Estrogen Dominance In Men

More than six decades ago, estrogen was seen as the “woman’s hormone”. 

It became the go-to choice in hormone replacement therapy for post-menopause and menopause symptoms

This includes night sweats, hot flashes, atrophy, and vaginal dryness. 

Now, we know that all human bodies need estrogen to function normally. 

This naturally occurring hormone is crucial for keeping cholesterol in check and protecting bone health. 

It is also vital in childbearing and controlling the menstrual cycle. 

When estrogen levels are out of balance, they can trigger a plethora of health issues. 

Here, we will take a closer look at the role of estrogen in men. 

Particularly with estrogen dominance. 

Then, we discuss how to spot the signs of low or elevated estrogen and ways to treat these imbalances. 

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Estrogen – Covering the Basics

Estrogen is a sex hormone present in both the female and male bodies. 

Men have relatively lower estrogen levels than women. 

The components responsible for producing this hormone are the adrenal glands, fat cells, testes, and ovaries. 

The body features three types of estrogen:

  • Estrone 
  • Estriol
  • Estradiol

Estradiol, the primary form of estrogen plays a crucial role in male sexual function.

Estrogen in men is critical for erectile function, controlling libido, and spermatogenesis. 

Based on reports, estrogen receptors, including aromatase (the enzyme responsible for converting testosterone to estrogen) are highly present in the penis, testis, and brain. 

In other words, every estrogen receptor is important for sexual function and arousal. 

In men, roughly 15% of circulating estrogens come directly from testicular production. 

The rest are created from androgens through the enzyme aromatase.

Basically, estrogen in men can regulate sex drive, achieve erections, create sperm and mitigate testicular function. 

Other than that, this hormone controls cholesterol, heart, and bone health. 

It also impacts the tissues of the body, skin, and mood.  

Estrogen Dominance – What Does It Mean?

Estrogen levels can spike naturally. 

But, if you’ve been taking medications like some antibiotics or drugs for mental health complications, then the body experiences high estrogen levels. 

For women, from the time the menstrual cycle begins until they reach menopause, their progesterone and estrogen ebb, and flow. 

There is a 35% drop in estrogen from the age of 35 to 50. 

And the low progesterone plummets by 75% from 35 to 50 years of age. 

During menopause, there is a lot more estrogen than progesterone in their system.

The male body can also experience low progesterone levels or a drop in testosterone, which can trigger this hormone imbalance. 

When the estrogen is exceedingly high relative to the progesterone in the system, then this is what we call estrogen dominance. 

Spotting the Signs

When there is adequate hormone balance, the estrogen doesn’t cause any problems. 

But, when the hormonal balance is out of sync, that’s when the estrogen dominance symptoms occur. 

Men tend to experience issues with their sexual function and development. 

These signs include:

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) 

The moment the body experiences excessive estrogen, it could make it difficult for a man to maintain or get an erection. 

Gynecomastia 

Increased estrogen levels are known to lead to breast tissue growth, giving men bigger breasts. 

In women, this could lead to breast tenderness, pain, swelling, and discomfort. 

Infertility 

Since the body requires this hormone to create sperm, men could become prone to fertility problems when the levels spike.

Causes & Risk Factors

So, what causes estrogen dominance? There are many reasons and possible risk factors that can force your estrogen through the roof. 

In men, the testicular tissue and adrenal tissue create progesterone. 

When men reach their 40s, the progesterone falls, and testosterone decline. 

That’s why people experience estrogen dominance. 

Simply put, progesterone and testosterone can’t create a sufficient balance to keep the estrogen dominance stable. 

As the years go by, so do the hormones change. 

Old age leads to a spike in estrogen and a sudden drop in testosterone in a man’s body. 

This is an inevitable factor. 

But, there is more to estrogen metabolites and estrogen metabolism than meets the eye. 

High estrogen can be the result of a diet packed with refined carbs. 

All those processed foods and carbs are taking a toll on the estrogen hormone. 

Since people will be piling up a few extra pounds, the additional fat leads to increased estrogen. 

Excess estrogen also occurs when under a lot of stress. 

