The hormone estrogen defines a woman and the hormone testosterone defines a man.
But the hard fact is that estrogen found in women is also found in men, but lesser in quantity which is okay. The problem shoots up for men when estrogen level goes up in the body. Too much estrogen in men poses serious health risks. According to researchers, the risk for prostate cancer is high in men with higher levels of estrogen.
What causes estrogen levels to go up in men?
As men age, the production of testosterone in the testes gets hit, but estrogen production remains active. Lesser testosterone and more estrogen create an inequality in testosterone-to-estrogen level. Adding to it, due to various reasons, in aging men testosterone also gets aromatized to estrogen, thus adding more estrogen to the already high levels.
Symptoms associated with high levels of estrogen in men
- Enlarged breast or gynecomastia
- Decreased libido
- High risk for heart attack and stroke
- Unexplained weight gain
- Prostate problems
- Erectile dysfunction
How to diagnose high estrogen level in men?
Even though the symptoms for high levels of estrogen in men mimic other diseases conditions, it is advisable for you to seek doctor’s help if you observe any unusual changes or symptoms as stated above. Your doctor may order for a blood test to check whether the estrogen levels in your body is high, low, or normal. If it is high, he may ask you to make some lifestyle modifications which include diet, exercise, and medication.
Here are a few ways to lower estrogen levels.
You have to limit alcohol intake, alcohol is known to stimulate the production of estrogen. Excessive alcohol intake also obstructs the kidneys from performing their filtering process; kidneys remove excess estrogen.
2) Soy products
Isoflavones found in soy raises estrogen levels in men and also lowers testosterone levels. Tofu, soy milk, or any other soy products has to be avoided if you have high estrogen.
Maintaining a healthy weight is more than important factor for men to lower estrogen level. Increase in body weight also increases fat deposits, and as estrogen is produced by fat cells putting on more weight is like inviting trouble. You need to exercise every day in order to help lower estrogen levels in your body.
Aromatization of testosterone into estrogen is slowed down by the intake of zinc supplements.
Cashew, walnuts, almond, and Brazil nuts are known to increase testosterone levels. Eating these nuts helps you to counteract the effects of estrogen.
6) Hormone replacement therapy
It is an option that you could choose if your estrogen levels are very high. Hormone replacement therapies come in different forms like capsules, skin patches, creams, and gels etc.