Estrogen in Men
Men need a little estrogen to be healthy. It’s good for your heart, your brain, and your bones. But many men have too much, and that can result in symptoms like fatigue, low sex drive, and belly fat. It can also increase prostate cancer risk. But having too much estrogen isn’t inevitable. Symptoms can be alleviated, and prostate cancer risk can be reduced.
The Facts about Estrogen in Men
- Small amounts of estrogen improve cardiovascular health, enhance brain function, and prevent osteoporosis.
- Elevated estrogen counteracts the positive effects of testosterone, and can cause fatigue, weight gain, low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, and mood swings. Estrogen that is substantially high can cause sore nipples and gynecomastia (a.k.a. man boobs).
- Many healthcare practitioners still believe that testosterone causes prostate cancer. This is not true. Healthy testosterone levels actually support prostate health. It’s the conversion of testosterone to estrogen that increases the risk for prostate problems.
- If not managed, estrogen can increase as men age, particularly if they are carrying excess weight in the belly.
Losing Testosterone to Estrogen
Elevated estrogen usually occurs as testosterone declines, because as testosterone declines, most men will accumulate fat–primarily belly fat. Fat contains an enzyme called aromatase, and aromatase converts testosterone to estrogen. In other words, as men age, their bodies often exchange testosterone for estrogen at an increased rate. Estrogen, in turn, causes belly fat. It becomes a vicious circle. This is why raising testosterone levels without controlling estrogen is counterproductive, and why losing weight if your hormones are out of whack will be nearly impossible.
Testosterone and estrogen are like flip sides of a coin. It isn’t possible to safely and effectively treat low testosterone without simultaneously monitoring and managing estrogen. Watching for symptoms of elevated estrogen, as well as ensuring that estrogen stays within safe lab limits, is central to what we do.
Unlike testosterone, we don’t think of estrogen as being a hormone that needs to be replaced. Instead, it needs to be controlled. Estrogen in men should be kept within a tight window. If it’s too high or too low, there can be symptoms. And as mentioned above, heart health, bone health, and prostate health can also be compromised.
Our doctors control estrogen as part of our treatment programs by placing men on an estrogen blocker as needed. Estrogen blockers effectively suppress estrogen conversion at the same time as we’re increasing testosterone levels, thereby eliminating existing symptoms, and preventing future ones.
However, what works for one man, will not necessarily work for another. Different men need different dosages of medication to keep estrogen within limits. It’s our job to find just the right dosage for you.
Managing this aspect of treatment is just one of the many differences between treatment that is done safely and effectively, and treatment that is not.
Treatment for Elevated Estrogen
Estrogen management is just one piece of our Renew Man program. But it’s an important one. Without estrogen control, testosterone therapy is neither safe, nor effective. It’s that significant. There’s a right way and a wrong way to treat male hormones. Renew Youth does it the right way, so you can age better.