Especially chronic stress. 

As well as for those who struggle with obesity, tumors, illnesses that impact the liver, or a hormonal imbalance like hypogonadism

According to research, testosterone levels tend to be low in men with severe or advanced liver disease. 

That’s why it is important to consult with a doctor and assess your estrogen if you recently had a liver problem.

Complications

When left unchecked, estrogen dominance can lead to some debilitating health problems like cancer or stroke

The high estrogen could put the body at risk of developing male and female breast cancer.

Studies show that postmenopausal women with elevated serum oestrogen concentration had a twofold risk of experiencing breast cancer compared to those with a low concentration.

The higher the estrogen, the bigger the chances for ED, large breasts in men, blood clots, and diabetes

There is a chance that the estrogen imbalance has a close link with depression and dementia. 

Furthermore, progesterone deficiency can lead to estrogen dominance. 

Although more frequent in women than men, it can still trigger erectile problems, nervousness, exhaustion, low libido, etc. 

This shows just how important it is to keep the estrogen dominance managed. 

When to Contact a Specialist?

If your body develops odd symptoms, like severe vomiting, sudden or a full loss of vision, speech issues, and dizziness, then there could be something wrong with your progesterone and estrogen. 

Ask your doctor if any of the symptoms you are feeling might be a sign of estrogen dominance. 

They can help you identify the underlying cause and get access to proper treatment. 

Although high estrogen won’t always cause a serious health issue, you should still take the necessary precautions to avoid complications. 

In women, it is normal for the estrogen to ramp up during ovulation. 

During the luteal phase of ovulation or the first 16-32 hours, the estrogen can experience some fluctuations. 

This is a normal problem for women in ovulation. 

If you have unstable estrogen in perimenopause, then menstruation can shorten or become longer. 

The years before menopause, estrogen can stimulate uterine fibroids. 

The fibroids get larger and sometimes need extra attention. 

When taking synthetic estrogen in the form of contraceptives, then the body can develop nausea, bloating, acne, etc. 

Consult with a doctor if you are taking synthetic hormones of any kind. 

In the case of a fibrocystic breast, although the exact cause is unknown, estrogen can play a role. 

So, if you are having some serious discomfort, especially in the breasts, be sure to contact a specialist. 

Diagnosis

To diagnose estrogen dominance or problems with natural progesterone, your doctor might suggest a blood test. 

Taking a blood sample is the best and most viable option for checking the hormone level. The estrogen is measured with pg/mL (pictograms per milliliter). 

Normal estrone levels in an adult male range anywhere from 10 pg/mL to 60 pg/mL. 

For estradiol, the number is from 10 pg/mL to 40 pg/mL. 

Anything that’s above or under could be a potential health problem. 

Only a doctor will determine what’s causing the issue, whether weight gain, stress, or anything else. 

Treatment

To treat the issue, it’s important to get to the root of the problem. 

If weight gain is the reason for estrogen dominance, then doctors will suggest proper lifestyle changes. 

Overall, men and women are advised to eat foods that can decrease estrogen. 

Options like cruciferous vegetables, whole grains, and flaxseeds can come a long way. 

Those who struggle with weight gain will need to pay attention to their diet and implement more rigorous changes. 

Experts suggest eating a high-fiber and low-fat diet. 

This gives the system all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals it needs without packing a few extra pounds. 

But, if a certain treatment plan is causing estrogen and progesterone fluctuations, then the doctor might have to change it. 

In the case of serious estrogen dominance, then medication becomes necessary.  This is a practical approach to managing the issue. 

If a woman struggles with polycystic ovary syndrome and is at risk of developing ovarian cancer, then surgery might be the most practical choice. 

If a thyroid dysfunction leads to estrogen complications, the doctor will need to work with the thyroid hormone. 

Women can develop uncomfortable PMS symptoms but can still manage the issue. 

Nevertheless, only a doctor can suggest the best form of treatment. 

It will be up to you to watch your nutrient intake and give the body the best environment. 

Natural Remedies

There aren’t any natural remedies that are a miracle cure for estrogen dominance. 

