Generally, the symptoms of too much estrogen affect women who are in their mid thirties. Many women do not immediately suspect an excess of estrogen because the symptoms often resemble normal premenstrual symptoms; they can vary widely from woman to woman.
What Estrogen Does
Estrogen is a hormone produced by the ovaries. This hormone controls a woman's sexual and reproductive development. There are three types of estrogen: estriol, estradiol and estrone.
As with an estrogen deficiency, excessive estrogen levels cause a variety of uncomfortable symptoms. The symptoms run the gamut from minor complaints, such as weight gain and leg cramps, to major health issues, such as an increased risk of stroke and osteoporosis.
Even though estrogen is produced in ovaries, it is responsible for more then regulating the menstrual cycle. Estrogen affects the reproductive tract, the urinary tract, the heart and blood vessels, bones, breasts, skin, hair, mucous membranes, pelvic muscles and brain.
Effects of Excess Estrogen
Excess estrogen depletes the body's stores of Vitamin D and may lead to an increased risk of blood clots and stroke. High levels of estrogen often leave women susceptible to decreased calcium levels, which can lead to bone fractures, arthritis and osteoporosis. Uncontrolled high estrogen may lead to polycystic ovarian disease or cervical cancer.
A woman with high levels of estrogen may have excessive breast tenderness and gain a lot of weight around the hips. Some women with high estrogen levels complain of increased bloating during their menstrual cycles.
Many women with high levels of estrogen experience dry eyes and depression. An underlying thyroid disorder may be a contributing factor in some of these cases. With a thyroid disorder, the levels of iodine in the body go down, which causes the estrogen levels to go up.
When estrogen levels rise, a woman may feel more prone to allergies. High estrogen can also cause cold hands and feet, tiredness, mood swings and irritability.
Symptoms of Excess Estrogen
Increased estrogen levels can be caused by a poor diet or irregular menstrual periods. If you experience any of these symptoms, ask your doctor about getting a blood test for estrogen levels.
Did you know women in other countries experience very little menopausal symptoms? Why is that? Women in other countries tend to be more physically active than women in industrialized countries. Daily exercise can diminish hot flashes while improving bone density.