The human body comprises of complex interconnectivity of biological structures and chemical balances. Often, due to a variety of causes, these chemical balances are disturbed to induce various medical conditions and hamper the body’s normal functions.
One of these imbalances is the high production of estrogen in men. Often at older ages or because of medications, testosterone production falls and estrogen concentrations in the blood rise to induce various medical conditions.
These medical conditions include sexual dysfunction, gynecomastia, or excessive weight gain. The following blog will tell you how to lower estrogen in men, how to tell if you have high estrogen levels, and the various pharmaceutical or natural options you have to reduce estrogen levels.
- Low testosterone and high estrogen in men
- How to assess your estrogen levels
- Natural and pharmaceutical estrogen blockers
- Natural ways to lower estrogen in men
- Supplements and medications to lower estrogen levels
- Increase your testosterone to lower estrogen levels
Contrary to popular belief, estrogen is equally as important for the health of men as testosterone is. Although there are differences in the concentrations of both these hormones between men and women, the fact of the matter is that each is equally as important to carry out bodily processes.
Interestingly enough, for testosterone to achieve many of its effects on the male anatomy, it needs to convert to a specific subtype of estrogen. As such, the hormones play very interesting roles in the male body.
The Role of Testosterone in Men
Testosterone is responsible for male characteristics like ample facial hair, manipulations of the vocal cords and the male sex drive. Besides these sexual roles, testosterone also helps with:
- Bone mass development
- Fat development
- Muscle mass development
- Production of red blood cells
- Healthy heart function
- Pain management
- Controlling cognitive and mental functioning
In healthy males, the concentration of testosterone is higher than that of estrogen. Of the entire pool of testosterone in the male bloodstream, 2% is unbound testosterone responsible for regulating bodily processes and the remaining 98% manages the sexual functioning in men.
The Role of Estrogen in Men
Although estrogen had been exclusively considered the female sex hormone, contemporary research is proving otherwise. Estradiol, a subtype of estrogen, is found to play a significant role in male sexual behavior.
Additionally, we find estrogen receptors in various parts of the male brain and throughout the male reproductive system, including the penis and the testes. With this evidence, it becomes apparent that estrogen is equally as important for male functioning as it is for female bodily processes.
Beyond the presence of various receptors and concentrations of estrogen in the male bloodstream, estrogen has been associated with the following roles for men:
- Increased sexual functioning and maintaining penile reflexes.
- Maintaining the health of brain structures controlling heart rates and breathing.
- Essential for pelvic floor functioning.
- Preventing insomnia and improving the quality of sleep.
- Sustaining healthy bone structures and maintaining bone mass.
How Does a Testosterone-Estrogen Imbalance Occur
There can be two situations where the body experiences low testosterone and high estrogen; either the body isn’t producing enough testosterone whereby the amount of estrogen gets relatively higher, or the body produces large quantities of estrogen.
Either way, this imbalance can cause a variety of medical conditions in men and affect their general functioning.
Causes of Low Testosterone
One of the most common causes of low testosterone levels in men is the age of the person in question. It’s not that the body produces low levels of testosterone; it’s just that the testosterone receptors in the body start dying out and so the body becomes less sensitive to testosterone production.
Sometimes low testosterone is associated with neural dysfunction where the pituitary gland fails to fulfill its role in signaling the testes to produce testosterone. One other cause of low testosterone production in the body is the use of anabolic steroids.
Finally, hypogonadism can also cause low testosterone production in the body. The condition is characterized by underdeveloped gonads (testes), which can’t produce enough testosterone to sustain proper bodily functioning.
Causes of High Estrogen
There are numerous causes for the production of high estrogen as well. Conditions like obesity, old age, and depression have been associated with hormonal imbalances, which might boost estrogen production in the body.
In certain cases, it has been observed that the body produces high concentrations of aromatase; an enzyme responsible for converting testosterone to estrogen.
The symptoms of estrogen are both physiological and psychological. Furthermore, people react differently to estrogen overloads and so your symptoms might not be the same as another person’s.
However, despite these differences during a testosterone-estrogen imbalance, the symptoms are fairly apparent and hard to ignore; you will know that something is wrong during one. As such, you should look out for the following symptoms and consult your doctor immediately for a check-up to assess whether you need treatment:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Weight gain
- Mood fluctuations
- Loss of muscle mass
The most common form of treatment for high estrogen in men is to use estrogen blockers. Different prescription blockers work in unique ways to increase testosterone levels in the body and reduce the impacts of high estrogen in the body.
Irrespective of their mode of action, these inhibitors influence the activities of aromatase to prevent the conversion of testosterone to estrogen sometimes by chemically altering the testosterone and sometimes altering the enzyme itself. Some options that you could try out include:
Natural Estrogen Blockers
First of all, there are some natural estrogen blockers you can try. Some examples of natural estrogen blockers are the following.
Wild Nettle Root
Wild nettle roots effectively work as aromatase inhibitors. Aromatase is the enzyme responsible for the conversion of testosterone into estrogen. Wild nettle roots contain fatty acids that have been proven to lower the body’s sensitivity to aromatase and therefore reduce the amount of testosterone being converted to estrogen.
Flavonoids are a class of chemicals that have been known to have various health benefits for the human body. One of these is to act as an aromatase inhibitor, whereby it can reduce the rate at which estrogen is converted to testosterone in the body.
