Oestrogen is well known as being the female sex hormone but men produce it too, via their adrenal glands and testes. It’s essential for male sexual function and helps regulate your libido, erectile function and the production of sperm.
Much like Goldilocks’ preference for beds, the amount you have has to be ‘just right’. Too little will lead to an increase in body fat and a diminished sex drive. Too much of it, however, can cause the same problems and then some. In fact, if left unchecked, having too much oestrogen, a condition referred to as oestrogen dominance, can lead to an enlarged prostate and increase your risk of prostate cancer.
In males, the most common cause of oestrogen dominance is the ageing process. As men get older, their testosterone levels gradually decline. At the same time, they produce more aromatase, an enzyme that converts testosterone into oestrogen. (For the record, other things that encourage the production of aromatase include eating processed foods, drinking alcohol, being overweight and taking certain medications that range from antihistamines to antidepressants.) Some men are also more genetically prone to having more oestrogen and particular health conditions, things like liver disease, can cause your oestrogen levels to rise.
There are lots of symptoms of oestrogen dominance in men and it often goes undiagnosed because the sufferer won’t necessarily have all of them and many can be attributed to other things. Poor sleep and anxiety, for example, might get written off and just the results of having a stressful job. Weight gain might be blamed on the fact that you no longer have enough energy to get to the gym. This is why it’s important to get a proper diagnosis with your doctor.
At Health Renewal, our doctors can perform blood test that give them a clear look at your entire hormonal profile. This is necessary because there isn’t a set figure as to how much oestrogen men should have. It’s all relative to your other hormones.
Of the many symptoms associated with oestrogen dominance in men, these are the most common.
- Sexual dysfunction
- Low libido
- Weight gain, especially in the stomach area
- Loss of muscle mass
- Urinary tract infections
- Mood swings, depression and anxiety
- Poor sleep
- Night sweats
- Brain fog
- Type 2 diabetes
- Gynecomastia (the growth of breast tissue in men)
- Enlarged prostate
Restore the balance
Fortunately, treating oestrogen dominance in men is relatively simple. Chances are your doctor will prescribe enough bio-identical progesterone to ensure that you have more of the male sex hormone than you do female.
You can also aid the process in a big way by making a few lifestyle changes. These include ensuring you get enough exercise and cutting down, if not completely removing, processed foods and alcohol from your diet. At the same time, you should be eating more mushrooms, red grapes and cruciferous vegetables (things like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts) that help support oestrogen detoxification.
Another way you can help your body rid itself of excess oestrogen is via supplementation. There are several vitamins and minerals that can help you in your quest and the Health Renewal doctors will be able to suggest which would be most beneficial. For example, zinc can help increase progesterone while lowering oestrogen. Interestingly, men with oestrogen dominance are more likely to be zinc deficient.
Lastly, maintaining a healthy gut is vital. If you don’t, your body will end up reabsorbing two things – the oestrogen metabolites it should be excreting as well as xenoestrogens, the chemicals found in plastic and personal care products that mimic oestrogen.
If you’re a man who suspects he might be suffering from oestrogen dominance, or you’re wondering if it might be a problem for your partner, don’t attempt to self-diagnose. Rather know for sure by making an appointment to see one of the highly skilled doctors at Health Renewal who can run the right tests and then get you on the correct medication and supplements.
They can also assess your gut health and, if you’re one of the many who’ve been dealing with a gastrointestinal condition and never realised it, things like leaky gut or low stomach acid, they can help you treat it.
In short, with the right treatment and a few lifestyle changes on your part, together we can help you bring back the balance.
This post was sponsored by Skin Renewal.
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