Sunday, June 14, 2009

Symptoms of Low Estrogen

In general, most women develop symptoms as they age when the natural estrogen levels are decline. Excess estrogen levels are also possible which is equally as dangerous and unwanted. Symptoms of low estrogen are usually seen in women who are going through menopause. This usually occurs anytime after the age of 40-52 but may vary a few years in either direction. Another time when women would experience symptoms of low estrogen is after a hysterectomy. Hysterectomy is a surgical procedure which removes the uterus and ovaries. Once the ovaries are removed natural estrogen can no longer be manufactured.

Hormone replacement therapy with bioidentical estrogen and progesterone is recommended in some women but the big issue is a concern about the development of breast or uterine cancer if estrogen is used without natural progesterone.

The majority of women develop some type of symptoms of low estrogen which include the following:

- Fatigue is a common complaint among women who undergo menopause. The fatigue is gradual in onset and then become moderate. There is less desire to do anything because of the constant tiredness.

- Hot flashes are quite common in women with low estrogen. The flashes can occur at any time of the day and can be aggravated by certain foods or emotional stress. The flashes generally last anywhere from few seconds to a few minutes. One may also feel very warm and others may also develop an intense facial irritation at the same time.

- Chills are common in women who no longer make any natural estrogen. The chills develop suddenly and one may experience sudden shivering episodes for a few days and/or a few weeks. Often investigations are done to rule out an infectious cause.

- Joint pains are also common when the natural estrogen is no longer available. The large joints are typically affected; some women complain of knee, back and hip pain. Often the neck hurts and the pain is transmitted to the head area.

- Headaches are quite frequent when natural estrogen levels are low. The headaches are moderately intense but can be relieved with pain medications. The headaches often last a few hours and are worsened by stress, anxiety and certain smells.

- Dry skin is a common complain in most women who are going through menopause. The dry skin also induces an itch which often cannot be relieved. The itch often persists even after the application of a moisturizer.

- Weight gain is a common complaint and occurs in most women with low estrogen. Women often complain of swollen feet and notice that all of a sudden the clothes or shoes do not fit. The weight gain is primarily water and disappears over time.

- Mood alterations are also very common in women who are undergoing menopause. The typical mood disorder is depression. The female will feel melancholic for most of the day and no amount of external stimulation helps. The depressive episodes are often intermingled with anxiety, anger and lack of concentration. There is no pleasure in most things.

- Sleep patterns are poor and/or awakening early in the morning at, let’s say, 4:00 a.m. and they are unable to get back to sleep. This results in excess tiredness and further depression.

Not all symptoms occur in all women. Some women have few symptoms and others may experience all of them. In most cases, the symptoms are mild to moderate but, in a few, individuals the symptoms can affect lifestyle. In those women whom lifestyle is affected, there are certain remedies to help counter the symptoms of low estrogen in natural bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.

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