This page helps you to understand blood test results for Estradiol (E2) and gives you the reference range to determine if your lab test results mean that you have high, low or normal Estradiol (E2) levels.
We outline the risk factors associated with both raised and lower Estradiol (E2) levels.
Reference Ranges for Estradiol (E2) in women (Sign up to see ranges for men):
|US Conventional Units||pg/ml||15-350||<15 or >350|
|Standard International Units||pmol/L||55-1285||<55 or > 1285|
What is Estradiol (E2)
Estrogens are a group of steroids that are responsible for the development and function of reproductive organs and the formation of secondary sex characteristics in women. Though considered the main sex hormones for women, they are also found in men and play a role in bone metabolism and growth in both sexes.
Estradiol (E2) is the most potent estrogen and the one that is present in the highest concentration in non-pregnant, pre-menopausal women. E2 levels vary depending on a woman’s age and reproductive status. E2 is a good marker for ovarian function.
Function of Estradiol (E2)
Along with another hormone, progesterone, estrogens help to regulate the menstrual cycle, are involved in the growth of breasts and the uterus, and help maintain a healthy pregnancy . They also are important for many other, nongender-specific processes, including growth, nervous system maturation, bone metabolism/remodeling .
Risk factors associated with Estradiol (E2)
Metabolic Conditions – Increased or decreased levels of estrogens are seen in many metabolic conditions. However, care must be used in the interpretation of results because the levels vary on a day-to-day basis and throughout a woman’s menstrual cycle. Therefore it is important to look at trends over time in conjunction with the menstrual cycle or pregnancy rather than evaluating single test results .
Weight Gain – Sex hormones, such as estrogen, influence the amount of fat in the body. Estrogen regulates glucose and lipid metabolism. If your estrogen levels are low, it can result in weight gain. Being overweight can increase your risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Mood – Depression and anxiety disorders are twice as common in women as in men, but the reason for this gender difference is unclear. Research from Harvard suggests that women are most at risk for symptoms when their estrogen is low .
In males gynecomastia or other signs of feminization may be due to an absolute or relative (in relation to androgens) surplus of estrogens. Gynecomastia is common during puberty in boys.
Notable variations by demographic group
During menopause a woman’s body slowly produces less of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which can lead to symptoms including:
- Thinning of your bones (osteoporosis).
- Hot flashes (“hot flushes”)
- Night sweats that may lead to problems sleeping and feeling tired, stressed or tense.
- If you are over 40 and are experiencing symptoms it is advisable to work with your doctor to determine the best approach for you.
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Diet to improve Estradiol (E2)
Avoid Excess Calories – For people who are overweight, limiting excess calories can help them to lose weight and balance estrogen levels
Antioxidant Rich Vegetables and Fruit – The diet should contain plenty of vegetables and fruits that are high in antioxidants. Foods high in antioxidants include apples, blueberries, raspberries, asparagus, and bell peppers. The high fiber in these foods also supports digestion, heart health, and balances blood sugar levels and hormones.
Limit Soy and Alcohol – If you have elevated estogen you should try to limit soy and alcohol consumption as they have been linked to increased estrogen
Supplements for Estradiol (E2)
Caclium – Calcium is not proven to raise levels of estrogen, however it is widely used as part of measures to combat estrogen-deficient bone loss.
Fish oil – Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil contain lignans. Lignans are compounds with a weak estrogenic effect and are present in foods like flaxseeds. According to BreastCancer.org, lignans can trick the body into thinking they are estrogen and can bind to estrogen receptors, taking the place of stronger estrogen cells. This may have the effect of lowering elevated estrogen in men and women.
Vitamin D – Vitamin D is an important factor in estrogen biosynthesis, so if your vitamin D levels are low and your estrogen is high, you are likely to benefit from supplementing with vitamin D.
Exercise to improve Estradiol (E2)
Exercise and an active lifestyle in general promotes weight loss and balances hormones, so it is particularly important if your estrogen is out of balance.
Studies provide support for the idea that physical activity and dietary calcium intake together interact to produce a positive effect on bone mineral density  which can result from low estrogen. Weight bearing exercise has received a lot of support in this area.
Sleep for Estradiol (E2)
Low estrogen can contribute to the inability to fall asleep. Also, waning levels of estrogen may make you more susceptible to environmental and other factors/stressors which disrupt sleep.
The National Sleep Foundation emphasise the importance of good sleep hygiene for women with low estrogen, in particular trying to stick to regular waking and bedtimes .