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Understanding Estradiol Levels in Men

You may have heard of estradiol and estrogen, and as a guy, you may feel it has nothing to do with you. However, thinking that estradiol and estrogen are only a topic for women, you’re sorely mistaken. Sex hormones, the significant male and female ones, are present and very much needed in both men and women. While most men are only concerned with their testosterone levels, ignoring estradiol levels is a big mistake. Estradiol levels play a big part in a man’s life. However, when unbalanced, they can cause many different unwanted issues. This article will cover the importance of estradiol levels in men.

What Is Estradiol?

Estradiol is sometimes referred to as E2, a particular form of estrogen. Although it’s found in a much higher concentration in women, estradiol is also present in men’s bodies. As a result, it’s a key hormone in men’s lives and performs various necessary functions. There are three types of estrogen, and estradiol (E2) is the primary form and the most potent. The others are estrone (E1) and estriol (E3). In women, estrogen is synthesized in their ovaries, so you may be questioning how it is that men also have this hormone. For guys, estradiol is produced by the enzyme aromatase that helps to turn testosterone into estradiol.

What Does Estradiol Do in a Man’s Body?

Estradiol plays an important role in a man’s body. It’s key to several different functions in the body, including:

  • Regulating how muscle mass gain is processed
  • Maintaining strong and healthy bones
  • Responsible for a stable nervous system
  • It helps control emotions and memory
  • Maintaining metabolism
  • It helps protect the cardiovascular system
  • Maintaining healthy skin metabolism

Estradiol in men also helps to regulate some sexual functions, such as:

  • Sex drive
  • Erectile function
  • Sperm production
  • Testicular function 

As you can see, estradiol has numerous responsibilities in a man’s body. It helps keep men’s bones strong along with other necessary functions and plays a big part in men’s sexual health.

What Are the Normal Estradiol Levels in Men?

For a man’s overall health to be as best as possible, his estradiol levels must be within an acceptable range. Although there is some debate about what is considered normal, most experts agree that 10 – 40 pg/ml is acceptable. Each man’s body functions differently, and what is acceptable for one may not be for another.

Symptoms of Low Estradiol Levels

Low estradiol levels in men usually aren’t a cause for concern. However, some crossover symptoms between high and low estradiol make diagnosis a bit more difficult. In addition, some of these same symptoms can also be related to men with low testosterone levels. It all indicates the importance of monitoring your hormone and other biomarkers levels. Some symptoms of low estradiol levels in men include the following:

  • A significant loss of sexual desire
  • Osteoporosis
  • Excess belly fat
  • Fatigue
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Forgetfulness or difficulty concentrating

Since these symptoms are varied and can point to several different medical conditions, the only way to properly diagnose low estradiol levels is by monitoring your hormonal levels.

Symptoms of High Estradiol Levels

Signs of high estradiol levels in men can show themselves in many different ways. Many men don’t immediately think these red flags are due to high estradiol levels, so knowing your hormone levels is paramount for men’s health. The main symptoms of high estradiol levels in men include:

Erectile Dysfunction

High levels of estradiol can cause difficulty in achieving or maintaining an erection. Although ED can have many different causes, in many cases, it’s due to higher-than-normal levels of estradiol and is sometimes combined with low testosterone levels.

Infertility

Estradiol is responsible for producing sperm. Therefore, men with high estradiol levels could have a lower sperm count, which can cause fertility issues.

Gynecomastia

Men with high levels of estradiol may develop too much breast tissue, which can lead to a condition known as gynecomastia. This condition causes the body to overproduce fatty breast tissue.

Loss of Libido

Men experiencing a significant lack of sexual desire and a lowered interest in sexual activities could be caused by high estradiol levels. These aren’t the only indications of high estradiol levels. Other red flags indicating high estradiol levels in men are:

  • Hair loss on all parts of the body
  • Unexplained muscle mass loss
  • Osteoporosis
  • Depression
  • Sudden hot flashes
  • Trouble focusing and brain fog
  • Unexplained tiredness

What Causes Estradiol Imbalances in Men?

The causes of both high and low estradiol levels in men are many. Some research suggests that hormonal imbalances can be hereditary. For some men, estradiol imbalances can be caused by genetics, certain medications and supplements, and other health conditions. Possible causes of low estradiol levels include:

  • Certain autoimmune conditions like Addison’s Disease
  • Infections such as mumps
  • Liver or kidney conditions
  • Too much iron in the blood
  • HIV
  • Pituitary gland issues
  • Poor nutrition
  • Obesity 

Possible causes of high estradiol levels include:

  • Using supplements such as ginkgo or ginseng
  • Certain antibiotics
  • Some phenothiazines (anti-psychotic medication)
  • Stress
  • Liver disease

How Can Men Check Their Estradiol Levels?

