Many men have heard of the hormone testosterone. As a key sex hormone in men, testosterone helps to fuel a healthy libido, healthy energy levels, muscle growth, and so much more. With testosterone involved with several hormonal functions, it has become the target of many hormone replacement treatments.
The hormonal processes that occur in your body at any given point can be quite convoluted and confusing to understand. Having a medical education prepares you to understand biochemical interactions within your body, but for the average person looking to get into hormone replacement therapy (HRT), it can all seem overwhelming. Add the complexity of different hormone treatments and it can be quite difficult to sort out what is really going on with your hormone levels as a patient undergoing HRT.
Below is a deeper look at testosterone replacement therapy and why estrogen blockers are utilized in conjunction with traditional testosterone treatments. Understanding treatments through and through allows you to be a more informed patient and one that is more able to be a part of your own care team.
Estrogen in the Body
Estrogen is the main sex hormone found in women and it’s responsible for the development of secondary sex characteristics, such as breasts, regulation of the menstrual cycle, and increased body fat composition. The hormone is secreted by the ovaries and carries women throughout their reproductive years.
Estrogen is an important sex hormone in women, and it is also found in low amounts in men. Estrogen plays many important roles in men including assisting libido, erectile functioning, and sperm production.
While important, estrogen in high levels can be detrimental. High levels of estrogen may lead to the development of breast tissue, known as gynecomastia. In addition, high estradiol levels in older men have been linked to an increased prevalence of stroke, heart attack, and other cardiac issues, according to one study. It is also suspected that elevated estrogen levels play a role in some forms of prostate cancer.
What Are Estrogen Blockers?
Estrogen blockers are a class of drugs that aims to reduce the formation of estrogen or block the effects of estrogen. While estrogen blockers can reduce estrogen formation, it is important to note that these drugs do not reduce the formation of estrogen formed from the ovaries in women. Rather, certain estrogen blockers inhibit the enzyme that promotes the formation of estradiol from testosterone.
More specifically, aromatase inhibitors block the conversion of testosterone into a form of estrogen known as estradiol. This inhibition essentially disturbs the proper functioning of the aromatase enzyme which therefore makes the formation of estradiol occur at a much lower rate.
Other types of estrogen blockers include selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs), which block estrogen from binding to estrogen receptors. This action blocks the effects of estrogen in the body.
When Are Estrogen Blockers Given?
Aromatase inhibitors have a wide range of potential uses, but according to the FDA, aromatase inhibitors have shown to be effective for postmenopausal women with hormone-sensitive breast cancer and gynecomastia in males. Significant research has been conducted on estrogen’s role in women’s health, yet it is somewhat still up for debate with how it impacts men’s health.
Other uses of aromatase inhibitors include the treatment of prostate cancer and as a growth enhancer for boys with growth delays. While some uses are not FDA-approved, this doesn’t mean that people have not benefited from them. The FDA approval process can take a long time and until then, these uses should be utilized with caution and the close supervision of your health care provider.
In the context of testosterone replacement therapy, an estrogen blocker could be prescribed in the event of gynecomastia or excessive testosterone to estradiol conversion. Increasing serum testosterone levels through injections is effective but in some cases can cause a spike in estradiol and decline in available testosterone, neither of which are desirable with a hormone treatment plan aimed to provide your body with a healthy testosterone level.
Hormone Replacement Process
The process of getting any hormone replacement therapy a few years ago was much more difficult than it is today. Barriers such as high visit costs to endocrinologists, low availability of specialized physicians, medical practices booked for months out, and a general lack of available HRT options made attaining hormone treatment incredibly difficult.
Today, thanks to the power of the internet, hormone replacement is easier and more accessible than it ever has been before. Telemedicine has allowed hormone specialists to not only take on more clients but also reduce overhead costs such as the need for large health administration departments which all contribute to patients paying less than they would have ever in the past.
Below is a closer look at Elite HRT’s process for getting a tailor-made hormone treatment plan that fits your body’s hormonal needs through the use of telecommunication.
Medical History Form
The first step of getting your customized plan is to fill out a new patient medical history form, which aims to help us understand a little more about your health, current problems, and family history.
Some treatments may be contraindicated, meaning they should not be given, if you have certain medical conditions. Additionally, some symptoms you may be experiencing could warrant a further need to test or an exam by your primary care provider first. Answering the form as truthfully as possible is important and acts as a great starting point for your telehealth medical team to begin.
A blood test will typically be the next step on your hormone replacement journey. A blood test is a necessary component as it is the only quantitative way to determine a hormone deficiency. Many people are eager to get on their HRT journey and will opt for the place that simply gives them the hormone they are looking to have.
Not only is this dangerous, but it could also have lasting effects. Any reputable hormone replacement specialist will require a blood test and if they do not you should look elsewhere.
With the blood test, your remote health care team at Elite HRT will order a test with key markers to give the hormone specialized physicians an insight into your hormonal health. You can think of the blood test results as a freeze-frame of what your hormonal levels are. These results can then be forwarded to EliteHRT following HIPPA regulation to be reviewed.
While telemedicine is incredibly capable, it still has a way to go. Technologies such as remote monitoring equipment are gaining traction in telehealth but are not quite widely accessible. Until this equipment becomes more available, many telehealth services require consults with primary care physicians to perform a standard physical exam.
A physical exam is important because sometimes patients are unaware of specific health conditions that may be going on behind the scenes. A physical exam consists of different screenings, tests, and observations by a primary care physician that is utilized as a means of assessing your overall health.
Things such as undiagnosed cancer or other health conditions can contraindicate with hormone replacement and a physical exam is meant as an extra precautionary step to ensure you are getting the very best and safest treatment available.
Once your Elite HRT specialist gets all of the information from your blood work and physical exam, they will work on creating a tailor-made plan based upon your specific needs, hormone balance, and physical. Hormone replacement therapy is not a one size fits all approach, and equipped with this information, HRT specialists at Elite HRT are able to create the perfect plan for you.
With a tailored plan, Elite HRT will provide you with the most comprehensive plan to get your hormones in check so you can achieve a higher level of overall wellness. With testosterone, HGH, and nutraceuticals, an Elite HRT plan can give you just what your body needs to feel youthful and ready to tackle life head-on.
In addition to providing you with the very best, Elite HRT will also take the time so that you understand dosage in addition to administration. Many hormone treatments are not readily digested when taken orally, so the preferred route of administration is injection.
Injection ensures your body gets the amount of hormone it needs and by taking the time to ensure you are comfortable self-administering, Elite HRT offers higher patient confidence.
Estrogen blockers for men are an effective means of reducing excess estrogen due to the aromatization of testosterone. With testosterone replacement therapy, the additional testosterone can lead to an increase in estrogen levels and lead to side effects such as the development of breasts.
With the main goal of many testosterone replacement therapies to feel better and more youthful, the development of man boobs can lead to the exact opposite.
Estrogen blockers can effectively be utilized to manage gynecomastia and get you back on track to living a life with a more balanced hormone level.