Studies conducted to observe the efficacy of the flavonoids present in Chrysin found that these inhibited the activities of aromatase by up to 83% in men suffering from testosterone deficiencies.
Maca is a vegetable that’s very similar in appearance to Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. Extracts from the root of this vegetable have been found to have estrogen inhibition properties when used in the right doses.
Although these studies have been focused on animal models, Maca powder is often used to boost testosterone production in the body. The research concluded that Maca might be equally as effective for use in humans and can help balance out hormone dysfunctions in both men and women.
Grape Seed Extract
Of all the natural remedies for estrogen and aromatase inhibition, none have been more widely studied than grape seed extract. These have also become widely used in the treatment and management of breast cancer in women, which is caused by high levels of estrogen.
Research shows that grape seed extracts suppress the expression of aromatase and inhibit the activity of aromatase in the body to essentially reduce the production of estrogen in the body. This happens to be one of the ways to lower estrogen levels fast.
Pharmaceutical Estrogen Blockers
Although there are plenty of natural estrogen blockers that you could try out to increase the levels of testosterone in the body, there are plenty of pharmaceutical options as well. These are generally discouraged from use because there are a fair number of side-effects associated with these, and self-medication is specifically forbidden owing to the permanency of the side-effects.
If you do suffer from a testosterone deficiency, you should always consult a doctor before taking medication.
In any case, common pharmaceutical aromatase inhibitors include:
Steroidal inhibitors like formestane and exemestane work by altering the chemical structure of the testosterone to reduce the efficacy of aromatase in the body.
These steroidal inhibitors do not change the effects of testosterone beyond the way it interacts with aromatase. As such, these can prevent the conversion of testosterone into estrogen and thus increasing the concentration of testosterone in the body.
Non-Steroidal Enzyme Inhibitors
Non-steroidal inhibitors directly affect the aromatase in blood circulation. Anastrozole and letrozole bind with the enzymes to prevent them from interacting with testosterone to prevent the conversion to estrogen.
Compared to steroidal inhibitors which alter the chemical compositions of testosterone, non-steroidal inhibitors leave the testosterone as it is to continue functioning as they have.
Besides medication, there are plenty of other ways to help reduce the levels of estrogen in the body. These are different from using natural medication because these are lifestyle changes that you can incorporate to prevent high levels of estrogen. Some commonly prescribed ways to reduce estrogen in the body include:
Increasing Water or Fluid Intake
This involves treating estrogens in the body as a toxin that needs to be flushed out like any other. When you drink plenty of clear fluids, the body uses this water to balance out the chemicals in the blood to help you live a healthier life.
Although the body itself produces high levels of estrogen, it recognizes that the concentrations are high and will flush it out on its own. By increasing your fluid intake, you will create a consistent stream of toxins that will be excreted through sweat or urine to help restore the balance between testosterone and estrogen.
Increasing Anti-Inflammatory Foods
For many obese people, hormonal imbalance occurs because of their diet. Carbohydrates, excessive sugar and fats can sometimes force the brain to malfunction and thus also lose the ability to regulate hormone levels.
Since food digestion and fat storage is also dependent on certain hormonal cycles and good nutrition; eating the wrong kinds of food can overload the brain and also prevent healthy functioning. Replacing your sugar intake with fruits, vegetables and other nutritious foods can possibly restore the hormone imbalance and even prevent the development of severe medical conditions.
Increased Exercise and Activity
Muscle development requires the release of testosterone, which is the most pronounced when you’re placing significant and consistent strain on the body. Working out on a regular basis will require the body to produce more testosterone and reduce the conversion of the hormone to estrogen.
Additionally, if you combine the workouts with greater water consumption, it gives your body another outlet to flush the excess estrogen from the body. Combine weight lifting with plenty of anaerobic exercises like running and swimming to help reduce the levels of estrogen and increase the levels of testosterone in your body.
Lowering estrogen levels in males can also be achieved by taking supplements that can assist you with your lifestyle changes. You will find plenty of supplements in the markets in addition to the medication that we’ve already identified above to help you reduce estrogen levels.
These supplements have been designed to make sure that you can keep up with your workouts and will often contain the same natural ingredients that can also act as estrogen blockers in the body.
You can also try to increase your testosterone levels to improve the imbalance. There are plenty of natural supplements in the market that are made with magnesium, zinc and fenugreek which have been known to boost male libido and improve sexual performance.
As such, you can try these out to undo the effects of increased estrogen and increase the concentration of testosterone in the body. If you’re wondering how to lower estrogen, then these supplements are probably your best shot; short of taking medication.
Increased estrogen is a fairly common complaint for men of all ages. The condition is likely to occur as you get older and there are ways to lower these estrogen levels in men. There are plenty of natural and pharmaceutical options to treat increased estrogen levels and equally as many testosterone boosters that you can use.
This blog has discussed how to lower estrogen levels in men, the reasons why you might develop a hormone imbalance and the lifestyle changes you can make to live a healthier life. If you’re suffering from the symptoms of excessive estrogen, then you should consult your doctor and they will help create a proper treatment plan as befits your age, physical health and any prior medical conditions.
Check also: Does a Vasectomy Affect Testosterone Levels? >>