Let`s talk about Estrogen. I will call it Estrogen 101. The information below is a combination of things I have learned and things I have researched recently in preparation to write this. I am not a doctor and this is not intended to be medical advice. I intend for this to be public use information so please feel free to share it in any manner you see fit. This is not all inclusive information and many of the things contained here will vary person to person.
Two forms of Estrogen
There is more than one form of estrogen but for the intent and purpose of this writeup we will stick with E2 (Estradiol). I want this to benefit everyone so I have included the basics and I have also included some cool stuff that perhaps the more experienced person is not aware of as well I don`t count myself as more experienced per say in comparison to many of you but I definitely learned a lot here. Let`s get into it!
Testosterone can be converted into estrogen through a process called aromatization. The enzyme responsible for this conversion is called Aromatase. This enzyme is predominantly found in various tissues throughout the body, including the testes, adipose tissue (fat cells), and the brain. When testosterone interacts with aromatase, it undergoes a chemical reaction where the aromatase enzyme converts testosterone into estradiol (e2). This conversion occurs via the aromatization process, resulting in the production of estrogen from testosterone.
The amount of aromatase enzyme present in the body can vary greatly among individuals. Factors such as genetics, body fat percentage, age, etc can influence the expression and activity of aromatase. I want to elaborate on estrogen and fat tissue. You may start your anabolic journey at say 20% body fat, At that time you convert a lot of test into estrogen. Overtime you add lean muscle and/or lose body fat and now you are at 12% body fat. You very well may discover that you no longer convert test into estrogen at the same rate. In fact, in many people this can be a drastic difference. I know for me personally when I first started TRT and anabolics I was pretty fat. I had been a pizza loving functional alcoholic for many years. Overtime as I lost fat tissue I started converting less and less test into estrogen. Fast forward to the present and I am now a very low converter.
You can read more about management aromatization here.
Low Estrogen Symptoms
This list is not all inclusive but is instead a generalized list. If estrogen is low, You can get all these symptoms and more. Of course they may be different for every person.
Sexual Dysfunction: Low estrogen levels can contribute to decreased libido (sex drive) and erectile dysfunction in men.
Mood Changes: Estrogen plays a role in regulating mood, and low levels can be associated with mood swings, irritability, or even depression and anxiety.
Fatigue and Low Energy: Reduced estrogen levels may lead to feelings of fatigue, decreased energy levels, and overall lethargy. I just want to sleep all the time if my estrogen is really low.
Joint and Muscle Discomfort: Estrogen helps maintain joint and bone health. Inadequate estrogen can contribute to joint stiffness, pain, and muscle discomfort.
Cognitive Changes: Estrogen is involved in cognitive function, and low levels may be associated with difficulties in concentration, memory issues, or brain fog. Research shows that estrogen exhibits protective qualities to our brains.
Hot Flashes: Although less common in men than in women, low estrogen levels can sometimes lead to hot flashes characterized by sudden feelings of warmth, sweating, and flushing.
Hight Estrogen Symptoms
If we are going to discuss low Estrogen symptoms, then we have to mention High estrogen symptoms as well. Again, this list is generalized and not all inclusive.
Gynecomastia: This refers to the development of breast tissue in men, leading to breast enlargement or tenderness. It occurs due to the estrogen’s stimulatory effect on breast glandular tissue (gynecomastia).
Water Retention and Bloating: High estrogen levels can cause fluid retention and bloating, leading to a puffy or swollen appearance, particularly in the face, hands, or feet.
Mood Changes: Excess estrogen can contribute to mood swings, irritability, anxiety, or even depression in some individuals.
Fatigue and Low Energy: High estrogen levels may result in feelings of fatigue, decreased energy levels, and overall lethargy.
Sexual Dysfunction: Elevated estrogen can interfere with libido, erectile function, and overall sexual performance.
Increased Body Fat: High estrogen levels can contribute to increased body fat, especially in the abdominal area. It can be challenging to lose or maintain weight despite efforts.
Sleep Disturbances: Some men may experience sleep problems such as insomnia or disrupted sleep patterns due to elevated estrogen levels.
Prostate Issues: While the relationship between estrogen and prostate health is complex, high estrogen levels have been associated with prostate-related symptoms such as increased urinary frequency or urgency.
As you can see there are some symptoms with high and low estrogen that are very similar which is why it is important to utilize blood work when appropriate to see what your estrogen level is.
I hope you found this information helpful.