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Estrogen & Progesterone

Estrogen in Men

Men are often surprised to learn that their bodies produce small amounts of estrogen. Although estrogen is one of the primary female sex hormones, it also has significance for men. Adequate levels of estrogen are important for male hormone balance and optimal health in men. Estrogen is also necessary for optimal function and protection of the heart, brain and bones. Like all hormones, estrogen needs to be kept in balance. Chronic health conditions can occur as a result of estrogen levels being too high or too low. function and protection of the heart, brain and bones. Like all hormones, estrogen needs to be kept in balance. Chronic health conditions can occur as a result of estrogen levels being too high or too low.

Connection between Low Levels of Testosterone and High Levels of Estrogen in Men

As men age, there is a natural decline in testosterone levels and an increase in the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. This conversion occurs through the action of an enzyme call aromatase. Aging males often develop high estrogen levels in conjunction with low levels of testosterone. Besides aging, body fat also contributes to higher levels of estrogen and lower levels of testosterone. Men with elevated estrogen levels have a higher incidence of stroke, coronary artery disease, prostate enlargement and prostate cancer. Elevated estrogen levels can also cause many unpleasant symptoms.

Causes of Elevated Estrogen Levels in Men

  • Aging: Aging is associated with decreased levels of testosterone and increased levels of estrogen due to an increase in conversion of testosterone to estrogen.
  • Medications: Estrogen-containing drugs increase estrogen levels.
  • Obesity: Fat cells, especially those in the abdominal region, produce the enzyme aromatase, which converts testosterone into estrogen. More fat cells or larger fat cells result in more aromatase enzyme, which results in lower testosterone levels and higher estrogen levels.
  • Illness: Some tumors (testes, adrenal, pituitary glands, liver, lung, kidney and thyroid), along with certain diseases, can elevate estrogen levels.
  • Alcohol: Excessive alcohol intake increases the conversion of testosterone to estrogen.
  • Environmental exposure: Men and women are exposed to xenoestrogens (artificial estrogens) in the environment, including plastics, pesticides, poultry and plastic bags.

 

Symptoms of High Estrogen

  • Loss of body hair
  • Decrease in muscle mass
  • Increase in fat
  • Prostate enlargement
  • Heart problems
  • Carotid artery disease
  • Stroke
  • Low sex drive (libido)
  • Difficulty losing weight
  • Fatigue
  • Erectile dysfunction
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