Estrogen is a crucial group of hormones in a woman’s body. It is responsible for developing and maintaining the female reproductive system and the development of secondary characteristics. Consequently, when estrogen levels aren’t quite right, unsettling symptoms can result. Many women with low estrogen levels report feeling like they are going through menopause, except way too early.
While premature menopause is a condition, younger women with hot flashes, night chills, lack of sleep, and absence of period may actually be exhibiting symptoms of low estrogen levels. This condition can be caused by anything from excessive exercise to chronic kidney disease.
The best thing to do if experiencing these symptoms is to consult a healthcare professional to figure out exactly what’s going on. Here are some symptoms to look out for.
Since estrogen is responsible for maintaining your menstrual cycle, a decrease in estrogen levels could make your period basically disappear. During a normal menstrual cycle, estrogen helps your body build the uterine lining only to shed it when one of your eggs isn’t fertilized, thus producing your period. When you have too low of estrogen levels, your body doesn’t produce a thick enough uterine lining to have a period.
Since hormones control your mood, a lack of estrogen could make you feel like the highs and lows are more intense than normal. This is how your body reacts to low estrogen levels.
Hot flashes/night chills
Another important thing that hormones impact is your hypothalamus, the part of your brain that controls body temperature. Without enough estrogen, your body thinks that it’s too hot, which causes the blood vessels in the head and neck to open. This leads to a hot flash which can seriously disrupt your day-to-day life, and especially disrupt sleep patterns.
Serotonin is the hormone responsible for upward mood shifts linked to your body. Estrogen plays a big part in producing serotonin. Without this crucial hormone, you may start feeling depressed.
If you start noticing you’re getting painful headaches right before your period hits, this may be due to low estrogen levels. This is caused by the fluctuation of hormones your body is experiencing from the lack of estrogen. Many women treat the development of headaches and migraines with a low-dose estrogen patch, which can be prescribed by a healthcare professional.
With all of these symptoms above, your sleep may be impaired. Paired with your body trying to reconcile itself from a lack of hormones, this could make you feel seriously tired. Moreover, serotonin helps produce melatonin, the hormone connected to sleep. A lack of melatonin could make sleeping difficult.