11 Signs You Might Have Low Estrogen
1. You frequently experience “brain fog”
“Brain fog” is commonly reported by women in menopause or perimenopause. Brain fog can manifest in several ways, including:
Trouble concentrating on tasks
Difficulty remembering things
Estrogen helps to sharpen your cognitive acuity, and low levels of estrogen prevent your focus and memory from operating at full capacity.
2. Your mental health is declining
Poor mental health can result from low estrogen levels. Since estrogen is believed to help with your neurotransmitters, low levels are associated with a risk of psychosis, schizophrenia, and worsened symptoms of bipolar disorder.
Since estrogen helps the body process stress, low estrogen levels can make stressful situations feel overwhelming.
Estrogen is associated with serotonin, which is one of your brain’s neurotransmitters responsible for boosting our moods. This is why women with low estrogen can suffer from depression. They can also experience strong mood swings, anxiety, irritability, and anger.
3. You’ve gained weight
A drop in estrogen corresponds with a desire for comfort foods, i.e. foods high in fat, calories, sugar, and salt. Foods high in these elements can lead to weight gain and water retention. Estrogen also decreases your levels of leptin, which can act as an appetite suppressant.
In addition to weight gain, low estrogen can change the distribution of weight in your body. This means you’re gaining more weight in new areas, which could cause problems for your cardiovascular health.
4. Advanced skin aging
Normal levels of estrogen help to maintain healthy skin. As we age, our skin becomes wrinkled and thin. Low estrogen levels can contribute to advanced “skin aging”, where your skin looks thinner, older, dryer, and less elastic than it should. The onset of menopause when a significant amount of estrogen is no longer produced accelerates this symptom.
5. Higher frequency of UTIs
When estrogen levels are low, a thinning of the urethra occurs. This can lead to an increase in urinary tract infections. If you’ve been getting several UTIs, considering getting your estrogen levels tested.
6. You aren’t sleeping well
Your hormones play a significant role in the quality of your sleep. If you’re not sleeping through the night or consistently waking up not feeling well-rested, low levels of estrogen could be a factor.
These irregular sleep patterns could also correspond to the risk of developing sleep apnea.
7. Change in your breasts
Have you noticed any lumps in your breasts? Do they feel tender, more sensitive, or more painful? Estrogen plays a key role in the development of your breasts, and imbalanced levels can cause pain and discomfort.
8. Changes in your period
Your menstrual cycle is primarily driven by estrogen. Low estrogen can result in your period becoming irregular or stopping altogether. It can also prevent ovulation, resulting in infertility.
9. Sex is becoming more painful
Estrogen helps maintain your vaginal lubrication. Vaginal dryness can result from lower estrogen levels. A thinning of the vaginal wall can also occur. Both of these symptoms combine to make sex very uncomfortable.
While headaches have many causes, low levels of estrogen is a common one for women. One way to tell if estrogen levels are causing your headaches: consistency. If you’re getting the same type of headache at around the same time of each month, they could be estrogen-related.
11. Poor bone health
Estrogen is a key ingredient for strong, healthy bones. If your bones feel weak, or you notice that you are prone to breaks and sprains, low estrogen could be the cause. Low estrogen can result in conditions like osteoporosis if left untreated.
What Causes Low Levels of Estrogen?
Low estrogen levels can result from many factors, including:
Premature ovarian failure
Exercising too much
Poorly functioning pituitary gland
Approaching menopause for women in their late 40s/40s
Family history of hormonal problems
The Benefits of Hormonal Balance
Estrogen guides who we are, how we feel, and how we act. It regulates our body’s development, our mental well-being, our emotional fortitude, our cognitive discipline, our sexual drive… essential components of our livelihood. As we age, women naturally lose estrogen and men lose testosterone.
By restoring hormonal balance, you can take control of your life and reverse the symptoms of low estrogen. Rediscover how it feels to have a sharper mind, emotional stability, beautiful skin, your ideal weight, and solid mental health when you achieve hormonal balance.