Excess estrogen in the body can lead to a myriad of unpleasant symptoms and side effects. Unfortunately, this is far from unusual in women, particularly during the menopausal transition. Below are some of the most commonly experienced symptoms that may indicate abnormally high estrogen levels. They may arrive one at a time or altogether and the levels of intensity and duration may vary as well.
Symptoms of High Estrogen Levels
The most common symptoms of excess estrogen are:
- Bloating and weight gain
- Tender breasts
- Uterine fibroids
- Nausea and vomiting
- Decreased sex drive
- Irregular periods
- Leg cramps
Conditions That Indicate High Estrogen Levels
The various signs of high estrogen levels can manifest through both physical and mental conditions:
Conditions of High Estrogen Levels
- Atherosclerosis, a thickening of the artery wall due to a build-up of fatty materials, including cholesterol.
- Arthritis, a common condition causing pain and swelling of the joints and bones.
- Headaches and migraines
- Vaginal infection
- Panic attacks
- Low self esteem
Other Symptoms of High Estrogen Levels
In addition to the physical and psychological signs outlined above, high estrogen levels can lead to a range of side effects and more serious conditions. These include but are not limited to the following:
- Heart disease
- Breast or uterine cancer
- Gallbladder disease
- Thyroid dysfunction
As these conditions can go beyond just being uncomfortable and can pose real risks to a woman's health, it is important to learn what causes the symptoms of high estrogen levels in order to be able to manage them effectively.
High Estrogen Levels and Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a degenerative disease that is very common during menopause. It affects bones by making them thinner and weaker, making them more susceptible to breaks and fractures.
Bones are made up of two major elements: minerals, including calcium and phosphorous, and bone cells, consisting of osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Osteoclasts weaken bones while osteoblasts help to rebuild them. It's vital that osteoclasts and osteoblasts function properly so that our bones are constantly regenerating, staying strong and healthy.
If a woman experiences hormonal imbalance, then she is more likely to develop osteoporosis as estrogen helps prevent calcium loss. This is particularly true in regards to estrogen, which maintains the osteoclasts at a controlled amount.
Menopause has a profound impact on a woman's bones. If osteoclasts outnumber the bone cell producer because of estrogen imbalance, a woman's chances of developing osteoporosis at some point during the menopausal transition increase.