Monday 26 June 2017

Estrogen and You | Marla Ahlgrimm

Estrogen is one of the two main sex hormones in females. But, what is it responsible for and is it exclusive to women? Marla Ahlgrimm answers these questions and more in the following informational post.

Q: What is the primary function of estrogen in the female body?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Estrogen is one of the main hormones that controls the menstrual cycle. It is vital to human reproduction. Estrogen triggers the start of the menstrual cycle and breast growth. Aside from menstruation, estrogen plays a role in brain health and cholesterol.

Q: How does it work?

Marla Ahlgrimm: There are three main types of estrogen: estrone, estriol, and estradiol. Each is produced by the ovaries and, to some degree, by the adrenal glands. Fat tissue also produces small levels of estrogen. Estrogen moves throughout the body and has an effect on every cell in every system.

Q: What are some signs of abnormal estrogen levels?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Women with low estrogen levels, which is often caused by surgical removal of the ovaries  or menopause, may experience less frequent or missing periods. Insomnia, low sex drive, mood swings, and dry skin are also common. Excess estrogen may lead to weight gain, irregular periods, intense premenstrual syndrome, fatigue, and depression. Many women experience migraine headaches just before their menstrual cycle due to a rapid decrease in estrogen. Only a blood sample can determine if abnormal estrogen levels are to blame for any number of medical conditions.

Q: Do men have estrogen?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Estrogen is most abundant in women. However, men do have low levels of estrogen that works throughout their bodies. Sometimes, men have higher levels of estrogen than normal, which may cause infertility, inability to maintain an erection, or gynecomastia (male breasts).


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