Estradiol is a form of estrogen which is a major female sex hormone. It is produced mainly by ovaries and other organs such as the adrenal glands, placenta during pregnancy, brain etc. This hormone plays important role in fertility of a woman. The body must have perfect balance of this hormone especially during the reproductive years in a woman. An imbalance of this hormone can create lot of problems.
Women have more estrogen hormone as compared to men, but it is present in both the genders. Since estradiol regulates menstruation, reproductive activity and sexual function, abnormally high or low estrogen level can have grave impact on fertility of a woman.High level of estradiol means that your ovary may have problem in producing eggs. It can also affect another hormone called follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). High level of estradiol thus can reduce the chances of a woman to get pregnant and production of eggs. In these women even the success rate of IVF is reduced.
What Causes High Estradiol Levels In Females?
High level of estrogen production is influenced by many factors which not only includes diseases but also diet and lifestyle.
- Precocious puberty: In girls the age of onset of puberty is around 10 to 12 years. When the onset of puberty occurs below 8 years, it is called precocious puberty. In precocious puberty the level of estrogen is high. This means the girl has early breast enlargement, growth of pubic hair, and onset of menstruation. Precocious puberty can cause lot of mental stress and discomfort besides early fusion of epiphysis of bones leading to short stature.
- Pregnancy: The level of estrogen is high during pregnancy. The placenta secretes estrogen during pregnancy. High level during pregnancy helps in development of milk ducts in breast. However, raised estrogen level during pregnancy is also considered to be associated with vomiting and nausea, especially in the first three months of pregnancy.
- Cancer of ovary: High level of estrogen also occurs in ovarian cancer.
- Testicular cancer: In men certain type of testicular cancer can cause abnormal high level of estrogen. Patient may present with testicular tumor, enlarged breast and loss of libido.
- Hyperthyroidism: Person suffering from hyperthyroidism has high level of estrogen level in blood.
- Certain foods contain high amount of estrogen. Patient must particularly avoid these foods if she has high level of estrogen. These foods include soy products, red meat, dairy products and excess of sugar.
Signs And Symptoms Of High Estradiol Levels
The symptoms of high level of estrogen in the body include as follows:
- Swelling and pain in breast.
- Bloating of abdomen.
- Deranged menstrual periods.
- Frequent headaches
- Mood changes
- Weight gain
- Loss of libido
- Increased fatigue
- Difficulty in sleeping.
- Development of cyst in breast.
- Premature growth of pubic hair and breast.
Although estradiol is known to be a female sex hormone, small amount of it also present in men. When estradiol is high in men it can produce certain symptoms that include:
- Gynecomastia a medical term used for enlarged breast in men. Too much estrogen can trigger the tissues of breast to grow in size.
- Erectile dysfunction is common if there is increased level of estrogen in men.
Treatment Options For High Estradiol Levels
Estradiol level is checked by drawing out blood from vein, usually the vein in arm. Estradiol can be in excess either as it is produced in excess by the body or you get it from the environment or diet that you eat. For example an ovarian cancer can lead to high level of estrogen. When this cancer is treated, the level of estrogen recedes to its normal level.
Besides treating the underlying medical causes that cause estradiol dominance, you can also restrict its high level by following certain diet and change in lifestyle. For example avoid foods that contain estrogen or estrogen like compounds. Eat organically grown vegetables and fruits. Avoid foods that have been exposed to pesticides and herbicides.
Avoid consuming alcohol as it damages liver. Liver is involved in metabolism of estrogen. Eat fruits and vegetables in large amount.