When it comes to hormones, it’s all about optimizing. Contrary to popular belief and old medical teachings, we now know that estrogen is a vital hormone for MEN as much as WOMEN! Not having enough (or any) estrogen isn’t good for many reasons.
The truth: Men need estrogen to support heart, bone, brain and sexual health. That is why therapies that block estrogen may put your health at risk.
What many men don’t know is that their bodies make estrogen naturally via an enzyme called aromatase which converts testosterone into their needed estrogen. Aromatase is an enzyme involved in the production of estrogen that acts by catalyzing the conversion of testosterone (an androgen) to estradiol (an estrogen). Aromatase is located in estrogen-producing cells in the adrenal glands, testicles, adipose (fat) tissue, and brain in every man! It is there for a reason and has an important job, so there is no reason for men to fear having a bit of estrogen on board.
Many people have been taught that testosterone is strictly a male hormone and estrogen is strictly a female hormone. At EVEXIAS Medical Centers we know that nothing could be further from the truth! In fact, the two hormones often work hand in hand to support total body health. Our bodies were designed to convert certain amounts of testosterone into estrogen for many health reasons outlined below. Estrogen has even been shown to help boost lean body mass in men.
THE PROS OF ESTROGEN ARE OFTEN OVERLOOKED
Estrogen blockers are prescribed for a number of reasons. One reason people think estrogen blockers are prescribed is to treat swelling of breast tissue in males (gynecomastia), a rare medical condition where a young male grows breast tissue that resembles female breast tissue. This condition is extremely rare in older males, even males on testosterone therapy. The rarity of the issues further shows how over prescribing estrogen blockers can be unnecessary and cause more harm than good.
Sadly, there are reasons that some Practitioners prescribe estrogen blockers that are not rooted in science. It all goes back to the myth that “testosterone is good,” and “estrogen is bad” for men. It is assumed that estrogen is causing the problem, even when it is not.
For example, estrogen blockers may be prescribed with testosterone replacement therapy to treat “Low T” or testosterone deficiency. Some doctors do so, even without testing the patient’s estrogen levels and comparing it to their testosterone levels. This is unfortunate because testosterone and estrogen have a synergy. They work together to treat many symptoms of “Low T”, and some men feel negative symptoms such as unexplained aggression or rage. Estrogen keeps those symptoms balanced when optimal levels of testosterone are being achieved through Bio Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy.
CONSEQUENCES OF BLOCKING ESTROGEN (ESTRADIOL) IN MEN
Research shows that estrogen may help prevent disease and offer anti-aging benefits. It can also play a key role in improving sexual health. Having low levels of estradiol due to aromatase inhibitors (AI’s), or estrogen blockers like Arimadex and Femara, may lead to symptoms including:
- Sexual health disorders (ED, as well as low desire, libido and satisfaction).
- Prostate issues.
- Poor cardiovascular health.
- Altered cholesterol levels (good and bad).
- Decreased bone mineral density, AKA osteoporosis (fracture risk).
- Poor insulin resistance (decline in lean muscle mass, increased belly fat and risk for diabetes).
- Compromised brain health and cognition issues.
THE OTHER CONS OF ESTROGEN BLOCKERS? THE SIDE EFFECTS
Some doctors prescribe AIs (estrogen blockers) to treat “Low T,” wrongly thinking their patient has excessive estrogen and is blaming that without confirmation, which can be determined through a simple a blood test. Along with blocking the benefits of estrogen, estrogen blockers like the AIs can also have side effects that can be pretty miserable.
Common side effects of AIs include:
- Erectile dysfunction (ED).
- Body aches and pains.
- Breast pain, tenderness or swelling.
- Feeling tired or weak.
- Excess sweating.
- Thinning hair.
- Weight fluctuation.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF ELEVATED ESTROGEN LEVELS?
While any form of medical treatment comes with risks, no studies exist that show increasing estrogen levels in men causes harm. Some case studies have actually shown increasing estrogen levels may be beneficial in reversing heart disease by giving oral estrogen to men if needed. Men naturally produce estrogen and blocking that production can definitely do more harm than good. There is also no research that shows men benefit from lowering estrogen levels with AIs. In fact, there are many studies that show HARM from blocking estrogen in men and many studies that show increased risk of all causes of death in men with low estrogen levels!
At EVEXIAS Medical Centers our Practitioners understand the important role of balancing testosterone and estrogen, and our male patients can rest assured that through blood tests and conversations with the Practitioner that they are in perfect balance!
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