I want to answer this question right away—then we can dig into the details.
That being said, I’d like to clarify something:
There’s not simply a single chemical in your body called “estrogen.” In fact, the plural form of the word, “estrogens,” would probably be more accurate.
“Estrogens,” encompass multiple different hormones, hormones that include estradiol, estriol, and estrone in their number. Many birth control medications also include estrogens, though they are often synthetic.
While all these chemicals can occur in the human body to some extent, the main estrogen that men need to worry about is estradiol.
As a man, you might not be used to thinking about estrogen levels—testosterone is probably your primary concern. And rightfully so—testosterone is the dominant hormone in your body, occurring at much greater levels than any estrogen could hope to match.
However, that doesn’t mean you should write off your estrogen levels—and while you probably know that having estrogen levels that are too high isn’t good, what you might not be aware of is that having estrogen levels that are too low can be just as bad as having low testosterone.
Normal Estrogen Levels in Males — It Might Be “Low E” Instead of Low T
The symptoms of low estradiol can be incredibly debilitating, and they often look extraordinarily similar to the symptoms of low testosterone. More and more, researchers and clinicians are looking at men’s estrogen levels to get a more complete picture of their health.
In fact, estrogen deficiencies can be incredibly detrimental because estrogens, just like other hormones, play a large role in many processes in the male body. Deviation from normal estrogen levels in males is not to be sniffed at for just this reason—it’s not just sexual development that’s governed here.
So, what exactly does estrogen affect in your body? Here’s a short list from a study on aging males in 2002:
- Brain function
- Bone maturation and strength
- Regulation of bone resorption
- Lipid metabolism
- Skin metabolism
- Sexual interest
Not exactly a list of unimportant bodily processes—which is why you need to get every single one of your hormones into balance (and not just testosterone).
When you come into our clinic feeling like you have low testosterone, we check all your hormones. Hormones in your body work in a very complicated sort of concert — a deficiency in one often throws off another, and introducing more of any hormone can often throw off the others. We seek to achieve hormone balance and normal estrogen levels in males — otherwise, we wouldn’t be doing our jobs.
So, what does it look like to have low estrogen anyway?
Normal Estrogen Levels in Males — Signs and Symptoms of Low Estrogen in Males
Low estrogen levels remarkably similar to low testosterone—here’s a few symptoms to look out for:
- Hot flashes
- Sleeping too often
- Erectile dysfunction
- Water retention
- Irritability and mood swings
Sound familiar? Many of these symptoms mimic low testosterone. The only way to know for sure if the problem is low testosterone, low estradiol, a combination, or something else entirely, is to get your levels tested.
But numbers don’t tell the whole story—if you’re experiencing the symptoms of low estradiol, but your numbers don’t match up, you may still be a candidate for hormone replacement therapy.
If you’re ready to get your hormone levels tested, click here to sign up for our $25 low T test and get your results back in days.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Augie Galindo, PA–C