Estrogen is generally known as the “female” hormone while Testosterone is known as the “male” hormone. Although each hormone is identified with a specific sex, yet both are found in women and men. On an average, women have higher levels of estrogen and men have more testosterone. But a man’s body also produces small amounts of estrogen, which is important for normal development and function of the male reproductive organ.
However, an abnormally high level of estrogen can have major effects on a man’s body, possibly interfering with his fertility and sexual function, and potentially raising the risk of certain chronic diseases.
Causes of High Estrogen in Men
- High Cholesterol: Increased body fat, especially around the waist increases estrogen levels in men as the fat produces estrogen. A loss of lean muscle tissue and an increase in fat tissue also typically occurs with advancing age, as well as with metabolic disorders such as obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
- Aging: While getting older is unavoidable, Ageing will often lead to an increase in estrogen level, and a gradual decline in testosterone levels.
- Testosterone therapy: Men who are treated with injectable forms of synthetic testosterone always make too much estrogen.
- Diet: What you eat can affect your estrogen levels in different ways, a diet high in refined carbohydrates will lead to insulin resistance and increased body fat, not only will increased body fat cause an increase in aromatase enzyme, but increased body fat will also produce more estrogen.
Signs and Symptoms of high Estrogen in Men
Despite the tremendous importance of estrogen in men, there are chances of having excessive estrogen levels, and the chance of high estrogen in men increases with age and the amount of body fat possessed. Symptoms of high estrogen in men include:
A man’s fertility level depends partly on having enough sperm to fertilize an egg. According to the World Health Organization, a normal sperm count is at least 15 million per milliliter of semen. If a man’s sperm count is too low, he may experience reduced fertility.
- Erectile Dysfunction
A shift in the balance of testosterone to estrogen in a man’s body could cause erectile dysfunction; which is an obstacle to achieving or maintaining an erection. As men age, testosterone levels gradually decrease, potentially causing an imbalance in estrogen and testosterone. Certain laboratory studies, that found decreased mating ability in male laboratory animals treated with estrogen, also suggest that high estrogen level might cause erectile problems.
- Breast Growth
Excess estrogen level can cause abnormal growth of breast tissue in men. This condition, called gynecomastia, involves both breasts. Certain medications, such as estrogen-like compounds used to treat prostate cancer, may cause this problem, and unintended exposure to creams or other products containing estrogen can also cause abnormal breast growth.
- Cardiovascular Problems
Certain researchers suggest that relatively high estrogen level in men might raise the risk of circulatory problems including heart attack and stroke. According to Livestrong, a small study published in the April 2007 issue of “Neuro Endocrinology Letters” reported that estrogen levels were higher in men who had experienced a heart attack, compared with men who haven’t had coronary artery disease.
- Low Energy Levels
This is characterized by fatigue and lack of motivation and can have more severe complications with low testosterone coupled with high estrogen levels.
Poor sleep or sleep disorder can be as a result of frequent urination and night sweats.
- Prostate Enlargement
Research suggests that high estrogen levels in men lead to Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), which is an enlargement of the prostate. Having BPH causes urinary problems such as difficulty in urinating or frequent trips to the bathroom and as well as increased risk of prostate cancer.
Ways in which high estrogen in men can be managed/treated include:
- Reducing carbohydrates, intermittent fasting and increasing vegetables which will have a positive effect on reduction of body fat and in turn reduce estrogen level.
- Weight training and high-intensity exercise which helps to lower body fat and increase testosterone production.
- Having a healthy digestion which is important for healthy hormone levels.
- Eating cruciferous vegetables which can help to promote estrogen detoxification through the liver. Some cruciferous vegetables include Cabbages, Brussel sprouts, Broccoli, and Broccoli sprouts which can be added to the diet in the form of smoothies, soups and with any meal.
- Eliminating environmental toxins such as plastics as much as possible and the reuse of plastic bottles or heating food in plastic containers should be avoided.
- Reducing stress by engaging in aerobic activities such as meditation and breathing exercises.
External sources in this article include the websites Healthline1https://www.healthline.com/health/high-estrogen#outlook, Livestrong2https://www.livestrong.com/article/127328-high-estrogen-symptoms-men/, Planetnaturopath3https://www.planetnaturopathcom/hormones/high-estrogen-men/#signs_and_symptoms_of_high_estrogen_levels_include, as referenced below.
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