Friday 3 October 2014

Marla Ahlgrimm Explains the Influence of Estrogen on Feminine Moods

Marla Ahlgrimm
When tears flow more easily in women and patience is shorter than usual, blame is often placed on hormones. But just how strong is the influence of hormones on a woman’s emotions? Pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm explains the true relationship between moods and estrogen, a crucial component of a women’s health.

While estrogen is the hormone typically associated with menstruation and ovulation, it is important to understand the greater scope of its effect on the female body, says Marla Ahlgrimm. In women, estrogen circulates in the bloodstream and binds to estrogen receptors on cells in targeted tissues. This affects not only the breasts and uterus, but also the heart, brain, bone, liver, and other tissues.

Many women notice some turbulence in their mood a few days before menstruation, according to Marla Ahlgrimm. This turmoil can manifest itself in many different ways - In the form of restlessness, insomnia or even depression. Since estrogen plays a big part in the menstrual cycle, the hormone is also linked to Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), says Ahlgrimm. As many as 90% of women experience unpleasant symptoms before their periods and as many as 20% to 40% of women may have PMS at some point in life.

Estrogen is also active in the parts of the brain that control emotion. “During menopause, some women report that everything is actually okay - they lead a good life and have a beautiful home - yet they feel depressed,” says Marla Ahlgrimm. The cause may be a decrease in estrogen. And as most women know, menopause—when the body no longer produces estrogen—introduces physiological changes.

According to Marla Ahlgrimm, some women take estrogen hormone replacement therapy (HRT) around menopause. HRT can reduce symptoms of low estrogen levels, but there are also health risks associated with taking HRT, such as increased risk for cancer.

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