There is no gainsaying that hormones play an integral role in your overall health. This is why the imbalance of hormones like estrogen can affect various aspects of your life. While estrogen’s role in women’s health is well known, people often overlook the fact that men also need estrogen. The key, as with hormones in general, is striking the correct balance between estrogen and other hormones—especially testosterone. In this blog post, we will be discussing estrogen, estrogen blockers, the types of estrogen, and what you should do to regain hormonal balance
WHAT IS ESTROGEN?
Estrogens are a class of hormones that are essential for women’s sexual and reproductive development. The majority of estrogen hormones are produced by a woman’s ovaries, however, minor amounts are also produced by the adrenal glands and fat cells.
Estrogen influences the reproductive system, the urinary tract, the heart and blood vessels, the bones, the breasts, the skin, the hair, the mucous membranes, the pelvic muscles, and the brain, in addition to controlling the monthly cycle. When estrogen levels rise, secondary sexual features like pubic and armpit hair also begin to sprout. Estrogen has an impact on a variety of organ systems, including the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and brain systems.
Although many people mistakenly believe that estrogen only affects women, it is also a crucial hormone for men. In truth, a man’s body contains estrogen all over, including in his bones, skin, brain, and reproductive organs.
The body can, however, occasionally create either too little or too much estrogen. Men can begin producing too much estrogen as they age, just as they might begin producing too little testosterone. Excessive water retention, exhaustion, poor erection quality, unexplained belly fat, trouble sustaining an erection, mood swings, low libido, loss of muscle mass, depression, and irritability are just a few of the adverse effects that can result from this type of hormonal imbalance in the body. Fortunately, estrogen blockers can be used to correct the hormonal imbalance caused by estrogen.
WHAT ARE ESTROGEN BLOCKERS?
Estrogen blockers are a form of therapy that lowers the body’s estrogen levels or inhibits its activity. Several estrogen blockers were initially created to treat breast cancer in female patients and the imbalance of testosterone to estrogen. They have, nonetheless, been given to male patients for off-label purposes.
Both natural plant-based items and synthetic hormones can act as estrogen blockers. Anastrozole (Arimidex), which stops the breakdown and conversion of testosterone into estrogen, is one of the most prescribed drugs. It can be used to treat gynecomastia and lower estrogen production in conjunction with testosterone replacement therapy.
TYPES OF ESTROGEN BLOCKERS
There are mainly two types of estrogen blockers which will be discussed below: Pharmaceutical estrogen blockers and Natural estrogen blockers.
PHARMACEUTICAL ESTROGEN BLOCKERS
Medications used as estrogen blockers include:
Aromatase inhibitors (AI)
By preventing androgens from being converted to estradiol in the body, this medicine can raise levels of testosterone as well as other hormones. This lowers the body’s overall estrogen concentration. The drug also stimulates luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which may encourage healthy sperm by acting on the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. Anastrazole (Arimidex) and Letrozole(Femara) are a couple of the AI drugs that are readily available for this use.
In general, people who employ AI, for this reason, tolerate them well. Headaches, a rise in liver enzymes, nausea, and hot flashes are possible side effects.
Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERM)
To stop estrogens from interacting with one another, these drugs bind to estrogen receptors. Using SERM can likewise accomplish a similar goal of releasing LH and FSH. Tamoxifen and Clomiphene citrate are two common SERMs used to treat hormonal balance in men.
Researchers have found that clomiphene citrate can raise testosterone levels and enhance bone mineral density and androgen insufficiency with few side effects. Headaches, visual problems, and gynecomastia(enlargement of male breasts). are all uncommon side effects of clomiphene citrate. The use of tamoxifen may result in more serious side effects, such as cardiovascular issues, blood clot risk, and gastrointestinal discomfort.
NATURAL ESTROGEN BLOCKERS
There are also a number of natural estrogen blockers you might want to consider.
The bulk of cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, bok choy, and turnip greens, contain this chemical. It is consumed as indole-3-carbinol. It is then converted into diindolylmethane by the organism. Glucosinolates are another ingredient found in these foods. Additionally, they help to counteract estrogen dominance. These compounds help estrogen transform into various metabolites. These expel more readily and exhibit antioxidant properties.
Many herbs, including bee propolis, honey and passionflower, contain flavonoids. In addition to blocking estrogen, chysin can raise testosterone levels. Few published research and a large body of anecdotal data support the claims.
One of the most crucial herbs for regulating a man’s hormonal system is Saw palmetto. Saw palmetto is well known for lowering 5′-reductase and enhancing prostate issues. Patients with estrogen dominance frequently experience these, particularly if they are elderly.
