If you were to talk to anyone about hormones, you are more than likely to get the misconception that only men have testosterone and only women have estrogen. In reality, both genders actually have both estrogen and testosterone, with men having more of the latter and women having more of the former. The need for these hormones in both sexes is for proper bodily functions – testosterone is needed by women for insulin control, weight maintenance, and libido, while men need estrogen to keep a long list of ailments at bay.
Men may not want to readily admit it, but the truth is, without estrogen in their blood, they are prone to developing serious ailments such as diabetes and even cardiovascular disease. To help you understand why maintaining proper estrogen levels in men is equally important as keeping testosterone levels on even keel, here are health issues that may arise when estrogen gets dangerously low in men:
- Memory loss and brain function – did you know that whether you are male or female, estrogen is needed for proper brain function? It helps in neuron maintenance as well as in the creation of new neuronal connections. It is also essential for verbal memory and memory in general.
- Bone weakness and osteoporosis – aging men are known to suffer from bone fractures and develop a predisposition to osteoporosis when they have lower than normal levels of estrogen in their system.
- Fat accumulation – gaining weight can be caused by decrease in estrogen levels in men, and this is more prevalent when the person is also suffering from low testosterone levels at the same time.
- Erectile dysfunction and low libido – believe it or not, insufficient levels of estrogen can actually cause problems in the bedroom. Erectile dysfunction and a low sex drive, which were once blamed solely on low testosterone levels, are seen as partially responsible for such issues.
How to Get Estrogen Levels Back to Normal
If you believe your estrogen levels are lower than they should be, you should talk with your doctor about your symptoms so you can both find a way to create the estrogen that their body needs. Since men do not have the anatomical parts (ovaries and female reproductive organs) that are required to develop estrogen, they will have to create what they need with the help of aromatase. This is an enzyme that converts testosterone into estradiol, which is a form of estrogen.
Hormone replacement therapy is a treatment that is seen as a viable therapy for this condition. Since there are adverse effects connected with too much aromatase and estradiol in men, it is never a good idea to try and raise your own estrogen levels without the help of a medical professional. Only your doctor can tell you what to do to bring estrogen back to safe levels.