Treatment Options For High Estrogen In Women
If a blood test for hormone levels reveals that you have high estrogen levels, your doctor may offer two options. The right option for you depends on the rest of your symptoms, as well as your familys medical history.
- Medications To address high estrogen in females, doctors may prescribe aromatase inhibitors. These include prescriptions for anastrozole, exemestane, and letrozole, which stop the enzyme aromatase from converting androgens to estrogen. There are also medications available that block your ovaries from producing estrogen.
- Surgery If your case is serious, or you have a family history of cancers related to high levels of estrogen, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove the ovaries. Its a form of surgical menopause that lowers estrogen levels. Afterward, you may need hormone therapy to bring your estrogen levels back to a happy medium post-surgery. Overall, this option can help normalize the high levels of estrogen that may spur breast and ovarian cancers in your body.
Many Menopause Problems Are Actually Caused By A Lack Of Progesterone
âSynthetic progesteroneâ is not doing any good â the liver changes it in the body. So estrogen rages on, unopposed.â – Tim OâShea, The Doctor Within
- Phytoestrogensâ are the ideal âweakâ estrogen that can prevent unwanted xenoestrogens from carrying their harmful message.
âBreast cancer now strikes 1 woman in 8, up from 1 woman in 30 in 1960 before HRT was popularized.â ~ Dr. Michael Lam, M.D.
What Causes Estrogen Imbalances In Men
Usually when the topic of estrogen is mentioned, mens health is not the first thing that comes to mind. After all, estrogen is only important for women, right? Its testosterone that men need to be concerned about. Well, although it is true that estrogen is the predominant female sex hormone, and testosterone is the predominant male sex hormone, the reality is that men and women need both hormones to function properly. The key, depending on gender, is to maintain the optimal balance of estrogen and testosterone. This article explores the role estrogen plays in mens health and ways to keep it in balance.
The role of estrogen in men
It is important to note that estrogen and testosterone are not opposites of one another the relationship is more complex than that. Testosterone, as the predominant male sex hormone, is integral for male sexual development , accounting for the emergence of the male characteristics of increased facial and body hair, muscle mass and definition, and changes to a lower, deeper voice. Testosterone is produced primarily in the testicles and is associated with key body functions, including bone density, fat metabolism and distribution, muscle mass and strength, red blood cell production, sperm production, and libido.
How do hormones normally fluctuate with age?
Estrogen reference ranges for males
General Age Range
Estrogen reference ranges for females
General Age Range
< 10 pg/mL
Estrogen imbalance in men
Improve Your Gut Motility:
Improving bowel movement frequency and consistency is a key detoxification concept. If you arent moving your bowels well, you are recirculating bad estrogens and microbial endotoxins that drive up more inflammation and impair liver function.
Consuming an anti-inflammatory diet with good fiber sources such as chia seed and flax seed, using bone broths, fermented foods and probiotics will improve bowel motility. You should be moving your bowels a minimum of 1-2 times per day to clear out all the waste from the day before.
How To Reduce High Estrogen Levels
Estrogen dominance is one of the most common hormonal imbalances, this article will guide you on how to reduce high estrogen levels.
Excess estrogen can have a negative impact on the quality of your life and cause a great number of health issues.
If you have high estrogen levels, this article is for you. You’ll find out how to naturally reduce high estrogen levels and gain control over your health.
Estrogen dominance can affect both women and men.
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Straight Talk About Soy
The Takeaway: Soy is a unique food that is widely studied for its estrogenic and anti-estrogenic effects on the body. Studies may seem to present conflicting conclusions about soy, but this is largely due to the wide variation in how soy is studied. Results of recent population studies suggest that soy has either a beneficial or neutral effect on various health conditions. Soy is a nutrient-dense source of protein that can safely be consumed several times a week, and is likely to provide health benefitsespecially when eaten as an alternative to red and processed meat.
Soy is exalted as a health food by some, with claims of taming hot flashes, warding off osteoporosis, and protecting against hormonal cancers like breast and prostate.
At the same time, soy is shunned by others for fear that it may cause breast cancer, thyroid problems, and dementia.
Whether reading a popular press article or a well-designed clinical study about soy, some debate remains. As a species within the legume family, nutrition scientists often label soy as a food with potential for significant health benefits. However, due to contrary research that suggests possible negative effects of soy in certain situations, there has been a hesitancy to wholeheartedly promote soy.
Thus, there are many factors that make it difficult to construct blanket statements about the health effects of soy.
|Unfermented soy foods|
Animal Data: Abnormal Development Of The Female Reproductive Tract
Altered timing of pubertal onset and estrous cyclicity following perinatal phytoestrogen exposure has been shown by us and others in rodents . Mice or rats treated perinatally with lower doses of genistein advance the timing of vaginal opening while higher doses have no impact or delay it. Estrous cyclicity is also disrupted following developmental exposure to genistein. Mice or rats treated neonatally with genistein spend significantly longer periods of time in the estrous phase of the cycle this abnormality increases in severity with increasing dose as well as increasing age . Other investigators have shown similar estrous cycle alterations in experimental animal models including a study by Nikaido et al. which reported developmental exposure to numerous environmental estrogens, including genistein, resveratrol, zearalenone, and Bisphenol A, resulted in extended estrous cycles when the animals became adults . This is similar to mice exposed perinatally to DES further confirming the idea that developmental exposure to estrogens causes disruptions in estrous cyclicity. These abnormalities could result from organizational disruptions anywhere within the HPG axis, including the ovary. Other aspects of reproductive tract development may be vulnerable as well.
