Estrogen is an important female sex hormone. When there is a sudden dip in the levels of this primary sex hormone, it can lead to a condition known as estrogen deficiency. Typically, this problem is encountered by women as they approach menopause. A significant reduction in estrogen levels can lead to complete cessation of the monthly menstrual cycle.
An Insight into Menopausal Estrogen Deficiency
The hormone, estrogen, plays a pivotal role in female sexual development and reproductive function. There is a definite fall in the levels of estrogen as a woman enters her early forties. This decline in estrogen levels is attributed to decreasing sensitivity of the ovaries to hormone stimulation.
By the time a woman reaches her late forties or early fifties there is a further drop in the levels of estrogen produced by the body. A substantial plunge in the levels of the female sex hormone estrogen is responsible for a majority of the side effects commonly associated with menopause.
Symptoms of Menopausal Estrogen Deficiency
It is not difficult to distinguish the unique symptoms associated with menopausal estrogen deficiency. Menopausal estrogen deficiency symptoms are actually a combination of physical symptoms, which are extremely obvious, and covert psychological symptoms like depression or extreme mood swings. Every woman, especially women approaching menopause should be aware of the symptoms of menopausal estrogen deficiency. Some common symptoms of menopausal estrogen deficiency have been examined in this article.
One of the earliest signs to watch out for is extreme fatigue. Pre-menopausal women may experience debilitating fatigue even after taking adequate amounts of rest. In fact, many premenopausal women who are experiencing estrogen deficiency may complain of fatigue first thing in the morning after a good night’s rest. The feeling of tiredness gets increasingly worse as the day progress and reaches a point where the individual is unable to focus on the tasks at hand.
Hormonal imbalance particularly an imbalance in the levels of estrogen is responsible for migraine, sinus and tension headaches during the peri-menopause phase. Typically, estrogen deficiency headache starts off as mild pain and progresses to a full blown headache. The duration and the severity of the headache can vary from woman to woman depending on the extent of estrogen deficiency.
3. Hot Flashes
Hot flashes are the foremost symptom of menopause. Declining ovarian function can lead to a deficiency in circulating estrogen. This in turn can lead to fluctuations in the dilation of blood vessels, particularly those which are located just below the skin’s surface. When the blood vessels dilate it can lead to increased blood flow. A sudden rush of blood can lead to a sensation of warmth or a flushed feeling. Hot flashes can also lead to sudden, profuse sweating.
4. Lower Back Pain
Declining estrogen levels can trigger severe pain in the lower lumbar region. The lower back pain due to estrogen deficiency can best be described as excruciating pain which radiates down the buttocks and legs. The incapacitating lower back pain may also hamper every day tasks. If women experience excruciating lower back pain for an extended duration of time, they should approach a doctor to determine if they are suffering from estrogen deficiency or not.
The sensation of bloating among menopausal women is linked to low estrogen levels. Low estrogen levels during menopause can affect the normal metabolism of the body. A sluggish metabolism can lead to gas buildup or a sensation of bloating. Low estrogen levels coupled with reduced physical activity and excessive weight gain particularly around the abdominal region can worsen the sensation of bloating among peri-menopausal and post-menopausal women.
Insomnia can best be defined as the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep for an extended duration of time. Menopausal estrogen deficiency can be disruptive to a woman’s normal sleep cycle and can lead to insomnia. Estrogen deficiency linked hot flashes are also responsible for insomnia among menopausal women.
7. Joint Pain Swelling And Stiffness
Low estrogen levels have been attributed to joint swelling and pain among menopausal women. Reduced estrogen levels can also lead to musculoskeletal stiffness. The hormone estrogen is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. When there is a dip in estrogen levels during menopause, the body is not able to manage pain effectively. This is turn can lead to severe pain in the joints.
8. Vaginal Dryness
Lower than normal estrogen levels during menopause can lead to vaginal dryness. The dryness of the vagina is often accompanied by an itchy sensation. Dryness of the vagina due to low estrogen levels can trigger severe pain during sexual intercourse.
Poor memory, low libido, incontinence, urinary tract infections, sudden weight gain, mood swings, depression, hair problems and osteoporosis are some of the other symptoms of menopausal estrogen deficiency.