By Dr. Richard Chern, M.D.
Estrogen is vitally important in men! Last month (Visit MyDestinLife.com June 2019) I wrote about testosterone in women and just scratched the surface of benefits that women receive after optimizing their testosterone. This month, I want to turn the tables and talk about the importance of estrogen in Men.
In our bodies, Testosterone converts into Estrogen. That doesn’t mean estrogen is a waste product. Optimal estrogen levels improve both emotional status and overall health. The conversion of testosterone into estrogen is how women get estrogen. Okay guys, we can all describe women who get emotional around “that time.” One day they are mad and screaming at us for eating the last Dove Bar from the freezer and then two days later they are crying, because we forgot the anniversary of the first time you ate at Shakes together! (Not that this has ever happened to me.) This happens because estrogen falls too low and then shoots too high during “that time” of the month. After menopause, estrogen crashes to zero and women start having constant irritability, depression and anger. The same issues occur in men, but since their Testosterone falls slowly over the years, men don’t notice the increasing irritability, depression and anger. Elevated estrogen levels tend to cause you to be tearful, sentimental and overly emotional. Low estrogen levels tend to cause irritability, anger, depression and self isolation. This is true in both men and women.
You see a crotchety old man or an old friend who never goes out anymore? I see a low estrogen level. Similar issues occur in men on testosterone shots. Shots increase testosterone too high and too fast. The body tries to get rid of this excess testosterone by converting it to estrogen. As estrogen climbs, guys start reading Hallmark cards and crying at puppy dogs. Many guys take an estrogen blocker and become irritable, depressed or angry as estrogen begins to fall. This low estrogen can increase strokes, heart attacks and cancer. That’s why these huge, buff bodybuilders drop dead at age 40 from a heart attack or stroke. They increase their risk by blocking estrogen for years and years.
Many men we treat say, “I feel like I just walked out of a cloud I’ve been living in for 10 years.” Those who were previously on testosterone shots and get treated by us all talk about the emotional roller coaster they had been on and how happy they are to finally have consistent good days.
There are two major issues with estrogen in men. First, doctors rarely or never check an estrogen level in men. It is the first hormone I look at! Second, many doctors give estrogen blockers with testosterone, because either they don’t understand the importance of estrogen in men or they need to cover up poorly treated or inconsistent testosterone levels.
If you can look back 20 years and realize something is missing, or if you know someone on testosterone shots and can see that emotional instability, have them call us at the Hormone Restoration Center at 850-837-1271.