The Truth About
The dangers of blocking estrogen in men
The popular belief is that estrogen is a female hormone that stops testosterone in its tracks, meaning guys grow boobs and stop gaining muscle. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Many hormone clinics tout estrogen blockers (aromatase inhibitors, A.I.’s) as essential because they prevent testosterone’s conversion into estrogen. However, this is a vital natural process that, if blocked, increases your risk of heart disease, brittle bones, memory loss, weight gain, developing erectile dysfunction, and more.
Let’s kill this myth right here and now.
Estrogen is essential for men, and by blocking estrogen, testosterone cannot work efficiently
When you have optimum testosterone levels (just like when you were younger), your estrogen levels were at their highest—testosterone and estrogen in perfect balance. Doctors don’t prescribe estrogen blockers for men in their 20s, so why on earth would we do it now? It makes no medical sense!
Men need estrogen to maintain heart, bone, and sexual health. By using estrogen blockers, you harm your overall long-term health while risking a nosedive in libido and erectile dysfunction.
Where does estrogen come from?
Many men are surprised that they naturally produce estrogen via conversion from testosterone. In healthy men, this conversion happens through an enzyme called aromatase. Aromatase is present in the adrenal glands, testicles, fat tissue, and brain, converting testosterone into estrogen.
Why are estrogen blockers routinely prescribed with TRT?
Doctors prescribe estrogen blockers for numerous reasons, with many practitioners still subscribing to the belief that testosterone is good and estrogen is bad. Drug manufacturers have created a misconception that estrogen ‘robs’ your body of healthy testosterone (so they can sell more aromatase inhibitors). Doctors should be looking at the balance of the two. Without a healthy balance of both hormones, the effect each has on the body is limited.
There are a few cases when estrogen blockers such as Arimidex ® are justified in small doses, for a limited period of time. For example, increased sensitivity to estrogen, which causes sore nipples and breast swelling. But, for the most part, estrogen blockers should never be prescribed with testosterone.
Side effects of estrogen blockers for men
- A decline in lean muscle and risk of muscle pain
- Weight gain/loss and increased belly (visceral) fat
- Slower brain function and cognition issues
- Increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease
- Headaches, poor sleep, and increased tiredness
- Breast pain, swelling, and sore nipples
- Excess sweating and hot flushes
- Sexual health problems such as ED, low libido, and reduced satisfaction
- Poor cardiovascular health, impacted cholesterol levels, and prostate problems
- Decreased bone mineral density and risk of osteoporosis (increased fracture risk)
- Poor insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes
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Estrogen is a vital and misunderstood part of hormone therapy
If you are a TRT patient, your testosterone levels will increase, as will your estrogen levels. Many believe that by blocking this conversion, you will benefit from even more testosterone. This assumption is not correct and carries health risks.
Men produce estradiol in two ways. The first is via testosterone, which is good. The other is through fat, which is not. Estradiol from fat causes your testosterone levels to decline, meaning you will find it harder to burn fat. This difficult-to-break ‘visceral fat cycle’ is precisely why many obese men suffer from low T. In this case, it is not the estradiol causing the problems; it is the fat.
This hormonal war is why a beer belly is often called a ‘hormonal belly’, the visceral fat in your belly produces hormones that knock down your testosterone level, ultimately making it harder to lose.
The answer is testosterone replacement therapy, exercise, and a healthy diet. Only by breaking the visceral fat cycle can you hope to lose that belly and readjust your hormonal balance.
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