Estrogen plays a pivotal role in a woman’s development, heralding the onset of puberty and decades later, ushering in menopause. But when estrogen levels drop below normal, a variety of problems often arise.
While both men and women’s bodies produce the hormone, low estrogen is much more common in women – particularly those nearing menopause. Look for the following signs often associated with decreased estrogen levels:
1. Difficulty Sleeping
Low estrogen can do more than make it hard to fall and stay asleep. Women suffering from a hormone imbalance often experience hot flashes, night sweats, chills or even irregular heartbeats. While these symptoms make nights unbearable, the exhaustion and difficulty focusing that shadow the waking hours can make days even worse. A hormone assessment can help alleviate symptoms – and is much more effective than counting sheep!
2. Weight Gain
Weight gain, especially water weight, is often associated with low estrogen. If you’ve noticed bloating or some extra pounds that you can’t seem to get rid of, consider a hormone assessment.
3. Aches and Pain
Headaches and joint pain are also unpleasant symptoms of low estrogen. While achy joints and the occasional headache are typical of aging bodies, don’t blame all the discomfort on getting older. If you’re experiencing pain more days than not, it may be time to call your doctor.
4. Lower Sex Drive
Declining estrogen levels can also cause low libido. For many women, vaginal dryness can make intercourse painful or uncomfortable. If this is the case, or if you’re simply not in the mood for sex, hormone replacement may be all it takes to rekindle the spark and get your sex life back on track.
5. Mood Swings
If your moods seem to be swinging wildly between one extreme or the other, low estrogen may be to blame. Estrogen is linked to serotonin, a chemical that when depleted, fails to do its job of fighting off sadness. Low estrogen levels often coincide with low serotonin levels and as a result, trigger feelings of anxiety or depression.
When a hormone imbalance strikes, make an appointment at Better Life Carolinas. Don’t wait another minute to get back to a better place! To learn more about hormone assessment or to schedule an appointment, call Better Life Carolinas today at 843-737- 2597.
Dr. Mickey Barber was CEO/CMO of Cenegenics Carolinas for ten years and founded Better Life, an Age Management and Wellness Center. She graduated from The College of Charleston, completed medical school at The Medical University of South Carolina, did her residency at Tulane University, and finished her fellowship at Harvard. She also was an assistant professor at Tulane University. Throughout her academic and private practice, she passionately pursued her interest in health, nutrition, exercise, and mind-body medicine. Further studies and certification in Age Management Medicine allow her to combine her unique interests and training to empower her patients to live vigorous, healthy lives at any age. In November 2012, Dr. Barber was awarded the top honor in her field and presented with the Alan P. Mintz Award for Clinical Excellence in Age Management Medicine.
Contact us today to book an appointment. Remember, Better Life Carolinas can help you get back to a better place!