Along with progesterone, the estrogen is a female sex hormone that is responsible for child-bearing.
Estrogen is produced by the ovaries through the follicles. Some tissues such as the adrenal glands, liver and breasts also produce estrogen but in smaller amounts only.
Although estrogen is common among men and women, it is in the latter’s reproduction where it plays a major role.
Estrogen levels among women is higher because they are involved in the menstrual cycle and promote reproductive development such as enlargement of the breasts.
Understanding estrogen levels can help you in more ways than one. Here are some facts about it:
- Estrogen levels are measured in picograms per milliliter of the predominant sex hormone estradiol: Women with normal estrogen levels measure from 50-400 pg/ml estradiol range. Meanwhile, estrogen levels are at their highest before ovulation. However, estrogen levels are not constant. Changes may take place during menstrual cycle, menopausal or other factors.
- Women experience different physical and emotional changes when estrogen levels decrease. Some of the symptoms include vaginal dryness, hot flashes, weight gain, insomnia, anxiety and depression among others. These symptoms, if not treated may result to osteoporosis or certain heart diseases.
- Having high estrogen levels may also result to certain illnesses such as breast cancer and uterine fibroids. Eating broccoli, cauliflower and other fibrous vegetables are helpful in blocking out bad estrogen in the body. Avoid milk and other dairy products for they my contain high estrogen levels especially when they came from pregnant cows. Engaging in routine exercises that pumps up the heart pressure and make one sweat, reduces estrogen levels too.
- Estrogen levels can be increased in different ways. Eating whole grain wheat, flaxseed, dates, rhubarb, celery, carrots, pepper and pomegranate can increase estrogen levels. Yoga and Pilates are activities believed to also aid in increasing estrogen levels. The quickest way however is to undergo hormone replacement therapy. This may be costly and have different side effects.
- Imbalance in the estrogen levels also occur. This usually happens during menopause when ovaries can no longer produce estrogen. It can also mean that a woman may have polycystic ovary syndrome. Doctors treat this imbalance with birth control pills because of their estrogen content. If you want to go natural, eating soy-based foods such as tofu and miso will help regulate estrogen levels.
- Men have estrogen levels too and they are vital in making their bodies function well. Whenever estrogen levels among men are higher, the risk for prostate cancer and heart diseases may increase. This can aslo result to lower sex drives and increased body fats. This condition is common among men fifty years old and above.
You too can have a well balanced estrogen level. Estrogen is produced in the liver, thus, drinking alcohol will reduce the said organ’s capability to break down estrogen.
Following a thirty-minute daily exercise program, such as running and biking, can boost your estrogen level.
Eat fiber-enriched foods such as whole grain wheat and oats to help remove estrogen from the bile ducts. If these natural remedies are not effective, it is always best to consult a doctor.