Hot flashes, bad mood, trouble concentrating - Many doctors attribute these symptoms to estrogen deficiency during menopause. But is this really true? In this article, you can read how hormonal fluctuations occur and how you can alleviate symptoms.
Sweating and palpitations up to 30 times a day. Increased heat first in the chest, then the neck, and finally the face. This is how it happens to many menopausal women. The typical complaints that arise mainly due to lack of estrogen are diverse.
Some women experience difficulty concentrating, others feel constantly irritated. Some have the sensation of falling into a black hole: the children are away from home, the relationship with the partner has fallen asleep and it is very difficult to find a new beginning.
Estrogen deficiency - when the supply of eggs has been depleted
Even if the doctors or the media suggest it, menopause is not a disease but a biological event in the lives of women. Similar to puberty, the body changes hormonally. Lack of estrogen is often the result of this. And it happens because the supply of eggs has been depleted.
From the beginning of menstruation (menarche), the woman has a limited number of them. During the first menstrual period there are around 300,000 eggs, of which around 1,500 remain before menopause. As a result of the hormonal change, ovulation is increasingly absent, resulting in a lack of luteal hormones.
The cycle becomes irregular until it finally stops completely. The estrogen level drops. The body only produces about ten percent of its original value. When the menstrual period finally stops for a whole year, the woman is in menopause. Most of them are between 45 and 52.
Young women can be affected by a lack of estrogens
Besides menopause, there are other reasons for estrogen deficiency. In the case of cancer, for example, the ovaries are often removed. This often leads to a drop in the value of female sex hormones. If the function of the adrenal cortex is impaired, an estrogen deficiency also often arises. Young women can also be affected.
One third of women have no symptoms during menopause
Not all women are affected by symptoms during menopause: according to studies, about a third of women do not notice any symptoms and another third feel pain, but do not consider it requires treatment.
Lack of estrogen can cause hot flashes
One study found that not all symptoms appear due to estrogen deficiency during menopause. Mood swings, poor concentration, insomnia, and cycle disorders are annoyances that young women also report experiencing. Another example: vaginal dryness is "typical" for menopausal symptoms. However, some doctors claim that vaginal dryness is a normal sign of the body's aging process. According to scientific studies, only nocturnal hot flashes can be clearly attributed to menopause.
Therefore, menopausal women should not be hastily “convinced” that their discomfort is primarily due to hormonal changes. Even with the treatment suggestions from your gynecologist, you shouldn't be hasty. It is now common practice in medicine to use the lowest possible dose of hormones as a treatment for menopausal symptoms.
Although the corresponding preparations compensate for the lack of estrogens, side effects are not always excluded. For example, some studies suggest that women undergoing hormone treatment are more likely to suffer from strokes, breast cancer, and thrombosis. However, the information collected by this study is still not very clear. Therefore, you should always consult with a doctor individually to see if hormonal treatment is appropriate.
Before women with menopausal symptoms use pills, casts, or gels that contain hormones to make up for the lack of estrogen, they can try other means:
· Nutrition: Try to eat foods like whole grain products, flaxseed, broccoli, beans, carrots, berries, green tea, and red wine.
· Endurance sports: these help especially against hot flashes. Try biking, jogging, or swimming.
· Sleep habits: by this doctors refer to going to bed at the same time regularly. You can vary up to 30 minutes. But try to go to sleep at the same time if possible. If you wake up in the middle of the night, don't look at the alarm clock. This will put you under unnecessary pressure.
Female sex hormones
Estrogen is not a single hormone, but a group of hormones. Consists in:
In women, estrogen is produced in the ovaries and during pregnancy also in the placenta. The male body also produces estrogen.