The healthy maintenance of the human body depends upon a precise balance of hormones, enzymes, and a myriad of other processes which are essential to our well-being. Although testosterone and estrogen are hormones that evoke gender-based labels, each are essential to both males and females. While many of us know that men rely on specific levels of testosterone for certain sexual, biological and emotional functions, the important role that estrogen plays in the male body is poorly understood.
Following are the main reasons why men need estrogen:
Estrogen is vital to a man’s sex drive. If not enough estrogen is present, a male is at risk to develop certain symptoms of andropause (sometimes misleadingly referred to as male menopause), including a flagging libido.
Estrogen helps men control obesity.
Although testosterone is primarily a male sex hormone, a portion of testosterone converts into estrogen. As men age, the levels of both hormones diminish, resulting in certain challenges. While a male’s sex drive depends on testosterone, a reduction in his estrogen levels more severely hampers his sexual functioning.
Sometimes the origins of various symptoms are mistakenly blamed on reduced testosterone levels when the culprit is a lack of estrogen.
“Some of the symptoms routinely attributed to testosterone deficiency are actually partially or almost exclusively caused by the decline in estrogens,” said Harvard Medical School endocrinologist Dr. Joel Finkelstein in a September 11, 2013 article in the New York Times. Dr. Finkelstein’s comments were based on a study involving 400 men ages 20 to 50 who agreed to have their testosterone supply shut down for four months.
Important Facts about Estrogen Levels in Males
- When estrogen levels in men increase, testosterone levels tend to decrease
- High estrogen levels in males can cause enlarged breasts and some lower urinary tract difficulties
- Too much estrogen can put men at risk for prostate cancer
- High and low estrogen can each cause an increase in belly fat
- Men with higher than normal levels of estrogen can experience fatigue
- High estrogen levels can cause men to lose muscle mass
- Men who have high levels of estrogen are at risk for depression
- Low levels of estrogen can cause men to have hot flashes
- Above normal estrogen levels can lead to Type 2 diabetes
- Studies demonstrate that normal estrogen levels in men are a factor in healthy memory capacity
Hormonal Balance is Crucial
It is often the case that many men focus on increasing testosterone, without consideration of the delicate balance of other hormones, and the impact modification of one's testosterone levels have on these hormones. Estrogen is one such hormone. Virility, Inc. provides hormone optimization services, and as part of our Testosterone Replacement Therapy program for men with Low T, we optimize the ratio of these hormones to the ideal state for each individual. To learn more, call us at (800) 503-4033 or schedule an appointment online.