What are estrogens?
Estrogens are female sex hormones . _ These hormones are derived from cholesterol, which is why they are called steroid hormones .
Among its most outstanding functions are the development of the female sexual organs , the appearance of secondary sexual characters and the regulation of the menstrual cycle , but... What functions do they have in men?
Is estrogen important in men?
In the male body, estrogens are essential to control body weight levels , for proper thyroid function , and for male reproductive function . However, although estrogens are essential for the male body to remain healthy, it is important to know that the levels of these hormones must be low (between 25 and 50 pg/ml).
Otherwise, we would be talking about a health problem of hyperestrogenism that leads men to develop female sexual conditions (as well as a change in the tone of the voice, breast enlargement - male gynecomastia - or loss of body hair ). , Among many other things). In addition to female sexual conditions, an excessive level of estrogen in men can bring with it a loss of libido , erectile dysfunction , and emotional disturbances such as fatigue or depression, among others.
When a person -whether a man or a woman- suffers from hyperestrogenism , they are actually talking about an increase in estrogen levels in the body . This health problem can be due to different causes.
In men, you should also know that the type of estrogen that tends to increase its levels the most is estradiol , since it is synthesized from testosterone (male sex hormone). Therefore, to find out if a man is suffering from hyperestrogenism, estradiol is the hormone that is most commonly measured.
Regarding the causes , there are many factors that can cause a man to suffer from this problem . However, there is a list of them that are usually quite common:
Obesity: increase in adipocytes that produce aromatase ( the enzyme responsible for transforming testosterone into estradiol). If, in addition to being overweight , the man has low muscle mass , this increase in aromatase is even higher than usual.
Excessive alcohol consumption: alcohol can unbalance testosterone and estrogen levels in people , especially men. It does this by speeding up the normal conversion of testosterone to estrogen , through the enzyme androstenedione.
Zinc deficiency: Zinc not only balances the production of testosterone , but also other hormones , including estrogen . Therefore, a lack of zinc can lead to a high level of estrogens that can lead to hyperestrogenism.
Therefore, if you have a high estrogen level , it is important that you solve the problem before the symptoms become annoying or even worsen. If your hyperestrogenism problem is mild, it is likely that with natural treatments or other types of lifestyle you can end the health problem. Among them we can highlight the following:
- Avoid exposure to xenoestrogens: Xenoestrogens are chemical compounds that can interfere with the functions of the human endocrine system . Therefore, it is important to avoid parabens, BPA or herbicides, among many others.
- Lead a quiet life: it is important to avoid stressful situations .
- Control diet: try to avoid meat and dairy products or derivatives from animals raised with hormones . Also, keep in mind that alcohol and coffee tend to increase estrogen production in the human body. On the other hand, there are foods that usually help control aromatase . Among the best known are licorice , mushrooms , sesame , cinnamon , green tea , asparagus , hazelnuts , pistachios , parsley or forest fruits , for example.
- Aromatase inhibitors: doctors have recently begun to prescribe this type of drug in many cases so that testosterone does not suddenly turn into estrogen.