Keeping in mind that stable estrogen levels play a major role in maintaining overall physical and psychological health, it is apparent that decreased levels can and do have a harmful effect on the body. Low estrogen levels are often accompanied by any number of negative side effects, including osteoporosis, heart disease, difficulty lactating, and blood clots.
Keep reading to learn more about the causes and symptoms of low levels of estrogen.
Causes of Low Estrogen Levels
There are several causes of low estrogen levels in women. They range from natural causes like menopause to induced procedures such as a hysterectomy and, in some cases, more serious treatments like chemotherapy. However, the most common trigger of low estrogen levels is, in fact, menopause; it is during this stage in a woman's life that hormone levels vary drastically.
Natural Causes of Low Estrogen Levels
Many women going through menopause will experience a range of symptoms related to this transition such as hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings. Low estrogen levels during menopause are often linked to hormonal imbalances caused by this transition; oftentimes, women suffer from symptoms that they cannot separate from those of menopause. While such symptoms are often non-related and can begin earlier than menopause, they may also be a result of low estrogen levels and fluctuating levels of ovarian hormones.
During a woman's lifetime, her eggs are used during her monthly periods. A decline in the number of eggs leads to a consequent decrease in the secretion of estrogen, until menstruation ceases. At this point, menopause occurs and unpleasant symptoms usually commence.
Other Causes of Low Estrogen Levels
In addition to menopause or perimenopause, other causes of low levels of estradiol include:
- Lifestyle choices
- Eating disorders
- Extreme exercise
- Pituitary diseases
For young women in particular, the following can prompt low estrogen levels:
- Genetic disease, such as Turner syndrome which leads to short stature and a lack of ovulation, normal female development, and menstruation
- Chemotherapy or radiation
- Thyroid disorders
- Insufficient body fat
- Delayed development and lack of menstruation (amenorrhea)
Click on the following link to read more information about causes of low estrogen levels, or continue reading below to learn more about the symptoms of low estrogen levels.
Symptoms of Low Estrogen Levels
During postmenopause, low levels of estrogen can increase the risk of conditions such as heart disease and osteoporosis.
Although not primarily caused by low estrogen levels, the conditions listed in the table below may indicate insufficient estrogen production. These can be divided into both physical conditions and psychological symptoms.
Symptoms of low estrogen levels
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Joint pain
- Vaginal dryness
- Vaginal infection
- Dry skin
- Loss of libido
- Thinning tissues
- Rapid heartbeat
- Thinning hair
- Weight gain
- Low back pain
- Panic attacks
- Low self esteem
- Mood swings
- Memory lapses
- Difficulty concentrating
Click on the following link to read more information about symptoms of low estrogen levels.