What Is Estradiol & Why Is It Important In Men?
Most people think that testosterone is male and estrogen or estradiol is female. But in reality, we all have both. In men, estradiol has effects on libido, erectile function, and fertility. It is detected by the hypothalamus, which reduces its stimulation of the pituitary gland which reduces its release of LH and FSH which reduces testosterone released from the testes. If there is overstimulation of estradiol receptors in the penis, it can lead to a erectile dysfunction.
If there’s too much estradiol in the blood it can cause thickening of the internal lining of blood vessels and an increase in your cholesterol levels resulting in a higher risk for heart attacks. But if there’s too little estradiol, it can cause bone loss and osteoporosis with its increased risk for fractures. Most peripherally circulating estradiol is made by conversion of testosterone by enzymes in the fat cells called aromatase. If there’s too much of this enzyme there can be too much conversion contributing to reductions in testosterone and elevations in estradiol levels. Other factors which can raise estradiol include stress overuse of caffeine and alcohol, some medications, and some herbs also as hypogonadism is treated and testosterone levels rise there will be an increase in the amount of testosterone available for conversion.
Symptoms of elevated estradiol include
- loss of concentration
- hot flashes
- hair loss
- erectile dysfunction
- development of breast tissue
- swelling of the hands and feet
- weight gain
If you do have elevated estradiol the best thing you can do for yourself today is to
- reduce your alcohol intake
- reduce your caffeine intake
- lose weight
Treatments to block the aromatase enzyme
- specific medications (like Anastrozole)
- supplements (like dim)
- Some food, vitamins, and herbs
Estrogen is important in men, but it has to be in the right levels to provide us with good health.
Next week, we are discussing sex hormone binding globulin and how it is important in testosterone levels.
In the meantime, you can get started with our complimentary self-assessment questionnaire here.