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Hormones play a major role in almost every bodily function, including growth, metabolism, sexual function, and tissue function.  Of all the hormones in our body (especially the female body), estrogen is probably one of the most well-known and discussed. It is a big question especially at a clinic for weight-loss.

While it is one of the most known hormones, there is a plethora of information that people do not know about estrogen and how it functions in both men and women. Below you will find four important functions of estrogen and how it impacts women’s overall health.

Growth & Development: Estrogen is actually a short name for estrogenic hormones – a group of hormones that are similar in nature.  Estrogen or estrogenic hormones are responsible for the development of female characteristics.  This includes not only the breasts and uterus but also other parts of the body, including the brain, heart, and liver.  Estrogen flows through the bloodstream and binds to estrogen receptors specific to certain tissues. 

Pregnancy: Estrogenis mostly produced in the ovaries, adrenal glands, and fat tissues.  For women who are of reproductive age, estradiol is the most abundant of the estrogenic hormones.  When a woman becomes pregnant, estradiol is produced during pregnancy.  Estrogen also plays a role in the beginning stages of pregnancy and is responsible for the thickening of the lining of the uterus which prepares the body to nourish a fertilized egg.  Estrogen, along with progesterone, help prevent the ovulation process from happening during pregnancy. 

Menopause: Declining estrogen levels are associated with menopause.  All of these symptoms are connected to perimenopause, which is the phase directly before menopause.  Declining and/or fluctuating estrogenic hormone levels in conjunction with other hormones, such as testosterone, are the cause for some of the symptoms we are accustomed to hearing about as a result of menopause, such as irregular menstrual cycles, migraine headaches, and hot flashes.  This process may begin as early as the late 30s. 

Bone: Estrogen works with calcium and vitamin D in the body to help prevent bone loss.  Until around the age of 30, your body is constantly rebuilding bone through resorption and deposition.  As estrogen levels begin to drop, this process also begins to slow.  This is the reason why some women may lose up to 20 percent of their total bone mass after menopause.  Taking steps to slow this process becomes more important as a woman ages.

GreenLite Note: Many people who come to our clinic for weight-loss have questions about estrogen, so please feel free to address this at your next visit.

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