Estrogen is produced in the ovaries and adrenal glands. There are three types of estrogen found in a women’s body: estrone, estradiol and estriol. The levels of all of these hormones fall dramatically at the onset of menopause, which is responsible for the symptoms and detrimental health effects of menopause. The symptoms characteristic of menopause are hot flashes, insomnia, vaginal dryness, bladder problems, difficulty concentrating, and anxiety. Disease processes such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s, only increase in the absence of estrogen.
Estrogen and Menopause
The rapid loss of bone after menopause has been attributed to the decline in the production of estrogen, which is essential for bone growth. In addition, the loss of estrogen results in the development of heart disease, which is the number one killer of both men and women. When a woman’s estrogen level drops, the risk of heart disease soars. Postmenopausal women on estrogen have a 70% decrease in mortality from heart disease. Estrogen also has been shown to lower total blood cholesterol and raise HDL, the good cholesterol.
There is no doubt that estrogen can protect a woman against many of the diseases of aging and that postmenopausal women on estrogen typically feel better and stay healthier. Unfortunately, most of the estrogen that is prescribed to women is in the form of a synthetic estrogen or estrogen that is not natural to the body. Since these synthetic estrogens are not natural to the body, many women develop side effects or do not feel well on the synthetic, non-bioidentical hormones. The healthy trend these days is to avoid synthetic estrogens and use natural estrogens.
The Center For Modern Aging checks and monitors estrogen levels as part of our routine hormone replacement and age management programs. We will optimize estrogen to youthful levels if indicated based on symptoms and laboratory findings.
Benefits of estrogen replacement therapy are that it protects against or reduces the effects of:
Depression and mood swings