Estrogen is a key female sex hormone that regulates a variety of bodily functions and systems. The hormone level fluctuates as women go through perimenopause and menopause.
While you’re likely familiar with estrogen, you may now know as much about estrone.
So, what is estrone, and how does this sex hormone work? Read on to learn more.
Estrone: The Basics
Estrone is a female sex hormone, but it’s the weakest of the three different types of estrogen. Progesterone is another type of female sex hormone.
Estrogen’s three different types include estrone, estradiol, and estriol. When menopause arrives and your period stops, estrone continues to be produced by the body.
Estradiol is the main female hormone and is usually maintained throughout your life. The female hormone estriol increases during pregnancy.
Once menopause ends, estrone is the only type of estrogen that the body continues to make without assistance. Most women have higher levels of estrone after menopause than they do beforehand. Men also have estrone at birth, but it’s much lower than females’ levels.
Estrone forms in the adrenal glands and the fatty tissue of the body, also known as adipose tissue. It’s also produced by the ovaries, similar to other types of estrogen.
What Does this Hormone Do?
Estrone plays a vital role in female sexual development as well as reproductive health. The body can convert it into estrogen when levels of estrogen are low.
This hormone can also convert to estradiol to help maintain the female’s natural reproductive processes. This includes releasing eggs during the menstrual cycle and thickening the uterine lining, which can help the body prepare for fertilization.
Some studies also show that estrone helps to maintain things like bone health and cognitive function. It can also alleviate issues like mood swings and irregular bleeding.
If you have low estrogen in any form, it may increase your risk of osteoporosis. You may also feel tired or fatigued, experience hot flashes during menopause, or notice a decrease in sex drive.
Alternatively, people with high estrone levels may be more prone to uterine and breast cancer. Obesity can be one cause of high estrone production since the hormone forms in fatty or adipose tissue. Levels may also increase in breast cancer patients and in those undergoing treatments to reduce testosterone (like prostate cancer treatment).
Women with low estrogen may experience abnormal uterine bleeding, dry skin, and irregular periods. They also may have difficulty sleeping and experience intense headaches before the start of a period. Men with low estrogen can have a low sex drive and more belly fat.
Those with extremely high estrogen levels can also experience health issues. Some women may feel fatigued, experience depression or anxiety, and deal with either very heavy or very light periods.
While many patients assume they’re experiencing mental health issues, it’s often related to their hormone levels. Ask your doctor to perform a blood test so you can confirm whether or not it’s related.
High estrogen and estrone may also lower libido and cause weight gain in the waist, hips, or thighs. It can also cause noncancerous lumps in the breast tissue or uterine fibroids.
Men with extremely high estrogen may notice enlarged breast tissue. They can also experience infertility and erectile dysfunction.
Managing Estrone Levels
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to ensure that your estrogen and/or estrone levels are regulated. When patients have a hormonal imbalance, it can lead to a myriad of issues including mood swings and fatigue.
Start by eating a healthy, nutritious diet. Make sure you get a good balance of whole grains, healthy fats, protein, and lots of fruits and vegetables.
Not only does having too much body fat increase your risk of things like heart disease and diabetes, but it can also promote estrogen levels that are too high. Pay attention to what you eat and how you’re feeling to help you level things out. You can also speak with a professional nutritionist for advice or help with meal plans.
Regular exercise may also play a role in regulating this female sex hormone. Try to do some cardiovascular exercise and resistance training for at least 20-30 minutes three to five times per week.
Stress also affects the body’s hormone levels. Consider trying some stress management techniques like meditation, therapy, or yoga. You can also work on getting a good night’s sleep as often as possible, which can also lower stress and anxiety levels, too.
Ideally, adults should be getting at least seven hours of quality sleep or more per night. Try to go to bed at the same time every night and avoid “screen time” for at least 30 minutes to one hour before bedtime.
If you find that your hormone levels are still not regulated, talk to your doctor about the potential for hormone therapy. There are also supplements you can take including deer antler velvet. This unique ingredient has a wide variety of benefits including anti-inflammatory, bone and joint health, and more.
Find Your Balance
Estrone is just one form of estrogen that plays a vital role in female sexual development, mood, period regulation, and reproductive health. Making sure that your hormone levels are maintained will help you feel your best and enjoy a healthy life.
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