What Does It Mean To Have High Estrogen
Estrogen is an important hormone that regulates your reproductive system. It plays an essential role in other body systems, too. Estrogen levels rise and fall throughout your life, often in sync with other hormones that control important body processes. Increases in estrogen spur your sexual development during puberty. Along with the hormone progesterone, estrogen prepares your body for pregnancy.
Estrogen levels that are too high or cause a hormone imbalance can cause problems. High estrogen can disrupt reproductive processes, cause unpleasant symptoms and increase your risk of certain conditions.
What If Your Estrogen Level Is Too Low
Some men are so deficient in aromatase that they do not make enough estrogen.
If a blood test reveals estradiol below 20 pg/mL, which may occur if Arimidex®, for example, is being taken at too high a dose, one should consider reducing the dose. Alternatively, applying a tiny dose of a compounded topical estradiol cream to the skin several times a week may also help increase estradiol levels. Follow-up blood tests 30-45 days later can assess if too much or too little topical estradiol cream is being used.
There is also evidence that consuming phytoestrogens from soy might provide similar benefits for the bone75-79 and vascular system.80-88
A Adipose Tissue And Metabolism
Many decades of evidence in both humans and laboratory animals show that estrogens are important regulators of white adipose tissue in females. Female adipocytes express both ESR1 and ESR2 . Ovariectomy of female rodents or other species increases WAT, and estrogen replacement reverses this . Similarly, increased WAT deposition in postmenopausal women is reversed by estrogen replacement .
As in females, male WAT expresses ESR1 and ESR2 . Other organs associated with satiety, feeding, and body weight regulation, such as hypothalamus and pituitary, also express ESR1/ESR2 in males and females. Males have low but measureable circulating E2 , but local adipose E2 concentrations could be higher due to aromatase expression in adipose tissue. Despite the established role of estrogen in female WAT, it was unclear for years whether E2 played a role in male WAT.
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Role Of Estrogen In Men: Why Is It Necessary
Estrogen is present in form of Estradiol and Estrone in men. They are produced by converting the male hormone testosterone into the enzyme aromatase.
Estradiol showcases a resilient attraction to estrogen receptors. In general, it is utilized as an isoform for medicinal purposes.
Further, the effects of estrogen on male body are wide-ranging. The female hormone has a certain role in maintaining cognitive function and mood.
Surprisingly, estrogen receptors are present in the part of the brain responsible for emotional and cognitive effects. Specifically, the receptors are densely present in the amygdala and hippocampus .
Men have estrogen in small quantities due to multiple reasons. Particularly, Estradiol is necessary for regulating libido, spermatogenesis, and even erectile function. It has a direct impact on mens health.
Thus, keeping estrogen levels in check is crucial to avoid problems related to fertility and sexual health in men. Its time to get into details about the effects of estrogen on male body.
What Role Does Estrogen Play In Reproductive Health For Men Or Amab
Estrogen affects the reproductive health of people who are assigned male at birth , too. In cisgender men, transgender women and nonbinary people with penises, estrogen impacts sex drive and the ability to get an erection and make sperm.
Too little estrogen can lead to a low sex drive. Too much of it can cause infertility and erectile dysfunction. Excessive estrogen can cause gynecomastia, or enlarged breasts.
If youre assigned male at birth and concerned about your estrogen levels, speak with an endocrinologist or a functional medicine specialist for help.
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What Does Estrogen Do To A Man
Estrogen has a number of functions in men. Traditionally, it has been solely associated with sexual function but estrogen also plays a large part in regulating mood, and in particular promoting a good mood.
Estrogen promotes the stimulation of serotonin and beta-endorphins that are known as the “feel-good” neurotransmitters and is said to play a part in maintaining one’s verbal and spatial memory in men, especially in later life.
A Treatment For Low Estrogen In Men
If you were to experience low estrogen along with low testosterone, in addition to prescribing testosterone treatment, we might also prescribe some form of estrogen, usually in the form of a gel or a cream.
Unlike testosterone, we want estrogen to be bioidentical to ensure it works properly.
For men, it is rare to find low estrogen levels unless that person is undergoing some kind of treatment to reduce estradiol directly.
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B Pancreatic Beta Cells
Estrogens have beneficial effects on pancreatic beta cell function and diabetes mellitus incidence. In humans, diabetes mellitus is more common in men . Similarly, in rodent models involving induction of diabetes, females appear to be protected compared with males . This is mediated in part by E2 effects on beta cell apoptosis , and E2 also has effects on beta cell insulin content, insulin gene expression, and insulin release .
Islet cells contain both ESR1 and ESR2 , with ESR1 present in greater quantities . GPER is also expressed in islets, where it may play a role in E2 effects . A critical question here is whether E2 has beneficial effects on male beta cells existing evidence suggests this is possible. In males, ESR1 is detectable in beta cells . Importantly, chemicals that damage beta cells cause greater damage in Esr1KO mice , indicating that estrogen plays a protective role in male beta cells. Estrogen may alter beta cell development as well, as shown by estrogen stimulation of proliferation in human islet-derived precursor cells . As with E2 effects on beta cells, these effects are ESR1 mediated .