But, some options could have some beneficial properties. 

Here is a quick look at what these natural alternatives have to offer.

1) Passion flower

Many studies indicate that passionflower has the potential of potent herbal medicine. 

It is being used for managing obesity, hypertension, and diabetes. 

It can also come in handy for anxiety and insomnia

Because of its potent anti-inflammatory compounds and anti-oxidant properties, it can create specific benefits for the human body. 

Even though there isn’t enough research about passion flower and estrogen, the product did help women manage the symptoms of menopause. 

This alternative treatment helped mitigate headaches, depression, and anger, which might also help with estrogen dominance.

2) Ashwagandha

The ashwagandha herb is gaining momentum. 

Many people are interested in adding it to their diet, mainly to promote endurance, muscle strength, and vigor. 

But, a 16-week trial showed that ashwagandha might have more to offer. 

Overweight individuals between the ages of 40 and 70 participated in the trial. 

They were either given ashwagandha extract or a placebo for 8 weeks. 

Based on the results, Ashwagandha intake caused a 14.7% boost in testosterone as opposed to placebo.

Although there was no significant difference in estradiol and cortisol, it still helped with testosterone production and vigor.

These are all key factors when looking to improve sexual well-being and manage vigor. 

3) Chaste tree

When used in the form of extract, the chaste tree might have some beneficial properties during menopause. 

It can mimic the calming compounds of progesterone and stabilize the hormones. 

Despite the limited research on its effect on male estrogen, it might be a good option to try. 

But, when using any natural remedy, be sure to consult with a doctor first. 

More research is still necessary to evaluate its full potential. 

Therefore, we can’t know for sure what it could do with long-term use. 

Outlook

Both high and low estrogen can lead to health issues. 

This hormone has many roles in the body, making it a crucial component of the human system. 

Even though people previously thought that the hormone is only important for women, years of research showed otherwise. 

Now people can keep the hormone stable. 

They can use diet, weight management, and medications if necessary. 

Anything else to control the hormone is best done under medical supervision. 

Doctors can assess your abnormal hormone level and give you the guidance you need.

Conclusion

Estrogen is a critical factor of our life in both the female and male bodies. 

When there is something wrong with this hormone, you will soon notice its impact. 

In cases such as these, you shouldn’t take the symptoms lightly. 

If you develop uncomfortable symptoms like nausea, dizziness, or vomiting, then the hormone might be causing these problems. 

Now that you know exactly what this hormone in men can do, you have a better chance of formulating a suitable management strategy.

Did you find this guide useful? How is estrogen affecting your system? 

Share your experience in the comments below!

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Find out about our Natural Estrogen Blocker for Men: Estro Clear.

Sources

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  5. Sinclair M, Grossmann M, Gow PJ, Angus PW. Testosterone in men with advanced liver disease: abnormalities and implications. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2015. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25087838/
  6. Travis RC, Key TJ. Oestrogen exposure and breast cancer risk. Breast Cancer Res. 2003. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC314432/
  7. Kim M, Lim HS, Lee HH, Kim TH. Role Identification of Passiflora Incarnata Linnaeus: A Mini Review. J Menopausal Med. 2017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5770524/
  8. Fahami F, Asali Z, Aslani A, Fathizadeh N. A comparative study on the effects of Hypericum Perforatum and passion flower on the menopausal symptoms of women referring to Isfahan city health care centers. Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res. 2010. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3203277/
  9. Lopresti AL, Drummond PD, Smith SJ. A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Study Examining the Hormonal and Vitality Effects of Ashwagandha ( Withania somnifera) in Aging, Overweight Males. Am J Mens Health. 2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6438434/
Alternative Text

Dr. Ahmed Zayed

Dr. Ahmed Zayed holds a baccalaureate of Medicine and Surgery. He has completed his degree at the University of Alexandria, Egypt. Founder of ZayedMD, Dr. Ahmed believes in making the knowledge as accessible as possible to patients. He had his work featured in reputable publications such as The Huffington Post. Other than his passion for writing, Dr. Ahmed spends​ his time outside the hospital at the gym or with a good book.

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