Estrogen production is quintessential to maintaining reproductive, cardiovascular, and bone health. However, when it is produced in excess, it does give rise to a good number of symptoms in women. Based on this fact, this article primarily sets to understand the role of estrogen in a woman’s reproductive health. The article will subsequently cover available treatments to address this particular issue. The FAQs provided at the end will offer additional information for alleviating significant concerns related to elevated estrogen levels in women.
Estrogen and its Role in a Female Body
As could be reiterated, the role of estrogen is pivotal to both ensuring and regulating normal reproduction in a woman. Because of this feature, estrogen is also referred to as a sex hormone. The source of its production is the ovaries of the uterus, with the adrenal glands and fat cells also playing a significant role in forming estrogen.
Since it is the ovaries that produce estrogen for the most part, the primary function of this hormone is, therefore, to regulate the menstrual cycle and the reproductive organs, while additionally affecting the urinary tract, heart, blood vessels, bones, skin, hair, breasts, pelvic muscles, and brain. Noting that the estrogen levels begin to rise just before puberty, this is visibly marked by hair growth around the public and armpit. One can, therefore, conclude here that the excessive presence of estrogen adversely impacts a female body.
Excessive Estrogen Production and Its Affects
As was stated earlier, estrogen plays a significant role in maintaining cardiovascular, reproductive, and bone health. While this is normal, some instances do trigger excessive production of estrogen, causing significant health issues as follows:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Cancers of the breasts, uterus, and ovaries
- Insulin resistance.
As could be repeatedly stated, the negative impact of high estrogen levels can potentially aggravate specific underlying health conditions.
For “Estrogen dominance” is the other name for excessive or increased estrogen levels, which cause low progesterone levels. Since the presence of the latter is highly important to work hand-in-hand with estrogen.
Other conditions linked with high estrogen levels/production have included:
Since estrogen causes the endometrial lining of the uterus to thicken at every menstrual cycle, excessive production of this hormone tends to the formation of uterine polyps. While these polyps are attached to the endometrium (uterine lining) by a thin stalk or a broad base that extends inward to the uterus, these cause issues with menstrual bleeding.
The development and growth of fibroids secondary to high estrogen levels are also linked to low progesterone levels. As such, the latter plays a significant role in stopping the growth of fibroids. However, the exact cause of the fibroids is not known, and it can be also stated that high estrogen levels aggravate the formation of fibroids
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
The fact that estrogen dominance is highly linked with PCOS in women cannot be denied. And since this condition is in itself associated with hormonal imbalance, it can be logically interpreted that high estrogen levels are the harbingers of PCOS in women.
The endometriosis that occurs secondary to high estrogen levels can interact with the endometrial tissue that lies outside of the uterus, causing inflammation and pain.
The sex-cord stromal tumor called the Granulosa-theca cell tumor is highly associated with hormonally active ovarian tumors, for the former causes an abnormal rise in estrogen levels. Secondly, since endometrioid carcinomas have been highly linked with excessive estrogen production, this doubtlessly explains the formation of ovarian tumors due to the same.
High Estrogen Symptoms
The following symptoms have been identified due to high estrogen levels:
Factors Causing High Estrogen Levels
Some of the factors potential to cause high estrogen levels have included in the table below:
|Medications||Side effects from prolonged antibiotics, herbal, and natural home remedies usage, as well as oral contraceptives and phenothiazines (for mental and emotional disorders).|
|Food||Consuming unhygienic fruits and vegetables can interrupt hormonal balance. Also, growth hormones injected into poultry and animals can disturb hormonal balance.|
|Water||Drinking non-purified water can produce endocrine-disrupting compounds, raising estrogen levels.|
|Body Fat||Obesity is likely to cause estrogen dominance. The fat cells tend to store estrogen in the bloodstream, where the latter gets accumulated to adversely impact health.|
|Stress||Conditions like stress lead to the formation of cortisol, causing the progesterone level to drop and estrogen to rise in the process|
Treatment for High Estrogen Levels In Females
The treatment for high estrogen levels in a female has generally included the following:
- Decreasing body fat
- Relieving stress
- Eating hygienic food and following a healthy diet, i.e., low-fat high-fiber diet with low processed sugar
- We are limiting alcohol intake.
For ovarian tumors associated with high estrogen levels, treatment will most probably include prescribing aromatase inhibitors which are effective in inhibiting enzymes from converting specific hormones to estrogen. The hormone that otherwise assists in sexual and reproductive development is also carcinogenic by nature, signifying that high estrogen levels are likely to produce cancer cells fed by this particular hormone.
The current article that revolved around “Treating High Estrogen Levels in Females” communicated the adverse effects of the concerned hormone when produced in excess in a woman. Additionally, various conditions associated with high estrogen were recognized and discussed, including the symptoms relating to the same. Further, with the factors listed and their causes explained, these have ultimately led to suggesting appropriate treatments that include both lifestyle changes and medications in case of malignancy associated with elevated estrogen levels.