Estrogen has an essential role in women’s health. These hormones can affect a person’s sexual and reproductive development and can impact overall health and wellness in crazy ways. Balance is critical in this case because too much or too little estrogen can throw off your health — both mentally and physically.
Those currently going through menopause could be living with low estrogen, a situation that can lead to unwanted and bothersome symptoms. Menopause (or low estrogen in general) should not be making your life miserable. Luckily, there are many ways that you can naturally treat your low estrogen levels at home.
“Estrogen, the primary female hormone along with progesterone, is needed for much more than fertility. Estrogen maintains good calcium levels in your bones, plus it helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Every cell in your brain requires estrogen for optimal cognition and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease,” says Dr. Vikki Petersen, certified clinical nutritionist, chiropractor, and certified functional medicine practitioner, to HOLA! USA.
What are some common signs of low estrogen? Here are five signs to look out for, according to Dr. Vikki Petersen
- With insufficient estrogen, your body burns and metabolizes starch and sugars less effectively. The result is an increase in fat storage, decreased muscle mass, and resultant weight gain, more predominantly in the abdomen.
Mood Swings and Depression
- Estrogen is a serotonin stabilizer. When levels decrease, you are more likely to experience depression, irritability, and mood swings.
- Low estrogen not only decreases your ability to deal with stress but also tends to burden your thyroid. The result is fatigue and lethargy.
Urinary Tract Infections and Vaginal Dryness
- Estrogen is needed to keep the tissues of the vagina healthy and the mucus lining stable and healthy. Lowered estrogen levels not only result in vaginal dryness, but the reduced health of the mucus membranes open you up to opportunistic infection and can result in urinary tract infections.
Hot Flashes and Night Sweats
- Lowered estrogen affects your hypothalamus, the part of your brain that controls your internal temperature. The result is hot flashes during the day and night sweats at night, resulting in disturbed sleep and insomnia.
So, how can someone work to raise estrogen levels naturally, using diet or other holistic approaches? Here are Dr. Vikki Petersen’s top 3 things that can help boost estrogen levels naturally
Vitamin D plays a role in estrogen synthesis; therefore, maintaining a healthy vitamin D level can help keep or raise estrogen levels. You can even get vitamin D from sun exposure, so make sure to spend some time outdoors each day.
Flax and Sesame Seeds
Flax seeds and sesame seeds are natural phytoestrogens that can help with estrogen metabolism and are tasty to many meals, including salads, smoothies, and more. Get creative in finding ways to add these to your diet.
Soybeans (make sure they are organic) also contain phytoestrogens that balance estrogen, raising deficient levels and lowering excess levels. Soy-based products are not harmful to you, as many people think!