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Foods That Increase Estrogen Levels Naturally
Written byEmily LunardoPublished onJune 2, 2018
The transition into menopause has been attributed to the decrease of hormonal estrogen in the body, which is responsible for womens sex characteristics. The following are some of the physiological changes that are attributed to estrogen:
- Responsible for female puberty
- Control growth of the uterine lining during the menstruation cycle and at the beginning of pregnancy
- Involved in breast development and breast changes seen during pregnancy
- Play a role in bone and cholesterol metabolism
- Helps to regulate food intake, body weight, glucose metabolism, and insulin sensitivity
Testing Blood Estrogen Levels
A blood test will usually measure estradiol levels which is the stronger version of estrogen but some labs will also measure serum estrone and serum estriol levels.
A blood test is accurate for measuring estrogen and progesterone levels but it will not measure the estrogen metabolites and methylation of estrogen.
A blood test will show whether you have high oestrogen levels but it will not show why the levels are high like the DUTCH test.
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Natural Solutions For Dryness
At menopause, vaginal blood flow falls. Dryness and irritation can occur, and bacteria infections that pass to the urinary tract are more likely.
What is to be done? First of all, even after the ovaries stop, the adrenal glands and the fat tissue continue to contribute to estrogen production after menopause. In addition, phytoestrogens in plants provide weak estrogen effects. Soy products, such as tofu, tempeh, and miso, contain huge amounts of these natural compounds.
The plant-derived estrogen and progesterone creams described above can be helpful. Used on a regular basis, these creams maintain a moist vaginal lining. However, please note that they should not be used as a sexual lubricant. Estrogen cream is a medication, not a lubricant, and it goes through any skin it touches, including mens. Many women prefer to avoid hormone creams entirely and use ordinary lubricants or moisturizers instead.
Restoring Healthy Estrogen Levels
Now onto the part youve been waiting for what you can do. These important steps can help to restore healthy hormone levels and help you get out from under the environmental risk factors we all face that are contributing to so many people have high levels of estrogen.
Reduce Your Xenoestrogen Burden
An important first step toward improving estrogen levels is to reduce exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals in your environment called xenoestrogens. These are found in cosmetics, cleaning products, food storage containers, and likely the foods youre putting in your cart at the grocery store, unless theyre organic, as a result of herbicide and pesticide contamination.
To minimize your exposure to environmental disruptors, follow these tips:
- Choose glass containers for heating and storing food.
- If youre buying something canned or in glass, make sure its marked BPA-free.
- Eat organic and hormone-free foods, especially animal-based products like meat.
- Wash hands well after handling paper receipts .
- Check ingredients in skin and hair care products and buy ones labeled paraben-free instead.
Also check out my article and podcast on endocrine disruptors here.
Eat for Healthy Estrogen Levels
Another important step is to focus on a diet rich in fiber and plant-based nutrients, which prevent you from having eleveated estrogen levels, and can help you to eliminate excess estrogen:
Eat More of These
Fiber and Flaxseeds
Reduce or Eliminate
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Keep Toxic Chemicals Out Of Your Home
- Choose chemical-free and biodegradable laundry and household cleaning products. As an alternative way, you can create your own detergent with baking soda, washing soda, Borax, and gentle bar soap.
- Use chlorine-free products and unbleached paper products .
- Install high-quality filters in your house to clean the water from chlorine, fluoride and other industrial chemicals.
- Reduce plastic products to the maximum. Avoid plastic water bottles, food containers, and bags.
- Purchase furniture for your house carefully. Avoid furniture bathed in flame-retardants which are xenoestrogens. Instead, try to find flame-retardant-free furniture. Also, it is better to use natural latex foam cushions.
Progesterone: The Unsung Hero
Remember when I said comparing testosterone and estrogen was a misnomer? Well, heres the reason. Progesterone, like testosterone and estrogen, is also a steroid hormone produced in the body, but unlike estrogen, it is not a stress hormone. Progesterone acts as a protective hormone in the body, similar to testosterone, encouraging the body to exist in its growth and repair state instead of the survival state. It shouldnt come as a surprise that progesterone is attributed to be the cause of womens glowing skin during pregnancy due to high levels of progesterone. Excess estrogen on the other hand has been associated with:
- Oxidative stress
I would also like to mention that high levels of estrogen are very often found on the outside of cancerous tumors, creating an almost protective layer surrounding the tumor.
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Why You Need Estrogen
Estrogens main function is to control reproductive changes in women, but it serves other roles in both male and female bodies, including:
Each of these phytoestrogens has antioxidant properties. This means that in addition to the nutrients potential health benefits, they fight cell damage in our bodies linked to a wide range of chronic diseases.
