People often think of estrogen as a female hormone and testosterone as a male hormone, but the reality is that men and women produce both hormones. For your body to function correctly, these hormones need to be present in the correct ratios. Although men tend to have higher testosterone levels, estrogen plays a critical role in their overall health and wellbeing. When the body produces too little or too much estrogen, it may become a problem.
The impact of high estrogen levels in men can have far-reaching health consequences. Several health conditions can cause higher-than-normal estrogen levels, and high levels of estrogen can cause a variety of symptoms. It can be a complex process to discover everything that is going on. Working with a skilled physician like Dr. Edward Jacobson will ensure you get the treatment you need so you can get back to feeling like yourself.
Estrogen plays a crucial role in the male reproductive system and sexual function. Estradiol, the main form of circulating estrogen, contributes to regulating male libido, sperm development, and erectile function. Both low and high estrogen levels in men can decrease their libido. In addition to a reduced libido, men with high estrogen levels may have difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection. Furthermore, higher levels of estrogen correlate with lower levels of spermatozoa.
Male estrogen levels also impact the regulation of fat by slowing down the body’s ability to burn fat and encouraging fat storage. Men with high levels of estrogen may experience feminine fat distribution and reduced muscle mass. In addition to changes in fat distribution, men with higher estrogen levels have a greater risk of developing Type II diabetes and heart disease. Some men may also experience an enlarged prostate, fluid retention, night sweats, insomnia, and mood swings or depression as a result of excess estrogen.
The endocrine system is a complex network of hormones and organs interacting to create an intricate equilibrium. Ailments like stress, liver disease, or certain tumors can impact estrogen production. The causes of elevated estrogen in men can be challenging to determine because so much can impact its production, including certain medications. Some antibiotics and psychoactive drugs can affect estrogen levels in men.
Additionally, obesity can increase estrogen production in men. In a healthy male body, a portion of testosterone is converted to estradiol, a form of estrogen, by an enzyme called aromatase. Body fat is high in aromatase, so an increase in weight can also increase testosterone conversion to estradiol.
The impact of obesity and increased estrogen levels in men is a positive feedback loop that can make it challenging to manage. In other words, increased weight gain may result in increased estrogen, and increased estrogen can contribute to increased weight gain.
Treatment options available for men impacted by high estrogen levels will depend on the reason for the increase. Dr. Jacobson would carefully examine a patient to determine the cause of his increased estrogen levels and recommend a customized treatment plan based on his exact symptoms.
The impact of high estrogen in men may look like unexplained weight gain, mood disturbances, or erectile dysfunction in some, but not everyone will experience the same symptoms or to the same degree. Our staff will answer your questions and ensure you get the treatment plan best tailored to your needs.