Importance of Estrogen in Men and Why it Matters
Why Estrogen Matters to Men
Estrogen is primarily considered a female hormone responsible for developing various body parts, systems, and functions. However, it is present in all genders and coupled with testosterone; estrogen plays an important role in sexual growth. Like other hormones, maintaining a normal balance is important as an imbalance in estrogen can lead to various health issues.
An increase in estrogen levels in men decreases testosterone levels. Therefore, most health conditions resulting from imbalanced estrogen levels are characterized by imbalanced testosterone levels.
What are Normal Estrogen Levels for Men?
Estrogen occurs in a group of three, namely estrone, estriol, and estradiol. Of the three, estradiol and estrone are the main form found in men. Both forms exist in different levels that change according to age. However, the general estrone levels in adult males range between 10 and 60pg/ml, while estradiol levels range between 10 and 40pg/ml. However, some men can have either high or low estrogen levels.
Causes and Symptoms of High Estrogen
You will start experiencing different side effects if you have imbalanced hormones. If the levels are severe, these effects may affect your daily functioning, and you should see a doctor. Several factors can lead to high estrogen levels, including;
- Old age
- Weight gain
- Hormonal conditions
- Some medications – specific antibiotics and phenothiazines
That aside, high estrogen levels in most people are caused by continuous consumption of estrogen-containing supplements, such as anabolic steroids or workout supplements. Symptoms of high estrogen levels include;
- Gynecomastia – increase in estrogen levels leads to enlarged breast tissue in men. Affected men also experience breast tissue tenderness like women.
- Infertility – as mentioned, estrogen helps improve sexual functioning and sperm production. However, high estrogen levels slow sperm production and hinder the production of healthy sperm.
- Erectile dysfunction – high estrogen levels also affect other hormones, specifically testosterone, required to maintain an erection.
- Fatigue and mood swings – people with high estrogen levels are often irritable, tired, anxious, and depressed.
- Fluid retention – affected persons will also complain of swollen hands and feet.
- Enlarged prostate – increased estrogen levels enhance prostate gland proliferation.
- Heart diseases – men with increased estrogen levels are at risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
Causes and Symptoms of Low Estrogen
Several factors can cause declining estrogen levels. Among them include;
- Extremely low body weight
- Autoimmune diseases, specifically hyperparathyroidism or Addison’s disease
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Hemochromatosis (excessive iron amounts in the blood)
- Infections of sexual organs
Fortunately, low estrogen levels aren’t a major cause for concern in men. Nonetheless, symptoms of low estrogen levels include;
- Excessive belly fat
- Bone loss
- Decreased sex drive
More research is required to confirm the effects and symptoms of low estrogen in men.
Testing and Treatment of Estrogen Levels
A typical estrogen level test will require that you give blood, saliva, or urine samples. These samples will be screened for levels of different estrogen forms, such as estradiol. The tests also compare them to testosterone levels. You shouldn’t worry if your estrogen levels are within the normal range. However, you should consult a physician if your estrogen levels are high or low.
Imbalanced estrogen levels can cause long-term complications. High or low estrogen might also indicate the presence of an unknown underlying health condition. Therefore, men with low or high estrogen levels should consult a healthcare provider for appropriate interventions. Fortunately, most conditions that cause imbalanced estrogen levels are treatable. For more information contact Vitality Aesthetic & Regenerative Medicine today for a consultation.