As a hormone, estrogen is a messenger that carries the message, “be fruitful and multiply.”  It stimulates growth of the reproductive tissues, promotes healthy bones, increases the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain and keeps the cardiovascular system healthy.

Estrogen levels decline at menopause, but not to zero. Estradiol falls generally to about 15 percent of premenopausal levels, and estrone falls only 40 to 50 percent of premenopausal levels. The adrenal glands continue to make estrogens, as does fat tissue. Stress and the resulting increased cortisol blocks progesterone from its receptors, thus down regulating estrogen receptors as well. This alters the production of pituitary hormones and endogenous (made in the body) estrogen. The cause of hot flushes is fluctuating hormones against a background of progesterone deficiency and progesterone is responsible for estrogen receptor site sensitivity.

Causes of low estrogen:

  • Poor Production
  • Poor Receptor Site Activity
  • Menopause
  • Amenorrhea
  • Premature Ovarian Failure
  • Low LH, Which Regulates The Manufacture Of Estrogen.

Signs and Symptoms of low estrogen:

  • Hot Flashes
  • Trouble Sleeping
  • Changes In Mood Or Moodiness
  • Changes In Sexual Function Decreased Fertility
  • Altered Cholesterol Levels
  • Lack Of Energy
  • Weight Gain
  • Continuous Headaches,
  • Fast Pulse Rate,
  • Sweating,
  • Vaginal Wall Thinning,
  • Low Vaginal Lubrication (Vaginal Dryness), Osteoarthritis,
  • Bloating,
  • Wrinkles As A Result Of The Skin Losing Elasticity.

Causes of high estrogen:

  • High Production
  • Estrogen Dominance = High Estrogen Relative To Progesterone
  • High Overall Estrogen Levels (> Mid-Luteal Range) May Indicate Insulin Resistance And/Or A Need To Improve Estrogen Detoxification
  • 50 % Of Women Over 35 Are Estrogen Dominance
  • Poor Diet
  • Being Overweight
  • Stress
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy
  • Environmental Sources Of Estrogen Called Xenooestrogens – Pesticides Detergents, Petroleum Products, Plastic Products, Cosmetics, Even Spermicides Used For Birth Control In Diaphragm Jellies, Condoms And In Vaginal Gels.
  • Estrogen Dominance
  • Deficient, Normal Or Excessive Estrogen, But Has Little Or No Progesterone To Balance Its Effects In The Body.

Signs and Symptoms of high estrogen:

  • Acceleration Of The Aging Process
  • Allergies, Including Asthma, Hives, Rashes, Sinus Congestion
  • Autoimmune Disorders Such As Lupus Erythematosis, Thyroiditis,And Sjoegren’s
  • Blood Clots
  • Breast Cancer
  • Breast Tenderness
  • Cervical Dysplasia
  • Cold Hands And Feet As A Symptom Of Thyroid Dysfunction
  • Copper Excess
  • Cramping
  • Decreased Sex Drive
  • Depression With Anxiety Or Agitation
  • Dry Eyes
  • Early Onset Of Menstruation
  • Elevated Blood Pressure
  • Endometrial (Uterine) Cancer
  • Endometriosis
  • Fluid Retention
  • Fat Gain, Especially Around The Abdomen, Hips And Thighs
  • Fatigue
  • Fibrocystic Breasts
  • Foggy Thinking
  • Gallbladder Disease
  • Hair Loss
  • Headaches
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Increased Blood Clotting (Increasing Risk Of Strokes)
  • Infertility
  • Inflammation
  • Irregular Menstrual Periods
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Low Libido
  • Memory Loss
  • Mood Swings
  • Migraine Headaches
  • Osteoporosis
  • PCOS
  • Premenopausal Bone Loss
  • PMS
  • Sluggish Metabolism
  • Spotting
  • Thyroid Dysfunction Mimicking Hypothyroidism
  • Uterine Cancer
  • Uterine Fibroids
  • Vaginal Dryness
  • Water Retention & Bloating
  • Zinc Deficiency
  • Weight Gain

E1 – Estrone

During Menopause E1 Is The Predominant Circulating Estrogen And Is Usually In Increased Amounts In Postmenopausal Women. The Body Derives It From The Hormones That Are Stored In Body Fat. It Has Considerable Estrogenic Activity Although It Is Less Potent Than E2.

E2 – Estrodiol

This Is The Most Potent Of The Estrogens. It Is Ten Times As Potent As E1 And About Eighty Times As Potent As E3 In Its Estrogenic Effect. It Is Produced By Ovaries. It Is The Predominant Estrogen During The Reproductive Years Producing The Majority Of The Functions Of Estrogen In The Body. It Is Critical For The Development Of Female Reproductive Organs, For Producing Female Secondary Sexual Characteristics And During The Menstrual Cycle And, With Progesterone, Prepares The Endometrium For Implantation. It Helps Vaginal Lubrication, Reduces Urinary Tract Infections And Increases Sexual Desire.

It Is Also Important For Brain, Enhancing Memory And Mood. Evaluate It Along With Estrone (E1) And Estriol (E3) To Check Overall Estrogen Status.

Causes of low E2:

  • Post Menopausal Women
  • Ovary Removal

Unusual In Pre Menopausal Women Unless They Experience An Anovulatory Cycle (No Ovulation) Or Are Supplementing With Birth Control Pills, Which Can Suppress Endogenous (Made In The Body) Production Of Estrogens By The Ovaries.

Signs And Symptoms of low E2:

  • Hot Flashes,
  • Night Sweats,
  • Sleep Disturbances,
  • Foggy Thinking,
  • Vaginal Dryness,
  • Incontinence,
  • Thinning Skin,
  • Bone Loss,
  • Heart Palpitations.

Causes of high E2:

In Pre Menopausal Women High Estrogen Is Usually Caused By Excessive Production Of Androgens (Testosterone And Dhea) By The Ovaries And Adrenal Glands, Which Are Converted To Estrogens By The ‘Aromatase’ Enzyme Found In Adipose (Fat) Tissue, Or, By Estrogen Replacement Therapy (Ert). When Estrogen Levels Are High In Postmenopausal Women, This Is Usually Due To Estrogen Supplementation Or Slow Clearance From The Body (Sluggish Liver Function).

Even At Normal, Premenopausal Levels It Can Cause Estrogen Dominance Symptoms If Not Balanced By Adequate Progesterone.

Signs and Symptoms:

Excess estrogen levels, especially in combination with low progesterone, may lead to the symptoms of “estrogen dominance,” including:

  • Mood Swings,
  • Irritability,
  • Anxiety,
  • Water Retention,
  • Fibrocystic Breasts,
  • Weight Gain In The Hips,
  • Bleeding Changes (Due To Overgrowth Of The Uterine Lining And Uterine Fibroids)
  • Thyroid Deficiency.

E3 – Estriol

This is the weakest estrogen and is one thousand times weaker in its effect on breast tissue. It is however made in large quantities during pregnancy and has potential protective properties against the production of cancerous cells. Estriol (E3) is a metabolite of E1 and E2.