Numerous health advantages of this cruciferous plant include improved fertility. Because it slows down the conversion of testosterone, it is known to have anti-estrogen potential. Numerous minerals included in maca also help men’s immunological and endocrine systems to function properly.
Wild Nettle Root
Nettle root includes compounds that prevent the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. We can assist the body in controlling the production of testosterone by taking this kind of supplement. Patients with prostate issues and estrogen dominance benefit greatly from it.
Grape Seed Extract
It has been demonstrated that this extract has estrogen-blocking or aromatase inhibitor properties in postmenopausal women who are at high risk of developing breast cancer. It works for women at risk for breast cancer and might possibly be effective for men who have estrogen dominance.
Fresh meals can contain other ingredients besides these herbs and natural extracts. They are diindolylmethane, calcium D, and glucarate. They are not artificial, even if they have a synthetic sound. They can be found in a wide variety of foods and herbs, and there is strong supporting evidence for them.
Many foods contain this chemical in the form of glucaric acid. When you eat grapefruit, cabbage, squash, and kale, you will be having some calcium D glutarate. In addition to glucaric acid, apples, and broccoli, oranges also function as a natural estrogen blockers.
Additionally, calcium D glucarate controls cholesterol levels and guards against some cancers. This organic molecule helps the liver’s conjugation process, which is crucial for detoxification. The body eliminates extra estrogen more quickly, and toxins digest and excrete more readily. Beta-glucuronides, a compound that worsens estrogen balance and raises the risk of prostate cancer, are decreased by higher amounts of calcium D glucarate.
Asian scholars are starting to take notice of Cyperus, and there are some English-language studies as well.
It contains strong aromatase inhibitors, which will prevent your body from converting the testosterone in your bloodstream into estrogen. Your testosterone levels will rise, according to studies. In mature males, Cyperus causes the gonads and pituitary to create sex hormones.
WHAT TO DO TO GET HORMONAL BALANCE
Estrogen blockers can assist you in regaining hormonal equilibrium and in feeling more like yourself. However, it’s crucial to only utilize estrogen blockers that have been medically prescribed for you by qualified professionals, not unrestricted, over-the-counter pills.
An estrogen blocker must be controlled and customized to meet your unique needs in order to be effective. At HRT Doctors Group, we will ensure you get this specialized treatment to minimize any side effects. In order to provide you with the precise assistance you require to return to your healthiest self, we always begin with a blood test to evaluate your present hormone levels.
Are you looking for an effective way to support healthy hormone levels? Or perhaps you simply want to know if hormone therapy of any kind can benefit you? Contact us today to learn more and schedule your appointment!
Awouters M, Vanderschueren D, Antonio L. Aromatase inhibitors and selective estrogen receptor modulators: Unconventional therapies for functional hypogonadism? Andrology. 2020;8(6):1590-1597. doi:10.1111/andr.12725
de Ronde W, de Jong FH. Aromatase inhibitors in men: effects and therapeutic options. Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2011;9:93. doi:10.1186/1477-7827-9-93
Rambhatla A, Mills JN, Rajfer J. The role of estrogen modulators in male hypogonadism and infertility. Rev Urol. 2016;18(2):66-72. doi:10.3909/riu0711
Krzastek SC, Smith RP. Non-testosterone management of male hypogonadism: an examination of the existing literature. Transl Androl Urol. 2020;9(Suppl 2):S160-S170. doi:10.21037/tau.2019.11.16
Tivesten, Å., Mellström, D., Jutberger, H., Fagerberg, B., Lernfelt, B., Orwoll, E., … & Ohlsson, C. (2007). Low serum testosterone and high serum estradiol associate with lower extremity peripheral arterial disease in elderly men: The MrOS Study in Sweden. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 50(11), 1070-1076.
Kijima, I., Phung, S., Hur, G., Kwok, S. L., & Chen, S. (2006). Grape seed extract is an aromatase inhibitor and a suppressor of aromatase expression. Cancer research, 66(11), 5960-5967.
Hall, D. C. (2001). Nutritional influences on estrogen metabolism. Applied nutritional science reports, 1, 1-8.
Dean, W. (2004). Chrysin: is it an effective aromatase inhibitor. Vitamin Research Products News, 18(4), 4-5.
Koch, E. (2001). Extracts from fruits of saw palmetto (Sabal serrulata) and roots of stinging nettle (Urtica dioica): viable alternatives in the medical treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia and associated lower urinary tracts symptoms. Planta medica, 67(06), 489-500.
Gonzales, G. F., Gonzales, C., & Gonzales-Castaneda, C. (2009). Lepidium meyenii (Maca): a plant from the highlands of Peru–from tradition to science. Complementary Medicine Research, 16(6), 373-380.