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Thread: Non-HRT estrogen levels

  1. #1
    Claire Claire Cook's Avatar
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    Non-HRT estrogen levels

    I’m not sure if this is the proper forum for this post, but here goes. I am not transitioning, and am not considering HRT. Neither am I contemplating going full-time, although I dress frequently and am out in public at least weekly. However, with my doctor’s knowledge I’ve been taking women’s supplements (not estrogens) for a number of years. This week I had my semi-annual physical, and I decided that the blood work should include my T and estrogen levels, and my doctor agreed. We were both surprised when the results came in – my estrogen level was 10X higher than is normal for males, or for post-menopausal women. In fact, it fell well within the range for pre-menopausal women! (Red line on the graph below). My T levels are normal. Perhaps this was a fluke, and maybe we should repeat the test?




    I know that it is not uncommon for older men to have higher estrogen levels, but this seems unusually high, and maybe I should consult with an endocrinologist. I do show some signs of estrogenic effects: slight gynecomastia, reduced body hair, and softer skin with very few wrinkles for someone of my age living in Florida. Perhaps this is why I seem to “pass” (if I do) when I am out an about. So a question and then a comment. The question is, did any of you exhibit high estrogen levels before you started HRT?

    My comment is that -- if this is a real thing -- maybe this confirms what I have always felt -- I have a strong female side (which is getting stronger). Just knowing that I am apparently making my own estrogen is actually very comforting – it just feels right.
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  2. #2
    Country Gal.... Megan G's Avatar
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    You are not taking HRT and you have an estrogen level of over 200pmol/l and are only taking woman's supplements that do not include any form of estrogen?

    My wife works at a lab and just last week there was a bulletin issued that warned if patients were taking some other drug or supplement (cannot remember what it is off hand) that it would show elevated levels of estrogen in both males and females..

    I would be concerned if I had no intentions of transitioning. These are way to high for a male and can lead to health problems...

  3. #3
    Silver Member Angela Campbell's Avatar
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    You should be concerned.
    All I ever wanted was to be a girl. Is that really asking too much?

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    In answer to one of your questions, I did not start with a high serum estradiol level. It was in the normal male range and my testosterone was at the top of the normal male range (well above for my age).

    As to your level, first of all make sure that you are comparing the same units of measurement. That yours is roughly 10X the male norm at least begs the question. Check the lab report itself and not just what the doctor may have given you. If your level is indeed that high, I would go to an Endo. It is more likely that your body is converting (aromatizing) testosterone to estradiol rather than synthesizing it directly in the various tissues capable of doing so in the male body. (I.e., you may be producing more testosterone than you think or that your serum level indicates.) Becoming estrogen dominant with normal testosterone is a recipe for a stroke.

    You need to understand the cause ... and there are potentially a lot of them, both biological and from external factors. If the Endo tells you that you are the rare exception and it will cause you no issues then no harm, no foul. The situation is not the norm, however. In fact, high estradiol levels usually suppresses the production of testosterone over time, a fact that informed early HRT approaches for transsexuals.

  5. #5
    Ice queen Lorileah's Avatar
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    from a medical point of view, I would re-check the lab results, especially anything that is 10X above normal without known outside cause. Common tumors can cause a high estrogen level (esp sertoli cell)
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  6. #6
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    It would also be good to have another set of tests from another lab. The consistency of my results has improved quite a bit since I started going to Quest. Prior to that, I was going to a small regional chain where the specimen handling and pre-processing was a little inconsistent and I occasionally got some results that were wildly off. One almost got me hospitalized. Finally, if you do go to an Endo, not only he/she can order hormones tests that are far more precise (and expensive), but additional tests at the same time that might reveal a problem.

    Approach this as a problem and not as some sort of gender confirmation. "Unspecified endocrine disorder" covers a lot of insurance billings

  7. #7
    Member Jennifer0874's Avatar
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    I'm surprised you don't feel like total crap. At one time I went to the doctor because I was really tired, anxious, and depressed. My estradiol was just barely out of the normal range.

    My doctor gave me some an anti estrogen and I was quickly back to feeling normal. With some lifestyle changes I am back within the normal range without drugs.

  8. #8
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    So... just to ask the dumb question, have you double checked that the units on the test results from the lab match the units that you're looking at for reference ranges?

    The difference between pg/mL and pmol/L could easily account for the discrepancy you're talking about, if things are getting interpreted incorrectly.

    If you have actually been at female-normative estradiol levels for more than a few months, I would have expected you to experience some - ahem - noticeable side effects.

    Edit - just saw that Lea mentioned this too. Sorry! Definitely check the results for units though...
    Last edited by Zooey; 02-17-2016 at 10:49 PM.
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  9. #9
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    I'm not an endocrinologist but 10x does seem odd, I second Zooey's hypothesis but I'd like to think your doc read the results correctly?

  10. #10
    GG ReineD's Avatar
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    How's your waist circumference?

    Read this: http://www.lifeextension.com/magazin...g-male/page-02

    "Estradiol levels correlate significantly to body fat mass and more specifically to subcutaneous abdominal fat. The epidemic of abdominal obesity observed in aging men is associated with a constellation of degenerative disorders, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer."

    And this: http://www.seasonswellness.com/itsnotjustawomanthing/
    Reine

  11. #11
    Claire Claire Cook's Avatar
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    Hi everyone and thanks so much for your comments and suggestions. I have a copy of my blood numbers and they are in the same units (pg/mL) as the numbers on this graph. (The units are not on the graph axis, but the numbers coincide with other serum estadiol levels given in the same units.) So unless there was a typo, or maybe they used the wrong sample (), that is the number I got. I certainly need to talk with my doctor again and probably an endo, and have other tests done.

    Reine, yes, I am getting some belly fat (Sometimes I think I should wear maternity clothes..) and from what I have read that can be a source of estrogen in aging men. Megan, if your wife knows of a relevant report about the effects of supplements on estrogen levels, I'd love to hear about it. As I noted, I do seem to be showing some effects, but perhaps that is wishful thinking. There is a little breast development, I have less body hair and my skin is softer. (Several of my GF's have commented on my complexion.) And even though I work out some, I seem to not have the upper body strength I used to, even though my T levels are normal. If these numbers real, there is a ying and yang: if this is real, I'm happy with my femme self (again, i don't plan to transition), but I and my doctor are aware of possible downsides. I had my first mammogram last year (before we checked the E levels) and now have them scheduled every two years.

    So I come back to the OP, modified a bit from my original that was erroneously posted in the TS forum: How many of you (especially we older ladies) who are not undergoing HRT have had your estrogen levels checked, and if so, were they above normal male levels?

    [SIZE=1]- - - Updated - - -[/SIZE]

    And Reine,

    Thanks so much for those URL's. I didn't mean to give a flip response, and there are some serious considerations here. I do bruise more easily that I used to (cf. the inflammation notes in the second article) and as a skinny guy the possibility of a hip fracture is real. I do take vitamins enriched with calcium and vitamin D.
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