The best dietary sources of phytoestrogens include:
Flaxseeds are the richest dietary source of lignans . Researchers believe they lower breast cancer risk. You can sprinkle flaxseeds on many dishes, bake them into bread and cookies, or blend them into smoothies and spreads.
Soy contains high levels of isoflavones, phytoestrogens that may mimic estrogens effects and reduce the risk of both breast and prostate cancer. Soy is also rich in a range of essential vitamins and minerals. It can support heart health as an alternative to red and processed meats. Its also extremely versatile you can include soy in your diet with foods like tofu, tempeh, edamame, and soymilk.
Because of their high lignan content, studies show that eating two servings of peaches or nectarines a week reduces a womans breast cancer risk. Researchers find similar effects from consuming blueberries and strawberries.
5. Red Wine
6. Sesame Seeds
How To Increase Your Estrogen Level Naturally
This article was co-authored by Lisa Bryant, ND. Dr. Lisa Bryant is Licensed Naturopathic Physician and natural medicine expert based in Portland, Oregon. She earned a Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon and completed her residency in Naturopathic Family Medicine there in 2014.There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 10,327 times.
Concerns over the potential increased cancer risk from prescription estrogen has led more people to seek natural alternatives. Raising estrogen levels naturally is possible, mainly by making dietary changes. There are also some over-the-counter herbs and supplements that you can try, but keep in mind that research is limited on the effects of herbal supplements, so its best to discuss taking them with a doctor first. Also, talk with a doctor if low estrogen levels are causing you discomfort or menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes, insomnia, mood changes, or vaginal dryness. A functional medicine or naturopathic doctor may also be able to help by checking for conditions that can mimic low estrogen, such as low progesterone, testosterone, or DHEA.
What Causes High Estrogen In Males
Let’s discuss what causes high estrogen levels in males in detail:
Aging: We are all aware of the fact that as the years pass by, one has to go through a lot of hormonal changes. With age, the estrogen levels in a man’s body increase and testosterone levels decrease. This is an inevitable truth and one has to go through this.
Aromatase enzyme: This is an enzyme that converts the androgens into estrogen. This causes a rise in the estrogen level which is again a serious problem. With age, lifestyle, and other factors our body naturally increases the amount of aromatase enzyme which leads to the high amount of unwanted estrogen hormone in the body.
Diet: Our diet has a direct effect on the estrogen production in the body. Consuming a diet high in refined carbohydrates can increase the body fat. The body fat contains the aromatase enzyme. For this reason, as the fat in our body increases, the estrogen level too increases.
Stress: A human body releases cortisol hormone under a stressful situation. In men, this hormone suppresses other central hormones such as testosterone. As the testosterone level depletes, the estrogen level soars. Living a stress-free life may not be possible, but mindful management of stress is certainly possible.
Excessive fat: As mentioned earlier, fat can produce estrogen. Men with increased fat in the waist area are at high risk of estrogen dominance in their body.
Foods That Will Lower High Estrogen
If you are going to cut out or at least minimize industrial processed meats and processed foods in general then you need to add in some foods that are going to be beneficial to lowering your estrogen levels.
The best foods to lower your estrogen levels are the cruciferous vegetables which help to promote estrogen detoxification through the liver, this includes cabbage, broccoli and in particular broccoli sprouts, cauliflower and brussel sprouts.
While eating a wide range of vegetables in general will be beneficial to overall health it is the cruciferous vegetables that are the best for high estrogen, adding them to soups, stews, smoothies and salads is a great way to increase your intake.
Foods high in phytoestrogens can be controversial when you are trying to lower your estrogen levels, many people say to avoid as they contain estrogen but it is not so simple.
Soy is a good example of a food high in phytoestrogens and while a highly recommend avoiding processed soy products like soy milk and soy flour if you eat fermented soy products like tempeh, traditionally prepared tofu, miso and natto you dont get the negative effects of soy.
Phytoestrogens have a much weaker effect on the body so they can actually help to reduce the effects of high estrogen by binding to the estrogen receptors, so that the more potent forms of estrogen cant produce a negative effect. Other sources of phytoestrogens include alfalfa, legumes, flaxseed and red clover tea.
Should You Get Your Hormones Tested
When my patients ask about estrogen dominance, Im sure they are hoping that this is the answer to all their problems, and that theres a simple test that will reveal exactly whats going on with their estrogen levels.
It can be helpful to get your hormone levels tested, though its not always necessary and the tests may not provide a conclusive link between your hormone levels and your symptoms. They will mostly often just indicate whether theres a significant hormone shift going on or whether theres a more overt hormone imbalance. The panel I run in my practice includes:
- FSH and LH
- Sex-hormone-binding globulin
- Free testosterone
Running these tests can help identify whether you do have a specific hormone imbalance, and your health care provider can help you understand exactly what the results mean.
Unfortunately, this still doesnt tell you why your hormone levels are off. As we already know, there are different types of estrogen that all come from many different sources. In addition, you may have high estrogen levels caused by excess estrogen exposure, but you might also have too much estrogen because of an issue metabolizing or eliminating it.