The function of Estrogen
Estrogens are the most important of the female sex hormones and an estrogen deficiency can lead to a lot of different health complaints. Estrogen is actually made up of a group of hormones: Estrone (E1), Estradiol (E2) and Estriol (E3), although Estradiol is biologically the most active during the fertile years of women.
Estrogens are responsible for:
The development of the female body, from girl to woman
- The monthly regeneration and protection of the endometrium (womb)
- Breast growth
- The elasticity of the blood vessels
- Radiant skin and healthy hair
- Moist eyes and mucous membranes
- Clear thinking processes
- Stabilisation of moods
Together with the sex hormone progesterone, the Estrogens regulate the menstrual cycle.
In the case of a typical 28 day cycle, the lowest Estrogen levels are measured during menstruation. The production of Estrogen then increases until ovulation, decreases slightly, and then rises again, reaching another smaller peak value on the 21st day of the cycle. Afterwards, the Estrogen levels continually decrease until the next period starts.
The sensitive balance between estrogen and progesterone
Estrogen values tend to fluctuate throughout a woman’s lifetime, not just during the menstrual cycle. The strength of these fluctuations is different for each individual and the body reacts to them with different symptoms. It is not just a deficiency in Estrogen that can cause physical complaints: an excess, or Estrogen dominance, can cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms, such as water retention, nausea, depressive moods, tiredness, listlessness, lack of concentration, anxiety, breast sensitivity, cysts and fibroids, painful menstruation, and weight gain.
Although it may sound contradictory, an Estrogen dominance can occur at the same time as an Estrogen deficiency due to the fine, coordinated balance between Estrogen and progesterone. The Estrogen levels define how much progesterone is needed. An Estrogen dominance can occur if the body is not producing enough progesterone for the level of Estrogen. This means it can also occur if the body is not producing enough Estrogen (Estrogen deficiency) if the body is also not producing the relative amount of progesterone.
Therefore, in the case of an Estrogen deficiency it is important to not only determine the absolute values of the individual hormones, but also the ratio of Estrogen to progesterone. An imbalance can, under medical supervision, be treated with herbal remedies or bio-identical Estrogen and progesterone creams/capsules if necessary.
How Verisana can help
If you are suffering from one or more of the symptoms stated above, we recommend a Verisana saliva test on the 19th , 20th or 21st day of your cycle (in the case of a 28 day cycle), to determine the progesterone and Estrogen values.* The sample needed can be easily obtained by yourself at home. The evaluation report is then sent in the post along with:
Your hormone values in graphical form – making it quickly possible to determine whether your progesterone and Estrogen values are within the reference range and how the values are connected with one another.
- An easy to understand explanation regarding the functions of the tested hormones.
- A summary of the complaints that can come from a deficiency or excess.
*for the Estrogen determination Estradiol is measured; Estradiol is a hormone belonging to the Estrogen family.