Picture this; she looks amazing, she is lean and mean due to regular workouts, she has eyes that sparkle , she sleeps well and eats right. How healthy.. Except..
If she has lean muscle stripped of fat, (around 7% body fat) then she may have problems with her hormone production, in particular the hormone oestrogen. Healthy Oestrogen production and regulation is required for many functions beyond the monthly cycle. Pregnancy, moods, sex drive and increasing good cholesterol are all affected by healthy Oestrogen function.
Brain fog, and sluggish brain function are also linked to an imbalance in oestrogen, as it is plays a vital role in increasing circulation to the brain (especially for memory). These are only a few of the functions oestrogen affects.
Too little oestrogen
Too low body fat, low body weight and excessive exercise may cause menstruation to cease, the biggest concern here is that it might lead to early menopause. Too little oestrogen can cause bones to become brittle, infertility, menstrual irregularities, tissue dryness and often we see that women with little body fat causes premature aging, particularly around the mouth and cheeks as skin looses elasticity.
Tips for keeping your oestrogen levels healthy
- Maintaining a healthy body weight, and fat mass. Women are recommended to have a fat mass of <22%>. This changes with age, as women age the healthy fat mass is recommended to increase proportionally.
- Consuming healthy fats; eggs, avocados, brazil nuts, olive oil all contain beneficial fats for the body.
- Plant based oestrogens such as those in soy or linseeds (flaxseeds) help modulate the effects of oestrogen in the body.
- Liver cells may benefit from broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts, to help excrete the body’s non- viable oestrogens.
Physical appearance warning signs
- Watch for bony hips, knees, elbow, torso
- Drawn looking, sunken in on face
- Hair breaking or falling out
By: Robyn Belgrove , Naturopath, BHSc.App.Sci(Comp), Adv.Dip.Naturopathy