by Dr. Tina Marcantel
When we talk about men’s hormones, we often think first of testosterone. But did you know that high estrogen levels can also play a significant role in men’s health?
While we may think of estrogen as a “female” hormone, men do naturally produce it (just as women also produce testosterone). If the estrogen levels in a man get too high, it can lead to a number of health problems and unwanted symptoms.
So where do these high estrogen levels come from?
The causes can vary. One factor is age—estrogen levels rise naturally as men get older. Obesity can be another cause because additional fat can trigger chemical transformations of testosterone to estrogen. The use of some prescription drugs and consuming certain plant-based supplements and many meat and dairy products can contribute to higher estrogen, as well. Whatever the causes, high estrogen can lead to a range of problematic symptoms.
Symptoms of High Estrogen
Some conditions that may be affected by high estrogen in men are:
*Enlarged prostate (BPH)
*Enlargement of breast tissue (gynecomastia)
*Moodiness and irritability
Maintaining a healthy testosterone to estrogen ratio may also be protective against prostate cancer.
Detection and Treatment
If a patient has symptoms of an enlarged prostate, a PSA blood test is an important screening tool to rule out the possibility of prostate cancer. If the PSA test falls within the normal range there is still much that can be done to identify causes and treat problematic symptoms.
Testing for proper hormone levels is the first step in a treatment protocol. One very effective laboratory test is a salivary hormone panel. This is a simple test that can be collected at home and mailed off to the laboratory for processing. The results of this test reveal extensive information about levels of testosterone, estrogen, and other important hormones that help your health care provider specifically target your problems.
If laboratory tests reveal an imbalance in estrogen and testosterone levels, there are some relatively simple and inexpensive treatments that can be used.
Certain natural supplements can target the prostate to help reduce swelling and promote urinary health. There are other supplements that can help the liver metabolize and decrease the amount of excess estrogen in the body. Using a homeopathic form of testosterone is a safe way to boost testosterone levels, if needed.
Once a patient has been on this type of protocol for three to six months, he should have lower estrogen levels that lead to an improvement in conditions. Patients often report an increase in energy, less inflammation, improved urinary function, a reduction in breast size and less irritability and mood changes.
Remember, men, your hormones count, too! Take care of them and they’ll take care of you!
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