Functional Medicine for Low Estrogen

Causes, Symptoms, & Effective Treatment Options

Introduction

Low estrogen, also known as estrogen deficiency or hypoestrogenism, is a hormonal imbalance that can affect both women and men.

Let’s check out the causes, symptoms, home remedies, treatment options, and our specialized approach to managing low estrogen effectively with functional medicine.

A woman feeling the effects of low estrogen, which can be treated with functional medicine.

What is Low Estrogen?

Low estrogen occurs when the body produces insufficient levels of estrogen, a vital hormone primarily produced by the ovaries in women and in smaller amounts by the testes in men.

Estrogen plays a crucial role in regulating various bodily functions, including reproductive health, bone density, cardiovascular health, mood regulation, and skin health.

When estrogen levels are low, it can lead to a range of symptoms and health concerns.

Causes of Low Estrogen:

Low estrogen can be attributed to various factors, including:

 

  • Menopause: The most common cause of low estrogen in women is menopause, a natural biological process that occurs as women age and marks the end of their reproductive years. During menopause, ovarian function declines, leading to decreased estrogen production.
  • Premature ovarian failure: Premature ovarian failure, also known as premature menopause or primary ovarian insufficiency, occurs when the ovaries stop functioning before the age of 40, resulting in low estrogen levels.
  • Surgical removal of the ovaries: Surgical removal of the ovaries (oophorectomy) due to conditions such as ovarian cancer or severe endometriosis can induce low estrogen levels.
  • Chemotherapy or radiation therapy: Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy can damage the ovaries and impair estrogen production, leading to low estrogen levels in women.
  • Certain medical conditions: Medical conditions such as hypothalamic amenorrhea, Turner syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and autoimmune diseases can disrupt ovarian function and lead to low estrogen levels.
  • Medications: Certain medications, such as gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists, aromatase inhibitors, and some hormonal contraceptives, can lower estrogen levels in the body.

Symptoms of Low Estrogen:

Low estrogen can manifest with various symptoms, which may vary in severity among individuals.

Common symptoms of low estrogen include:

 

  • Irregular or absent menstrual periods
  • Hot flashes or night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness or discomfort during intercourse
  • Mood swings, irritability, or depression
  • Fatigue or low energy levels
  • Difficulty concentrating or memory problems
  • Insomnia or sleep disturbances
  • Dry skin or thinning hair
  • Decreased libido or sexual function
  • Joint pain or stiffness
  • Bone loss (osteoporosis) and increased risk of fractures

A functional medicine approach towards low estrogen looks at the underlying cause of your low estrogen and these symptoms.

 

What should I try at home before seeing a provider for Low Estrogen?

Before seeking medical advice for low estrogen, individuals can try several lifestyle modifications and home remedies to help manage symptoms and support hormone balance.

These may include:

 

  • Healthy diet: Consuming a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats can support overall health and hormone balance.
  • Regular exercise: Engaging in regular physical activity, such as walking, swimming, cycling, or yoga, can help improve mood, reduce stress, and support hormone regulation.
  • Stress management: Practicing stress-reducing techniques such as mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, or progressive muscle relaxation can help lower stress levels and support hormone balance.
  • Adequate sleep: Prioritizing good sleep hygiene and aiming for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night can support hormone regulation and overall well-being.
  • Avoiding environmental toxins: Minimizing exposure to environmental toxins such as endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in plastics, pesticides, and personal care products can help support hormone balance.

Best Treatment Options for Low Estrogen:

Treatment for low estrogen aims to alleviate symptoms, prevent complications, and restore hormone balance.

Treatment options may include:

 

  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT): HRT involves taking estrogen replacement therapy, often combined with progesterone (in women with a uterus) or testosterone (in men), to restore hormone levels and alleviate symptoms of low estrogen.
  • Vaginal estrogen therapy: For women experiencing vaginal dryness or discomfort during intercourse, vaginal estrogen therapy in the form of creams, rings, or tablets can help relieve symptoms and improve vaginal health.
  • Lifestyle modifications: Adopting healthy lifestyle habits such as maintaining a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management, and adequate sleep can help support hormone balance and overall well-being.
  • Bone health measures: For women at risk of osteoporosis due to low estrogen levels, calcium and vitamin D supplementation, weight-bearing exercise, and bone density monitoring may be recommended to maintain bone health and reduce fracture risk.

Our Process: Functional Medicine for Low Estrogen

We specialize in the comprehensive evaluation and management of low estrogen to help individuals achieve hormonal balance and overall well-being.

Our approach involves a thorough assessment, including a detailed medical history, physical examination, hormone testing, and evaluation of symptoms and lifestyle factors. Based on the results, we develop personalized treatment plans tailored to each patient’s specific needs, goals, and preferences.

Our team of experienced healthcare professionals, including endocrinologists, gynecologists, and nutritionists, collaborates closely with each patient to implement evidence-based treatment strategies, monitor progress, and provide ongoing support and guidance.

We prioritize patient education, empowerment, and holistic care to ensure the best possible outcomes and long-term hormonal health.

We are currently accepting patients worldwide.