrogen levels.
What May Be Causing My Estrogen Levels to Decline?
Your body needs balanced estrogen levels to function properly. Without balanced levels of estrogen, you may experience a number of side effects. These can be physical, mental, or sometimes a combination of the two. There may be a number of reasons for your drop in estrogen levels.
You may be experiencing low estrogen levels because you are perimenopausal. Perimenopause is the stage of your life immediately before menopause. During perimenopause, your body is gradually slowing down and inevitably making its way towards menopause and infertility. It is common for estrogen levels to drop at this time in a woman's life.
Another common cause of decreased estrogen levels is the menstrual cycle. At certain points of the menstrual cycle, your estrogen levels may actually rise. This results in a thickening of the uterine wall, which is necessary to create the proper environment for a fertilized egg to grow. However, if no egg is fertilized, then estrogen levels in the body drop sharply.
Low estrogen levels may also be caused by underlying medical problems affecting the pituitary glands, such as pituitary disease. Poor diet and high stress levels can also affect estrogen levels, as can too little or too much exercise.
Click here to learn about treatments for estrogen imbalance.