Estrogen Problems Contribute To Sexual Dysfunctions
Because estrogen exhibits a positive effect on sexual function and erectile response, problems with this hormone and its receptors can lead to sexual functions. Besides erectile dysfunction, these also include and lack of sexual desire.
Both sexual dysfunctions can harm mens confidence, relationship quality, and quality of life. In men with severe hormone imbalance such as androgen deficiency or higher estrogen levels, hormone replacement therapy could help manage sexual dysfunctions.
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What Causes High Estrogen Levels For Males
To function properly, the male body produces high amounts of testosterone while limiting the production of estrogen to lower levels. There are some medications and natural herbs that can increase estrogen to problematic levels, such as some antibiotics, ginseng, and phenothiazines. Low testosterone levels can also cause an imbalance in estrogen production, increasing it to reach dominant levels that affect the male body negatively.
What Happens When Estrogen Levels Are High In Males
A high estrogen level is no good. It can create a whole lot of trouble for men, specifically those in bulking. It increases fat accumulation and harms your quality of lean muscle.
Some of the effects of high estrogen on men are:
While low estrogen can affect the sex drive, elevated estrogen can lead to infertility.
#2. Erectile Dysfunction
Higher estrogen levels can also affect your erectile. If you have high estrogen, the possibility of erectile dysfunction increases.
Increased estrogen levels in men can also make them depressed. Either directly or indirectly, this female hormone can affect their mental state and make them depressed.
Moreover, understanding the symptoms of high estrogen in men can help them deal with it better.
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Why Do Estrogen Levels Fall
There are many reasons why estrogen levels fall, including:
- Anorexia nervosa
- Extreme exercise or training
Drugs that block estrogen include clomiphene, which tricks the body into thinking it has decreased levels of estrogen. Also, women experience low levels of estrogen immediately after childbirth and also during breastfeeding.
The Effects Of Testosterone On The Body
Testosterone is an important male hormone. A male begins to produce testosterone as early as seven weeks after conception. Testosterone levels rise during puberty, peak during the late teen years, and then level off. After age 30 or so, its normal for a mans testosterone levels to decrease slightly every year.
Most men have more than enough testosterone. But, its possible for the body to produce too little testosterone. This leads to a condition called hypogonadism. This can be treated with hormonal therapy, which requires a doctors prescription and careful monitoring. Men with normal testosterone levels should not consider testosterone therapy.
Testosterone levels affect everything in men from the reproductive system and sexuality to muscle mass and bone density. It also plays a role in certain behaviors.
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How Do You Fix High Estrogen
Its important to keep in mind that everyones hormone levels are unique and there are a number of factors that can play a role in a persons hormonal health. With that said, there are some lifestyle changes that may potentially help in lowering estrogen levels, these include:
- Incorporate magnesium and B vitamins into your diet
- Try adding fresh and organic foods to your everyday diet whenever possible
- Get the right amount of sleep
Estrogen Regulates Sex Drive
Even though the driving force behind libido in men is testosterone, estrogen, i.e., serum estradiol, also plays an important role here.
The effect of estradiol on a male sex drive is observed at various levels of regulation, beginning with its direct impact on the brain.
In other words, estrogen in men influences sexual behavior and organizes the early brain to program sexual behavior. Since a great deal of mens confidence stems from the libido, normal estrogen levels are necessary for this function.
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Foods That Increase Estrogen In Males
A wide range of foods contain a class of substances called phytoestrogens, which are basically estrogens of plant origin.
Phytoestrogens are capable of mimicking the actions of estrogen when ingested by humans. In essence, when these foods are eaten, they increase the estrogen levels in the body.
As you probably know, estrogen is the hormone responsible for female sexual characteristics like developed breasts, curvy hips, high-pitched voice, etc.
Consequently, increased estrogen in males can result in the slowing of body and facial hair growth, fat redistribution in the female shape and boosted breast growth.
To increase estrogen in your body, include these foods in your diet:
Estrogen Function In Immune Organs And Cells
Many major differences in male and female immune function involve estrogen action. Both humoral and cell-mediated immunity are typically more robust in females, but increased immune surveillance in females may predispose to autoimmunity. For example, multiple sclerosis is three times more common in women than men , and disease progression is sexually dimorphic. Despite lower MS incidence, men typically have more rapid MS progression than women following diagnosis . More rapid progression in men may result from neuroprotective E2 effects, which could reduce neurodegenerative processes in females and facilitate tissue repair. The recent study suggesting that disease progression is similar in men and women initially diagnosed at an older age is consistent with the idea of protective estrogen effects only in younger women. Despite apparent protective effects of estrogen in women versus men, it is unclear whether circulating E2 in men modulates rates of overall disease progression or neurodegenerative effects accompanying this disease.
