Too Much Estrogen: A Risk for Both Women and Men
Having too much estrogen in your body can be a serious problem.
And it doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman.
Well, technically it does—the side effects of having too much estrogen in your body vary significantly depending on your sex.
But, in both cases, having too much estrogen is problematic, just like having too much testosterone is problematic.
You see, your body is a sophisticated machine, and while it can handle a lot of abuse (and keep working for a long time when things are off), it still has optimum levels for everything.
This includes your hormones.
Though everyone’s body is slightly different, your hormones should fall within a particular range. If your estrogen, or testosterone, or progesterone, or DHEA, or any other hormone falls outside this range, you may experience symptoms.
For Women With too Much Estrogen, the Dangers Can Be Serious
The main problem to be worried about, if your estrogen levels are too high, is that you can develop breast cancer.
However, there are plenty of other serious symptoms, at least for women, including the following:
- Cold extremities
- Thinning hair or loss of hair
- Disruption to menstruation
- Low libido
- Worsening of PMS symptoms
While there are plenty more that I could list, this gives you a good summary of a few things to look for.
My main piece of advice when it comes to suspected hormone imbalances of any sort is to speak to a medical professional who specializes in hormone therapy and to get your levels tested.
The balance between the hormones is often more important than the individual levels evaluated in isolation.
Once you know what your levels are, it’s easier to narrow down the cause of your symptoms. This is one reason I don’t want to list too many symptoms — so many of these symptoms overlap with other diseases and, truly, require a professional for accurate diagnosis.
While men may not have to worry about menstruation-related symptoms, too much estrogen in men can still be an issue.
For Men With too Much Estrogen, the Symptoms Are Very Different
Men aren’t off the hook when it comes to estrogen. While your body doesn’t produce nearly as much estrogen as a woman’s body, you still produce some, and you still need it to function properly.
For instance, if your estrogen levels are too low (as opposed to having too much estrogen), then you can experience a variety of symptoms, like fatigue or erectile dysfunction.
But if your estrogen is too high, while your symptoms are not going to be the same as a woman, there are plenty of other symptoms that you can experience.
For many men, these symptoms, while not as deadly or frightening as breast cancer, are nevertheless very serious.
The reason is simple: just as too much testosterone in a woman can signal to her body that it’s time to develop male characteristics, too much estrogen in a man can signal to your body that it’s time to develop female characteristics.
That often means growing breasts, known as gynecomastia.
Even when that doesn’t happen, you can still develop other symptoms, like erectile dysfunction or infertility.
While negative symptoms vary by hormone, hormone excess or deficiency often results in severe symptoms. That’s why it’s important, if you actually do have too much estrogen, or testosterone, or too much of any hormone, to get your hormones balanced, to get them back to normal (what’s normal for your body).
When it comes to estrogen, we’re looking for a particular level to try to decide if your symptoms are related. Normal estrogen levels in men are between 10 and 40 pg/mL. If you are above this range, you may have too much estrogen in your body.
Now remember, this is just a generalized range—your body’s specific range may fall outside of this, which is why it’s so critical to not just get your estrogen levels tested, but to have them monitored regularly.
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