Estradiol levels can be tested by scheduling an appointment with your primary care physician, who will order a blood test. Once the results are in, you’ll meet with them again to discuss them. However, this method can be laborious and requires meeting with your doctor, having blood drawn, and then a follow-up appointment with your physician. Fortunately, men can easily check their estradiol and other hormone levels at home by consulting with a men’s healthcare professional. In addition, guys who are concerned about their overall hormone levels, including estradiol, can easily order a hormone test kit that will be delivered straight to their mailbox. This easy-to-use biomarker testing kit has numerous benefits and explanations on how to take a painless sample that you’ll mail back to be analyzed. Once you have your results, you can schedule an appointment with a board-certified practitioner who will explain the test results. They’ll answer any questions and recommend a treatment plan if your estradiol and other hormones are unbalanced.

Are Estradiol and Testosterone the Same Thing?

Both estradiol and testosterone are hormones, and both are found in men and women. Although both are responsible, among other things, for sexual health, their similarities end there. One of the main differences is how much is present in men’s and women’s bodies. When the estradiol or T levels are unbalanced, they can cause several health issues. Also, remember that men typically have eight times more testosterone in their bodies than women. Things tend to get murkier since estradiol in men’s bodies is produced by testosterone. However, estradiol and testosterone are two different hormones.

Is There a Connection Between High Estradiol and Male Infertility?

Yes. High estradiol levels can lower a man’s ability to produce healthy spermatozoa. Estradiol plays a big part in sperm production; more accurately, it can slow down or inhibit the process. Guys with high levels of estradiol typically also suffer from low testosterone levels. Since testosterone is key in the production of sperm, low levels will produce low levels of sperm. Men with a low sperm count will have difficulty fathering children.

How Men Can Keep Their Estrogen Levels Balanced

Fortunately, men with unbalanced estrogen levels have ways to get them back to where they should be. Some can be done independently with lifestyle changes, while others require speaking to a doctor or a men’s healthcare expert. Before deciding the best action, you should have your hormone levels tested.

Medication

Men with high estradiol levels can consult with their primary care physician about using aromatase inhibitors. The enzyme aromatase converts testosterone into estradiol, so inhibiting its action should, in theory, lower the amount of estradiol in a man’s body. Unfortunately, the jury is still out regarding the effectiveness of this type of treatment, although some physicians will prescribe these inhibitors. The most common aromatase inhibitors are Arimidex and Aromasin. A more natural and holistic approach is to use supplements such as wild nettle root or grapeseed extract. Both are known as aromatase inhibitors.

Diet and Lifestyle Adjustments

Diet and lifestyle changes are other courses of action to balance estradiol levels in men. For example, dieticians sometimes recommend a diet high in fiber and low in fat as a remedy to regular estradiol. In addition, vegetables like broccoli and kale block the production of estradiol while portobello mushrooms can help reduce the enzyme aromatase. Men with higher levels of estradiol should be aware that certain foods could increase the body’s production of this hormone. Some foods known to increase estradiol include:

  • Black and pinto beans
  • Lamb
  • Cauliflower
  • Caraway seeds
  • Soy milk and other soy products

Foods that can inhibit the production of estradiol are:

  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Lemons
  • Parsley
  • Peppers 

Keeping your body strong and in shape has more benefits than weight loss and feeling good about yourself. Maintaining an active lifestyle and increasing your energy levels can help keep estradiol and other hormone levels in check.

Hormone Replacement Therapy

A popular treatment option for high estradiol levels in men is hormone replacement therapy. HRT (hormone replacement therapy) generally revolves around increasing testosterone levels to help estradiol levels to rebalance. Possible treatment options include creams, gels, patches, or intramuscular injections.

Stress Management

Proper stress management is key to keeping your hormones within their acceptable levels. However, some research suggests that cortisol, the stress hormone, is closely tied to estradiol. Although more research is needed, there does seem to be a connection between cortisol and estrogen.

Estradiol Levels in Men Explained

Estradiol plays an important role in the lives of men. It helps build and control muscle mass, regulate our emotions, and helps to keep our bones strong and healthy. In addition to these and other functions, estradiol is key to a man’s sexual health. Unbalanced estradiol levels can lead to a few conditions that hit us hard. This hormone is responsible for helping us to achieve erections and regulates our sex drive. When estradiol is unbalanced, it can affect our ability to have an active and pleasurable sex life. In addition, for guys trying to start a family of their own, high estradiol levels can lead to infertility. If you are concerned about estradiol and how it affects your life, ordering an in-home hormone testing kit is the easiest way to learn if yours is unbalanced. Once you know your hormonal levels and other biomarkers, you can work with a men’s healthcare professional to see which treatment options are best for your condition.