How often do you 'blame your hormones'?
Say, when you feel angry? Irritated? Low? tired? Or gain weight or for any other reason?
Well, we can understand your concerns and frustrations. So, let's learn more about the two female hormones - Oestrogen and Progesterone - And whether they are the real culprits behind what you undergo.
Oestrogen is a hormone that plays a vital role in the female body.
You must’ve figured this out by the time you got your first period. You would have noticed a sea change in your body.
Oestrogen gets primarily produced by the ovaries and plays many vital roles in the female reproductive system. Some ways how oestrogen affects the reproductive system include:
Oestrogen levels fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle and pregnancy, and imbalances in oestrogen levels can affect the reproductive system.
Did you know that In addition to its reproductive functions, oestrogen has many non-reproductive-related functions too? Let’s uncover all that oestrogen is up to in your body. You’ll indeed be surprised, in case you don’t know already.
Oestrogen plays a role in the musculoskeletal system by helping maintain bone density. Oestrogen works with other hormones, such as calcitonin and parathyroid hormone, to regulate the body's balance of bone-building and bone-breaking cells.
Oestrogen helps to inhibit the activity of bone-breaking cells (osteoclasts) and stimulate the activity of bone-building cells (osteoblasts). The process helps to maintain the strength and density of bones.
Low oestrogen levels may cause bone density to decrease and increase the risk of osteoporosis, particularly after menopause. Bones become weak and brittle and are more prone to fractures.
Oestrogen may affect the cardiovascular system in several ways. Some research suggests that oestrogen may protect the heart and blood vessels in premenopausal women. For example, oestrogen may help:
Oestrogen may affect the central nervous system (CNS) in numerous ways. Some research suggests that oestrogen may have a protective effect on the brain and may even help to improve cognitive function. For example, oestrogen may help to:
Oestrogen may affect the urinary system in many ways. Some research suggests that oestrogen may help to
Oestrogen plays a role in regulating the menstrual cycle. When its levels are low, periods may become irregular or stop altogether.
These are common symptoms of low oestrogen levels. These symptoms may result from the body's inability to regulate its temperature correctly due to a lack of oestrogen.
Oestrogen helps to keep the vagina lubricated and healthy. When oestrogen levels are low, the vagina may become dry and prone to irritation, leading to discomfort during sex.
Oestrogen helps to regulate the body's sleep-wake cycle. Low oestrogen levels may disrupt this cycle, leading to difficulty falling or staying asleep. It can affect the production of serotonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep.
5. Mood changes, such as irritability and depression
Oestrogen may affect brain chemicals that regulate mood. Low oestrogen levels may contribute to feelings of irritability and depression.
Oestrogen may affect brain function and cognition. Low oestrogen levels may affect concentration and memory.
Oestrogen helps to keep hair and skin healthy. When oestrogen levels are low, hair may become thinner and dryer, and skin may become drier and less elastic.
Oestrogen plays a role in sexual desire and arousal. Low Oestrogen levels may lead to a reduced sex drive.
Oestrogen helps to maintain bone density. Low oestrogen levels may decrease bone density, which can increase the risk of osteoporosis.
My kids said a few days ago, “Mom, You have completely changed. You used to be so calm and cool, but now you are always angry and irritated. We need our old mom back.”
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Various factors may increase the risk of low Oestrogen levels in women, including:
Progesterone is an essential hormone for women's reproductive system and overall health. Some of the primary roles of progesterone in the body include:
Progesterone levels fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle and pregnancy, and imbalances in these levels can affect the reproductive system. For example, low progesterone levels may cause irregular periods or difficulty becoming pregnant, while high progesterone levels may cause weight gain and mood changes. Maintaining proper progesterone levels is vital to support the health of the reproductive system.
Low progesterone levels can cause different symptoms in women, including:
There are several natural ways that a woman can try to boost her Oestrogen levels, including:
A diet rich in nutrients and low in processed foods may help to support hormone production and regulation. Intake of certain food items can help to increase the production of progesterone in the body. They are Cabbage, Beans, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts Pumpkin, Spinach, Kale, Nuts and Whole grains.
Phytoestrogens are plant-based compounds. They have a similar structure to oestrogen and may help increase oestrogen levels in the body. Some foods that are rich in phytoestrogens include:
Vitamin D is involved in oestrogen metabolism. Fish, egg yolks, mushrooms and cod liver oil are good sources of vitamin D.
The gut microbiome is also an essential factor in controlling oestrogen levels.
Adequate sleep is essential for hormone production and regulation. Aim to sleep for 7-9 hours per night.
Chronic stress can interfere with hormone production and regulation. Try stress-reducing activities such as exercise, yoga, or meditation to help reduce stress and boost Oestrogen levels.
Moderate exercise can help to boost oestrogen and progesterone levels and improve overall health. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week.
Being overweight or underweight can affect hormone production and regulation. Aim to maintain a healthy weight through diet and exercise.
Oestrogen and progesterone are essential hormones in a woman's body. These hormones work together to maintain reproductive health and fertility in women as bone health, heart health, and brain health. Women must have balanced levels of oestrogen and progesterone to maintain overall health and well-being.
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You may feel moody and disinterested, have low sexual desire and be irritated if your oestrogen levels are low. It is also common to experience tiredness and headache with low oestrogen levels.
Having a good daily and night routine is the best natural remedy to balance the levels of estrogen and progesterone. A balanced diet, reasonable control of sleep and physical activity can balance stress which can also play an essential role in maintaining balanced hormonal levels.
There are several ways to determine if oestrogen or progesterone levels are low. Some standard methods include:
Medical history: A healthcare professional may also consider a person's medical history, such as age and whether they have gone through menopause when determining if a person's oestrogen levels are low.
Oestrogen levels begin to decline in a woman's early thirties, and this decline accelerates during the perimenopausal transition, which generally occurs in a woman's late forties or early fifties. The drop in oestrogen levels is a normal part of the ageing process and marks the end of a woman's reproductive years.