What our hormones tell us as women: Estrogen

Most women know their hormones impact how they feel. In fact, they probably blame these pesky chemicals for things like bloating, skin changes, headaches, and weight gain.  But most women don’t really know what hormones are and how they impact health.

In honor of Mother’s Day and women everywhere, we’ll discuss several important hormones during the month of May.

Estrogen word written on the book and hormones list

Credit: istockphoto

Estrogen and progesterone are the two major female sex hormones; women also have testosterone and smaller levels of other hormones.  Estrogen is primarily made in the ovaries, although it is made in lesser amounts in the adrenal glands and in fat cells.  Women make three types:  estradiol, estrone, and estriol.  Estradiol is the most powerful and active, and is often the only one measured in an estrogen test.

Estrogen causes puberty and is responsible throughout a woman’s life for the health of her reproductive tract and the development and health of breast tissue.  Along with progesterone, estrogen is the hormone that regulates the menstrual cycle, and when its level declines during aging, it defines menopause.

Estrogen influences bone health – both growth when we are young and bone loss as we age – skin health (including oil production, elasticity, skin thickness, and hair growth), fat deposition, and sensitivity to insulin (a key metabolic hormone).  In the brain, estrogen influences body temperature and impacts memory and the health of nerve cells.  Estrogen also influences other brain chemicals such as serotonin and endorphins. Finally, estrogen has a role in heart health because it helps regulate cholesterol and triglyceride levels and it has an impact on blood vessel health and function.

For women, understanding our estrogen levels teaches us valuable lessons about our health.

To gain an in-depth understanding of your most important hormone biomarkers and other key biomarkers for women’s health, order the WellnessFX Women’s Health Panel (https://www.wellnessfx.com/womens-health) and schedule a consultation with one of our skilled practitioners to gain valuable insights into your health.

 

The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.