Feeling moody or irritated, bloated, fatigued, of late? It’s possible someone told you that it’s your estrogen responsible for this. Here are 10 things you might not have known about the magical hormone called Estrogen.
1. Estrogen is a group of sex and reproductive hormones viz Estradiol – the strongest and most common form of the hormone, primarily produced by the ovaries. This is involved in the functioning of your skin, bones, muscles, kidneys, pancreas, and the gastrointestinal tract
Estriol – your placenta produces this during pregnancy
Estrone – this is produced in the ovaries, body fat, and adrenal glands Estrogens can exist even in your brain!
2. Estrogen modulates executive functioning [dopamine], memory [acetocholine], and moods[serotonin] in you
3. Post menopause, your body continues to produce estrone
4. It’s common for women to experience hormonal fluctuation; however, imbalance of estrogen can lead to weight gain, depression, irritation, and even painful menstruation. Higher estrogen levels lead to heavy bleeding, severe PMS, and intense cramps while vaginal dryness, painful sex, and lowered sexual libido are due to lower estrogen levels
5. Lack of estrogen messes with your gut health. The bacterial balance in your body is influenced by the sex hormones, especially in the gut which metabolizes estrogen. The gut converts estrogen in various forms and supplies it to organs and tissues. In menopause, this gut balance is disrupted. No estrogen production means no metabolizing, thereby impacting gut health
6. During your menstrual cycle, estradiol and progesterone levels are at their lowest
7. Estrogen plays an important role in bone health and decreasing estrogen levels can lead to bone loss. Menopause is one reason why you could be at high risk for osteoporosis
8. Production of good cholesterol [HDL] is promoted by estrogen. It searches your bloodstream to remove the bad cholesterol [LDL]. It’s due to estrogen that your blood vessels are dilated and relaxed thus improving blood flow throughout your body
9. Avoiding late nights, getting enough sleep, eating a high fibre and protein diet, and exercising regularly are some ways to balance your estrogen levels naturally
10. Estrogen is the “busy hormone” affecting your overall health. Getting a regular checkup from your gynaecologist is something that needs to be a part of your To-Do list