Traditionally, testosterone was considered a male hormone, and estrogen a female sex hormone. But, men make estrogen too.
As a matter of fact, the estrogen level in the male body is higher than the level found in post-menopausal women.
Many people want to know whether estrogen causes weight gain and the best ways to shed the excess pounds with high estrogen in men.
Here we will take a closer look at these questions and show you practical methods to keep the stubborn weight gain in check.
Signs of Excess Estrogen
The primary and most potent estrogen is called Estradiol (E2). Normal (healthy) estradiol levels in men are 10 pg/ml to 50 pg/ml. Estrogens can mediate effects through many pathways. Estradiol levels under 5 ng dl are associated with poor libido.
Estrogen has a key role in the human system. The estrogen is there to keep the bone health, mood, and cholesterol under wraps. When the levels of this hormone are thrown out of sync, they can lead to numerous health issues.
In men, we can recognize the signs of high estrogen with problems such as depression, erectile dysfunction, and infertility. High estrogen can also provoke symptoms like delayed puberty, big or swollen breast tissue, and short stature.
Other signs in men include:
- Some amount of hair loss
- Drop in muscle mass
- Decreased sperm concentration
- Reduced penis growth
- Having difficulties staying focused
This spike in estrogen hormone could be a red flag for diabetes, testicle tumor, adrenal gland tumor, overactive thyroid, or cirrhosis. In contrast, significantly lower estrogen levels can trigger symptoms such as bone loss, osteoporosis, extra belly fat, and plummeting sex drive.
Data suggest that male patients with heart disease, more precisely progressive coronary artery disease, struggled with low estrogen and testosterone. Hypogonadism (also known as gonad deficiency) can force estrogen levels to drop.
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How Estrogen Dominance Can Lead To Weight Gain
A drop in estrogen is shown to increase body fat in men. But, obese patients have notable high estrogen levels. Based on reports, modest weight gain in a healthy adult male won’t alter circulating E2 or E1 levels. Yet, hormonal imbalance can still happen.
These hormone fluctuations can lead to breast tissue growth in boys and men with unstable estrogen and testosterone. This is Gynecomastia, a condition where breasts become bigger and uneven. Although benign, this condition is highly prevalent in men. It affects a minimum of 30% of men.
As the body ages, the sex hormone levels in men are linked to notable changes in body fat distribution. Not having enough estrogen could lead to weight gain in men.
Older men tend to store more fat around their abdomen. The problem is that fat stored in the abdomen area is a bigger risk factor for ailments than the fat stored in the thighs, hips, and buttocks.
Is Excess Estrogen Causing Your Weight Gain?
Estrogen dominance in men could amplify your chances of having a thyroid hormone dysfunction. This can lead to exhaustion and weight changes.
When we talk about excess estrogen and weight gain, it’s important to point out the numerous factors contributing to estrogen dominance. Here is a quick look at some of them.
Psychological unrest is a significant estrogen dominance contributor. It also causes adrenal stress, fat, and abdominal obesity.
When you feel stressed out, the body experiences a surge in cortisol levels. A great spike in cortisol can make you pile a few extra pounds and overeat. This is what we call hormonal weight gain.
With persistent stress, cortisol remains high. Thus, the cortisol could end up depleting the progesterone levels. This, in turn, could create a “knock-on” effect on estrogen.
By 2030, 20% of the global adult population is expected to be obese. As you gain extra pounds, the excess fat in the body prompts high estrogen. This is mainly since the fat tissue is the one that creates estrone.
Specific drugs like tetracyclines, ampicillin, steroid meds, and others can cause a spike in estrogen. While others will increase the progesterone. High progesterone often leads to exhaustion and depression in men.
Chronic and excessive drinking can increase estrogen and cause a drop in testosterone. These are all known factors for ED.
When consumed in higher quantities, the alcohol can heighten the effects of insufficient testosterone. It’s packed with calories, meaning that it could also lead to weight gain.
Problems with insulin and cancer
Ailments like insulin resistance and cancer can affect estrogen in men. Premenopausal women have enhanced insulin sensitivity and a lower prevalence of type 2 diabetes compared to men the same age. But, this insulin advantage disappears the moment they enter menopause. And the reduction in circulating estradiol has a lot to do with it.
If a patient doesn’t regulate their increasing estrogen for a very long time, they might develop health issues. These include blood clots, blood pressure problems, a lower-than-average calcium level in the plasma, cervical, and breast cancer. So, it’s a good idea to manage the excess estrogen and weight gain.
Other imbalanced hormones can also lead to excess weight. Leptin is one of them. Leptin is a “satiety hormone” capable of reducing the appetite and making you feel full. But, leptin levels are four times higher in obese patients than those with average weight.
The problem is, in obesity, this hormone doesn’t work like it is supposed to. People experience impaired leptin signaling, which pushes the brain to eat more.
Another hormone is ghrelin – the “hunger hormone.” When you feel hungry, the stomach releases this hormone, which sends a message to the brain telling you to eat. In overweight patients, fasting ghrelin is typically lower. Without adequate hormonal balance, people are prone to overeating.
Sometimes, that hormonal change can cause excess visceral fat. So, if you are looking to achieve proper weight loss, establishing hormone balance can help. Achieving weight loss with fluctuating testosterone levels can be downright exhausting.
RELATED: 10 Foods That Help You Lose Weight.
How to Lose Weight With High Estrogen
There is a close interplay between growth hormone (GH) and estrogens, particularly in puberty. If you struggle with estrogen imbalance, then it’s important to manage it. Even fat cells in men can produce a lot of estrogens. So, more fat means more aromatase action.
Adequate lifestyle and nutrition changes can turn the tide. Eating plenty of fiber, cruciferous veggies, and flaxseeds can help keep the estrogen in check. A high-fiber diet appears to have reduced serum estrogen concentrations in premenopausal women.
During the study, 62 women increased their daily dietary fiber intake from around 15 g to 30 g a day by supplementation with corn bran, oat, or wheat.
After two months, their serum estrogen subsided for the wheat-bran supplementation group. But, there was no change in those who took corn brans or oat.
How to Naturally Lower Your Estrogen Levels
Men who are worried about the impacts of estrogen should make a couple of healthy lifestyle choices. They should decrease the number of calories they eat, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly. All of these choices are practical weight-loss strategies and a solid option to curb the excess estrogen and weight gain.
Sleep can both decrease and increase blood sugar. The circadian rhythm naturally raises the blood sugar in the middle of the night while we grab a shut-eye.
This rise in blood sugar is nothing to worry about. But, without enough sleep, it can be a risk factor for unhealthy blood sugar spikes.
Even partial sleep deprivation can lead to insulin resistance. So to work on your body weight and high estrogen symptoms, implement these natural tactics to lower your estrogen levels.
Fluctuating estrogen can irritate the cells and make you gain a few extra pounds. But, the high levels of estrogen in the system can be a byproduct of another health problem. So, it is best to consult a doctor to get to the root of the problem.
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