What is Estrogen?
A hormone, a natural substance, created by the female reproductive system.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, Estrogen is “any of various natural steroids (such as estradiol) that are formed from androgen precursors, that are secreted chiefly by the ovaries, placenta, adipose tissue, and testes, and that stimulate the development of female secondary sex characteristics and promote the growth and maintenance of the female reproductive system.”
That is a really long definition with a lot of medical and biological terminology that is probably confusing to those of us without medical degrees. To put it in layman’s terms, Estrogen is a hormone, a natural substance, created by the female reproductive system to help it function properly. This also includes the growth and development of breast tissue.
Estrogen is known as a sex hormone. More specifically, the female sex hormone with testosterone being its male counterpart. What many people don’t realize is that males and females produce both hormones naturally in their bodies. Yes, men, you naturally have your own estrogen!
Estrogen in women plays many roles. Those include but are certainly not limited to:
- thickens uterus lining to prepare for pregnancy
- works with calcium to strengthen bones
- helps keep vagina from becoming too dry
- affects breast size and development.
For men, estrogen plays completely different roles but sometimes have similar effects. For example, men who have high levels of estrogen tend to have less muscle mass and more body fat. Typically, naturally occurring high levels of estrogen in men can lead to both benefits and some drawbacks.
Males Need Estrogen?
If estrogen causes cancer and heart disease in men, why do they need estrogen? Isn’t it better for them if they don’t have estrogen? Actually, the very opposite is true. Our bodies, male and female, function properly only when there is a hormonal balance. That means our bodies need to have the right amount of estrogen and testosterone. Biologically speaking, without estrogen, the male body would have problems functioning.
Men with low levels of estrogen also so have a list of medical issues that they are at risk for. Here are a few symptoms of low estrogen levels in men:
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Bone Loss
- Retaining Water
- Sexual Dysfunction
- Excessive Amounts of Fat
Yes, men need testosterone and too much estrogen can be a bad thing. But too little estrogen can be equally as bad. If you are looking for certain benefits from estrogen, it may be worth a look into supplementing your naturally occurring estrogen levels.
How do Men get Estrogen?
The female body naturally produces estrogen in the pituitary gland, as well as in their fat cells and other parts of their reproductive system. Since men do not have the same reproductive organs as women, they do not produce estrogen in the same way. Men do not naturally produce estrogen. Instead, their bodies convert testosterone into estrogen.
There is an enzyme that exists in the male body called aromatase. When there is more than enough testosterone present in the body, this enzyme will convert the extra testosterone into estrogen. If the body is functioning properly, there will be a balance between the testosterone and estrogen levels.
In older men, their bodies can convert too much testosterone. This means they don’t have enough testosterone and they have too much estrogen. Sometimes, the very opposite can happen. If there are excess amounts of testosterone in the body but it is not converting it to estrogen, then they end up with high levels of testosterone and low levels of estrogen. Both of which can lead to serious medical issues and definitely won’t give you any benefits of having estrogen in your body.
What should men do if they have high levels of testosterone but not enough estrogen? In the past, men with high levels of testosterone have been known to be a man’s man, a tough guy, or something like this. But because of the negative symptoms that can be caused by low levels of estrogen and you can be missing out on the benefits of having therapeutic levels of estrogen.
There is a process called “hormone replacement therapy” and it is one way to treat low estrogen levels in men and women. For men, testosterone replacement therapy is often more common, especially in aging men. However, if testosterone levels are fine and you’d like to see benefits of estrogen, supplements may be the way to go.
If you are showing symptoms of a hormone imbalance, it is highly recommended that you contact your doctor and schedule and appointment. If your doctor believes your symptoms may be related to a hormonal imbalance, the first step they will suggest taking is a hormone test. The male comprehensive hormone test is a pretty simple test and just requires you to have a little blood work done.
You can have your blood drawn at your doctor’s office or at a local lab. Once the blood work has been processed, your doctor will review the results and contact you within a week or two usually. Once the results are in, you and your doctor can discuss what actions should be taken to help balance your hormones and get your feeling happier and healthier. You can even discuss the benefits of an estrogen supplement if you are looking for certain results.
Low levels of estrogen can be just as dangerous as low levels of testosterone. If you have been diagnosed with low estrogen levels, hormone replacement therapy is probably what your doctor will suggest. If you have read about the side effects of hormone replacement therapy and you aren’t ready to jump in and take the risks that may be involved in that, there are natural options that you can choose. NatureDay offers a variety of all-natural products for both men and women can help with low levels of estrogen, testosterone, and other hormone-related problems.
Discuss options with your doctor, do your research, and then decide which option is best for you. Generally speaking, all-natural treatment options tend to be safer because they don’t force harsh chemicals into your body. This is something to think about before you make your decision on which treatment option to use.