There is much to know about estrogen: its effect on collagen, why it causes health problems and why alcohol consumption can damage your breasts.
This hormone is an integral part of a woman’s life, but many of us know very little about it, except that its levels drop during perimenopause and can cause painful periods. Otherwise, the advantages and disadvantages of estrogen and its role can be confusing and mysterious. This is not very surprising, as scientists themselves have not fully understood the complex workings of estrogen, nor why its fluctuations affect women so differently.
First of all, estrogen is not just one element: it is a group of hormones that includes estrone, estradiol and estriol.
Estrone remains present in a certain amount even after menopause, estriol is only present during pregnancy, and estradiol is the great master: it is the female hormone responsible for physical and emotional changes during puberty, and its function goes far beyond that.
Women are always concerned about estrogen because it is an important hormone – not only for egg production, but also for health and well-being in general. A good estrogen level can give you an energetic and invigorating boost, help you keep your hair beautiful, make your skin smooth and feel better.
There Are No “Normal” Estrogen Levels
Our ovaries release estrogen for the first time at the beginning of puberty, and from then on estrogen levels fluctuate with our menstrual cycle until we reach perimenopause. Estrogen levels then become very unstable, and finally they decrease significantly during menopause (the average age until menopause is 51 years). In addition to this rough schedule, our estrogen fluctuates every minute, hour and day with irregular hormone secretions during the day and night. In addition to these seemingly random peaks and valleys, the basic norm can be very different for each woman. For example, you may have the same cycle as your best friend, but this does not mean that your estrogen levels are the same. In fact, from this perspective, life is like a roller coaster.
The Dominance of Estrogen
For people between the ages of 20 and 30, the most common problem is the prevalence of estrogen, which means that you do not have enough hormonal progesterone to balance your estrogen levels. This can lead to hot flashes and a feeling of tiredness and heavy periods. It can also lead to diseases such as myomas and endometriosis.
Ask your doctor if you suspect that your estrogen levels are high. Evening primrose oil or Chasteberry supplements taken towards the end of the cycle may be helpful. Once the balance is restored, estrogen is beneficial and helps the body function properly.
Prevent cardiovascular diseases
Women are less at risk of perimenopausal heart disease, partly due to higher estrogen levels. A study in Denmark, for example, published in the British Medical Journal in 2012, included 1,006 women. The hormone replacement group had less heart failure and fewer heart attacks than the group that did not take hormones.
According to the British Dietetic Association, hormone therapy is one of the most effective treatments currently available to treat menopausal symptoms, increase estrogen levels and thus improve cardiovascular health after menopause.
A reduction in estrogen increases the risk of heart disease, with cholesterol levels rising by up to 25%. Eating two servings of soy food a day can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the frequency of menopausal hot flushes.
For Stronger Bones
With the dream combination of vitamin D, calcium and estrogen you can keep your bones strong for a lifetime. Estrogen helps the body repair deficiencies and regenerate bones. This process slows down over time, as estrogen levels naturally decrease with age.
After menopause, women are at risk for osteoporosis because of low hormone levels – low estrogen levels can contribute to bone fragility.
Increased risk of muscle injury
According to a study published last year in Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise, high levels of estrogen in the body can increase the risk of ligament injury during exercise. If you are particularly sensitive, hormonal contraceptives can help restore balance and reduce the risk of muscle injury.
Estrogen and athletes
In terms of fitness, athletes with a low body fat percentage also often have low estrogen levels because fat helps the body regulate estrogen (overweight and obese women usually have very high estrogen levels, which in turn leads to health problems such as an increased risk of breast cancer). It is particularly important to monitor estrogen levels in these cases, as the risk of early osteoporosis and bone fracture is high. The same applies to patients with eating disorders who have a low body weight.
Alcohol can affect estrogen balance
Alcohol can increase estrogen levels, which may be the reason why some women complain of breast pain after a night of drinking. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to an unusual increase in estrogen levels and thus to a risk of breast cancer.
Effects on the mind
So much so that researchers still don’t understand how estrogen affects your mood – we know that it can cause a sudden rise in serotonin, a neurotransmitter that relieves depression and increases endorphins, so you may feel bad if your estrogen levels drop after ovulation. It also explains why one in seven women suffer from postpartum depression, as estrogen levels drop dramatically after a fairly high pregnancy level. All this explains why women in menopause are generally in a bad mood. However, many women report that their psychological and emotional well-being improves after the menopause despite the estrogen deficiency.
A more youthful skin
This process does not work the same way for all women, but logically, estrogen is related to collagen.
A lack of estrogen reduces collagen production, which means that the skin appears thinner and wrinkles can become more visible.
You may also notice that the skin on your face and body becomes drier during perimenopause. Apply a moisturizer to your skin regularly and remember that these symptoms are associated with vaginal dryness (use lubricants to relieve vaginal dryness). Furthermore he volatility of estrogen levels is a good excuse to take good care of your face and body. So do not hesitate to use moisturizers like Argan oil and anti-aging products.