Signs and symptoms of high estrogen levels

We mean this figuratively but almost everything that happens to you is because of hormones. Yes, you now have something, rather than someone to blame. Feeling enraged? It’s the hormones. Feeling hungry? It’s the hormones. Your hormones regulate everything essential in the body. If they go out of balance, you may experience some issues.

Although there are multiple hormones in the body responsible for a variety of functions, we are going to talk particularly about estrogen.

Estrogen is a female sex hormone that plays a significant role in the reproductive system. It also has other functions, primarily in maintaining cognitive health, cardiovascular health, or bone health. 

Estrogen levels differ among individuals and fluctuate over a female’s lifetime, but it is most common during menstruation. However, sometimes estrogen levels can become extremely high. You may experience a few signs that you must recognise.

Let’s talk about these signs and symptoms in detail:

Signs of high estrogen levels

Here are a few signs of high estrogen levels:

  • Breast tenderness
  • Weight gain
  • Headaches
  • Light or heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Worsening PMS
  • Fibrocystic lumps in your breasts
  • Fibroids in the uterus
  • Mood swings, inclining towards anxiety and depression

What happens when your estrogen levels are high?

Excess estrogen levels may cause several issues related to reproduction, including painful period cramps, PCOS, fibroids, dense breast tissue and increased endometriosis pain. Some studies also reveal that they can worsen breast cancer. You may also experience a low sex drive, resulting from high estrogen levels.

Infertility can also be a consequence of abnormal estrogen levels. You may find it difficult to conceive when these levels are too low or high. It is possible to get pregnant in that case, but it may take longer than usual. In addition, you can have a ‘normal’ menstrual cycle, but still abnormal levels that cause difficulty in ovulation. 

If you get pregnant, abnormal levels may also cause issues in pregnancy, such as low birth rates or the weight of the newborn.

What causes high estrogen levels?

A number of factors can influence excess estrogen levels. Medications such as steroids and oral contraceptives can create estrogen dominance. Lifestyle factors such as weight gain can also increase estrogen in the body.

Medications:

Some hormone therapy medications that are used to increase low estrogen levels can make estrogen levels too high. Be patient as these medicines may take some time to get the levels right.

Body fat:

Your body fat can also cause high levels of estrogen. This is because the fat tissue in the body secretes the hormone. Hence, a high percentage of body fat can also lead to high levels of estrogen.

Stress:

The body produces a hormone called, cortisol in response to stress. High levels of this hormone can affect your body’s ability to produce progesterone and estrogen.

Alcohol:

Drinking excess alcohol can increase estrogen levels and affect your body’s ability to break down estrogen.

Liver problems:

The liver breaks down estrogen and discards it from your body. If your liver is not functioning as it should, excess estrogen can accumulate.

Synthetic xenoestrogens:

These are chemicals found in the environment which act like estrogen once they’re inside your body. They can increase your estrogen levels

What conditions are associated with high estrogen?

High estrogen levels are linked with a variety of conditions but it doesn’t necessarily cause these conditions. Conversely, it may worsen the following conditions:

  • Breast cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Endometriosis pain
  • Insulin resistance
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • Uterine cancer (endometrial cancer)
  • Tumors on your ovaries and adrenal glands

Closing thoughts

Recognising and understanding the signs and symptoms of high estrogen levels is crucial for maintaining overall health and well-being. Whether it’s identifying physical manifestations like irregular menstrual cycles, breast tenderness, or mood swings, or paying attention to subtle changes in energy levels and libido, being attuned to these indicators allows for early intervention and appropriate management.

Seeking professional medical advice and incorporating lifestyle modifications, such as a balanced diet and regular exercise, can play a pivotal role in restoring hormonal balance. By staying vigilant and proactive in addressing high estrogen levels, individuals can foster a healthier hormonal equilibrium and promote long-term wellness.

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