The Hormone List: Causes of Low Oestrogen
What causes low oestrogen? Now that’s a good question. Skip back a post if you’d like to know some of the signs and symptoms of low oestrogen. But for now, here’s the list of common factors that may cause oestrogen deficiency:
Statins. Yes, it’s true despite its reputation LDL is not the bad guy everyone thinks it is. We use cholesterol to make steroid hormones like oestrogen. If cholesterol is being suppressed, there’s not enough raw material to make it (and other hormones). BTW don’t be foolish. Do not come off any medications without prior consent from your GP!
Anorexia and excessive exercise. Low levels of estrogen are seen in anorexia nervosa due to insufficient ovarian stimulation. But here’s the shocker; anorexia disturbs how we metabolise oestrogen! When we’re undernourished estrogen is transformed into a “deactivated” compound that has antiestrogenic effects (2-hydroxyestrone for anyone that’s interested in the science). The lack of body fat also limits the extraovarian sources of estrogen production (skip back two posts for more on where we make oestrogen).
Premature ovarian failure. Aka primary ovarian insufficiency and menopause. This is pretty self-explanatory. Ovarian stimulation slowly grinds to a halt, drastically reducing oestrogen production.
Stress! High levels of circulating cortisol, our fight or flight hormone in the face of stress, over long periods of time can inhibit our entire endocrine system. What does this mean? The pituitary gland doesn’t receive enough stimulation to secret the vital hormones needed that trigger our ovaries to produce oestrogen.
Nutrient deficiencies. In particular vitamin D, zinc, B6, B9, B12 and magnesium.
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