Do Men Have Too Much Estrogen?

And how much is too much?

Both men and women make both testosterone and estrogen naturally.

But obesity in men has caught up to that in women (just 27% of men were obese 15 years ago, and 25% of women; now, men and women are both at 35% and holding). And as men have become equal in this way, their testosterone levels have dropped and their estrogen levels have risen.

It’s just the opposite in women: women who are obese often have masculinizing features.

Because so many men are interested in learning about testosterone and whether they need extra (hint: this story might turn out like the estrogen/progesterone/premarin story has turned out for women: murky and controversial, but a topic on everyone’s mind), that I made this short REFUEL Minute to explain it.

So testosterone might have a place for men who have too much estrogen—so much that they make breast tissue, and get, well, breasts.

In men, that’s known as gynecomastia, or man boobs.

Babies are born with it. Boys turning into teens at puberty may have it, and be super embarrassed (even though it is normal, as growth hormone surges). Medications including diuretics, prostate medicine, some anti-psychotics and even ulcer medicine can cause it.

But for most men, and it affects 55% to 60% of men aged 50 and older, this extra breast tissue isn’t supposed to be there, and is usually a result of a testosterone-estrogen imbalance.

And for most guys, that’s either using lots of steroids (bodybuilders, for example) or just plain too much conversion of testosterone to estrogen by belly (aka visceral) fat.

I created a Do You Have Low T tool for men to measure whether they have low testosterone without the drug company advertising that accompanies other such tools. Or you can measure your own at home, with a Wellness Fx Tool Kit: confidential, diagnostic, and discuss with a doctor.

Do man boobs go away? Yes they do, within a few years of Refueling–getting strong, lean and building stamina. What if they don’t? There’s cosmetic surgery, of course. And that’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Tell me a story here: have man boobs, love handles or concern about a weight-related blood test been topics for a successful conversation at home? How did you do it?

Published on: January 10, 2014
About the Author
Photo of John La Puma

John La Puma MD is a best selling author, practicing physician, board-certified in internal medicine, and writes recipes on prescription slips, too. His latest book is REFUEL™ - Dr La Puma's 24-Day Eating Plan to Shed Fat, Boost Testosterone and Pump Up Strength and Stamina.

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