High Estrogen vs Low Estrogen Symptoms (For Men)
One of the hardest hormones to control while on testosterone replacement therapy is estrogen. This is statement is more true if you’re overweight or have a high BMI count. (All the more reason to start exercising if you’re not already) Men will sometimes report that their TRT started out great only for it to “stop working” a few months into therapy. Doctors well versed in TRT will likely send you out for an estrogen test and start you on an aromatase inhibitor such as Arimidex if high estrogen is the cause. This powerful drug, if not used correctly however can lead to tanked estrogen levels which come along with symptoms as bad as high E2 levels! The goal is a balance. Let’s take a look at the symptoms of both:
Low Estradiol Symptoms:
- Fatigue along the lines of sleepiness
- hypersomnia (sleeping too much and too often)
- strong erections but limited sensitivity
- loss of erections
- osteoporosis and osteopenia
- joint pain, clicking or popping joints
- eye fatigue (eyes seem more tired despite adequate sleep, dark circles)
- loss of libido (interest in sex)
- difficulty retaining water (constant urination)
- anxiety, depression, irritability
High Estradiol Symptoms:
- Soft erections, inability to maintain an erection
- water retention (less frequent urination), leading to excessive sweating, blood pressure spikes or high blood pressure (from the water retention)
- hot flushing (flushing around the ears or on the face)
- night sweats (from estradiol lowering, causing loss of water retention)
- bloating; brain fog (like your head’s in a bubble)
- testicles seem smaller than usual
As you can see Estrogen, when not managed correctly, can wreak absolute havoc on the male body. What I’ve found best in all of this is, listen to your body. I’ve had multiple blood tests done, visits to the doctor and without a doubt my body was always telling me what my doctor confirmed. Listen to it. If you have any of the above symptoms get yourself in for a blood test as soon as possible and then speak with your doctor about treatment. (If you’re a cash patient, see my post about how to save money on blood work) If you’re doctor refuses to provide you with the medication you need, switch doctors.
I should note that when my estrogen levels were at their peak (249) I tried to lower them by using a large dose of Arimidex (1mg). I immediately fell into a deep depression not like anything I’d ever experienced before. I’d stopped going to the gym and gained a hefty amount of weight (While Arimidex is supposed to lower bloating, in my case, too much resulted in the exact opposite).
My doctor had mentioned that I needed to lower the fat in my body in order to prevent my testosterone from converting into estrogen. (and rightly so) But I was so exhausted just making it to the grocery store and paying bills was a difficult goal for the day. What a horrible time that was. Thankfully, I’m now on my way to a well balanced controlled schedule of Arimidex and a lower dosage of testosterone. Within days I started to feel better and I’m back to playing outside with my kids, learning new sheets on the piano, running in the morning and lifting a few weight during the week. It’s also the primary reason I started Dosage May Vary. I wouldn’t wish some of my estrogen symptoms on my worst enemy.
UPDATE 6/14/2017: Since writing this post I no longer use Arimidex. It’s simply far too easy to tank your E2 levels. Arimidex does not work like Tylenol. (Meaning it doesn’t work within hours. Instead it can take days for your E2 levels to drop. Additionally, you may inadvertently cause your E2 levels to “tank”. You may attempt to raise them by giving yourself a higher dose of Testosterone. But this is ultimately a yo yo recipe for disaster. So what’s the best way to manage your E2 levels? Splitting my dosage. I’d read about this many times online but really didn’t want to deal with the hassle of two shots every week. Hindsight is 20/20, it’s the best decision I ever made. I generally no longer have E2 troubles. My energy levels are back to normal, my weight is under control (down almost 30 pounds with exercise!) and my sexual performance is relatively normal.
Quick Tests You Perform At Home
1. Ring finger test – If you wear a ring and you notice it fitting tighter than normal you are likely bloating. This is usually a pretty good indicator you’re holding onto water which can mean high estradiol.
2. Weight – If you’re weight has gone up especially in the morning you likely have some water retention going on
3. Fatigue – This one is the worst. When my E2 levels were around 249 fatigue was an understatement. I was absolutely shot and could hardly function. I was tired all day even after 8 hours of rest. I’m self employed and that much down time is devastating to my business. If you’re waking up after a good nights rest only to be tired again in a few hours or your eyes seem constantly heavy or tired throughout the day, your estrogen is probably high.
Don’t rely on the home tests, get your bloodwork pulled as soon as possible. This is treatable! Once you’re able to regain your energy levels do your best to eat a healthy diet and bring your weight down. For more on estrogen control visit the Estrogen Control section.
When you dial 1-800–273-TALK (8255), you are calling the crisis center in the Lifeline network closest to your location. After you call, you will hear a message saying you have reached the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Estrogen can wreak havoc on your body and can lead to major depression. It’s not you, it’s your hormones! Remember this is manageable and can be corrected quickly, see your doctor as soon as possible so he can help address your E2 levels. If you’ve gone into a major depression get into an urgent care, don’t wait for your appointment.