Higher than normal levels of estrogen are not limited to just women. Men also make estrogen, and can certainly experience the symptoms of high estrogen. I found out from personal experience on how nasty these symptoms get and the possible long term effects on male health.
It Could Happen at Any Age
As a 35 year old male is fairly good health, I knew something was not right. All my blood work seemed to in-range, and my doctors could not explain the cause of my symptoms. I was feeling fatigued throughout the day, even after adequate sleep. My libido also seemed to be deteriorating in the past 18 months. I also experienced mood swings throughout the day, and seemed to get irritated much more easily than I had in the past.
The Most Common Symptoms of High Estrogen in Men
- Sexual dysfunction (low libido, decreased morning erections)
- Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) resulting in frequent urination- particularly at night
- Gynecomastia (enlarged breasts in men)
- Increased abdominal fat
- Loss of muscle mass
- Depression/Anxiety or mood swings
- Insulin resistance/Type 2 diabetes
It’s not just about testosterone
I decided to find another doctor for a second opinion. “Are you getting regular morning erections?” was the first question by doctor asked me. This is how I knew we were getting closer to the root of the issue. After running a complete male hormone panel, my doctor informed me that my symptoms caused by elevated levels of estradiol (or E2 – a form of estrogen). My levels were about 30% higher than the upper limit of laboratory range. My testosterone levels were also below average. When estrogen levels in men increase, testosterone levels tend to decrease, so that symptoms of high estrogen tend to occur along with symptoms of low testosterone. Many doctors, unfortunately, neglect testing their male patients for female hormones, and focus solely on testosterone. This often leads to prescription of unnecessary, and often harmful TRT (testosterone replacement therapy). The reason for this, is that men who are treated with injectable synthetic testosterone, almost always make too much estrogen. This creates a vicious cycle, where men who injecting testosterone are also causing their estradiol levels to increase.
How Men Can Naturally Lower Estrogen Levels
My doctor told me that this condition should be taken seriously. If left untreated, it could lead to diabetes, heart disease, and even prostate cancer. I was determined to get my hormone levels under control. This is what I did, and still do to keep my estrogen low and my testosterone above average:
- Eat cruciferous vegetables multiple times per week. Cruciferous vegetables (kale, spinach, broccoli, bok choy, Brussel Sprouts, cabbage) contain glucosinolates, which are natural estrogen suppressants
- Exercise, lose weight, and get at least 7 hours of sleep
- Increase intake of vitamin B12, betaine, folate, and choline. These nutrients serve a crucial role in maintaining a healthy estrogen metabolism. Eggs, fish, meat, beats and spinach are great sources of these crucial nutrients.
- Supplement with indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and 3,3′-diindolylmethane (DIM). Supplement, I3C (200 mg per day) and DIM (100 mg per day), particularly if you are not consuming enough cruciferous vegetables.
Request proper lab work (Male Hormone Panel) from your doctor
If you suffer from any of the symptoms mentioned, make sure you request that your doctor runs a complete male hormone panel, not just testosterone. TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) should not be the first option your consider. Unfortunately, some of my younger friends were foolishly guided towards this treatment prior to even attempting to correct it naturally. If you also order these tests from HealthLabs.com, which provide quick and easy, testing with results provided to you by email within a couple of days. I recommend either the Standard Male Hormone Panel or the Comprehensive Male Hormone Panel. If your estrogen levels are indeed elevated, try the above mentioned natural remedies for at least 6-8 weeks. It seemed to work for me, and brought my levels significantly down. If it doesn’t work for you, and your testosterone levels are low, only then you should consult with a board qualified endocrinologist about TRT.
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