Overall E2 effects on the immune system and its constituent cells are complex and are dependent on estrogen concentration and specific cell types involved, among other factors. In general, E2 regulates a variety of chemokines and cytokines in immune cells such as neutrophils, macrophages, and dendritic cells. For a complete descriptions of E2 effects on immune cells, see Reference .
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Pain From Tumour Flare
Pain caused by a secondary prostate cancer can temporarily worsen when you start hormone treatment. This is called tumour flare.
Your doctor should always prescribe another hormone therapy when you start leuprorelin or goserelin injections. This other hormone therapy helps to prevent tumour flare from causing bone pain. If the pain carries on, your doctor can prescribe drugs called bisphosphonates to treat it.
A Estrogen Deficiency In Men
Estrogen deficiency due to loss-of-function mutations in CYP19A1 in men is characterized by normal male sexual differentiation and pubertal development . However, AD cases with birth defects such as hypospadias and cryptorchidism are known. Pregnant mothers carrying male or female fetuses with homozygous aromatase mutations frequently show progressive virilization that resolves after parturition . The extent of maternal virilization depends on the specific CYP19A1 mutation, since fetuses with even 1% of normal aromatase activity do not trigger maternal virilization .
Postpubertally, AD men and women have sought medical attention for bone pain or continuous linear growth . Serum hormone concentrations analysis revealed normal to elevated LH, follicle stimulating hormone , and T as well as undetectable E2. GnRH stimulation produced robust LH release and subnormal FSH release . Similar gonadotropin and T changes were also reported in humans given aromatase inhibitors as young adults , further suggesting an E2 role in negative feedback of gonadotropic hormones in men.
Hyperinsulinemia and impaired glucose tolerance occur in most men lacking aromatase . Furthermore, these patients have increased body mass index and dyslipidemia , consistent with Cyp19KO and Esr1KO mice . Most AD men have low growth hormone concentrations, suggesting E2 control of GH, which was recently validated in knockout mouse models where both ESR1 and ESR2 were shown to regulate GH .
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Higher Estrogen Levels Are Harmful To The Prostate Gland
The male body needs adequate levels of estrogen for sexual functioning and reproductive health. A higher concentration of this hormone can lead to various problems. It can also put the prostate gland in danger.
For that reason, doctors should evaluate a patients estrogen level before prescribing hormone therapy such as testosterone replacement therapy for their prostate condition like prostate cancer.
What Are The Symptoms Of High Estrogen In Men
What are the symptoms of high estrogen in men? According to Dr. Bernstein “erectile dysfunction, weight gain, decrease in libido or sexual drive, enlargement of the breast tissue, depression, loss of energy or feeling tired and decrease in muscle mass” are some of the symptoms you could expect if you live with high estrogen.
High estrogen in men may cause:
How Do I Know If My Hormone Levels Are Too High Or Too Low
Your doctor can do a physical examination and assess your health situation and symptoms to determine if further laboratory tests are needed to check hormone levels. Those tests may be important if you have a health condition such as PCOS or have stopped menstruating because of excessive athletic training or anorexia nervosa. If the tests show abnormal levels of hormones, your doctor can prescribe effective treatment.
High Estradiol Levels Seen In Male Chronic Inflammation Patients
Rheumatoid arthritis is a severe chronic inflammatory state that results in increased risks of heart attack, cancer, and stroke. A study of men with rheumatoid arthritis evaluated blood levels of sex hormones compared with healthy controls.9
Levels of estradiol in rheumatoid arthritis patients were higher and DHEA levels lower compared with subjects who were not suffering from chronic inflammation.9 This corresponds to studies showing that high estrogen levels can increase C-reactive protein, which is the most accurate marker for systemic inflammation.10-12 Elevated C-reactive protein is an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease in healthy individuals.
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What Are The Common Conditions And Disorders Associated With Estrogen
Estrogen plays a role in most conditions that fall under the umbrella of womens health. Some of the most common include:
Research is ongoing about estrogen’s role in conditions affecting other body systems. For instance, estrogen has been linked to some endocrine disorders and gastrointestinal diseases.
Hot Flushes And Sweating
Hot flushes and sweating can be troublesome. They may last for 2 to 30 minutes and you may have a few a month or more often. They are the same as the hot flushes women have when going through menopause.
Lowered testosterone levels cause hot flushes. They are most likely to happen when taking LHRH agonists, also called LH blockers , because these drugs cut testosterone production off altogether.
Getting overheated, drinking tea or coffee, and smoking can all make flushes worse.
They may gradually get better as you get used to the treatment. But, in some men the flushes keep on happening as long as you take the drug.
Talk to your doctor or clinical nurse specialist if you have problems coping with hot flushes and sweating. There are treatments that may help.
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