ALL ABOUT ESTROGEN. FINDING THAT BALANCE.
“Estrogen is your friend, not your enemy. Your friends just need to be respectful of your boundaries.”
So despite the clarity in the scientific literature that estrogen in males is imperative to maintain optimal health and function (including gaining muscle and losing fat), estrogen is still feared among steroids users and at times, that fear is warranted. No one wants to end up with a permanent set of boobs and limp dick the next time they get naked in front of their woman. So before we talk good about estrogen, let’s talk the ‘bad.’ Now, if you were to ingest too much Vitamin C you could end up very ill or maybe even die. You could drink too much water and disrupt your electrolyte balance and experience heart failure. As you can tell, too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing. It is just the pendulum of life. Estrogen is no different. In excess, it is well reported that estrogen can cause side effects such as excessive water retention, mood issues, libido issues and of course, the dreaded gynecomastia which is otherwise known as bitch tits. Actual boobs on men. Now, mood and libido are subjective issues that unfortunately we cannot always point the finger at estrogen and if you do a little research, you will also see that even if estrogen is within reference ranges or low, the anabolic steroids/performance enhancing drugs themselves can retain excessive fluid on their lonesome. So if libido, mood and water retention are not strong indicators for estrogenic sides, then what are? Well, if you’ve grown a set of boobs lately, I’d be inclined to bet on it that you have an estrogen issue. But then again, we don’t want to discard the potential for estrogen causing these other unwanted sides we do not experience off cycle, so how do we know for sure?
There is an age old saying in medicine that goes like this: “If you’re guessing, you’re wrong. You need a unit of measure.” If you’re a newbie and you’re “feeling” your way through this and then begin adding extra medications to control an estrogen issue you don’t actually have, you can surely make matters worse. So how do we measure? We measure our estrogen levels with what is called an Estradiol Sensitive Assay (LC/MS). This is a blood test. This is the only accurate method to test for estrogen levels in males, especially when you are using compounds other than testosterone as other steroid compound’s aromatise metabolites can confuse the regular estrogen test, which is known as the Regular Immunoassay. I repeat, it is very important to get the right estrogen test! Estradiol Sensitive Assay. Got it? Okay, got it. So we’ve got passed the “what and how” to test and the results of the blood test have arrived in your email’s inbox. Here is a simple rule:
“Do not get fussed with numbers inside the reference ranges unless you have gynecomastia.”
Although I have seen it, it is rare for one to even experience gyno (under normal conditions) when their estrogen levels are within normal limits, which is inside the reference ranges. Each pathology company will have slightly different ranges to the next, but mostly they are similar to one another. There is the chance of gyno to occur when estrogen levels are still within normal limits such as instances when IGF-1 is also high and when testosterone is proportionally low in ratio with estrogen. These novel causes are for another blog post, however. So now to what most people on cycle see on the blood test results when they are experiencing what they believe to be estrogenic side effects; high estrogen scores of course! It is important to first clearly diagnose that we do in fact have high estrogen levels, then we can medicate intelligently to solve. The prescription to medicate will depend largely on a case for case basis but first of all, the most responsible decision is to increase the dose of the aromatise inhibitor you are already using and only change to another aromatise inhibitor if you have reached the maximum effective dose of that aromatise inhibitor of choice. These doses commonly are:
Arimidex maximum effective dosage: 1mg once daily
Aromasin maximum effective dosage: 25 mg once daily or 12.5 mg twice daily
Letrozole maximum effective dosage: 2.5 mg once daily
I should note that I have never seen a single client not respond to letrozole, but I have seen many respond too well and tank their estrogen which you do not want to do. So start slow and leave Letrozole for when all else fails. Of course, during this experimental phase of fine tuning your estrogen, if you already have gyno it is important to treat that right away so that it does not become permanent. Once gyno becomes permanent, nothing except surgical removal will cure it. What a hassle that can be and there are thousands who have landed in that boat unfortunately. To treat the gyno immediately we can use Nolvadex (Tamoxifen) at 20-30 mg twice daily. Nolvadex is a SERM which is an abbreviation for [S]elective [E]strogen [R]eceptor [M]odulator. This means that Nolvadex selectively modulates estrogen in select sites. In one of those sites, the breast tissue, it inhibits (lowers) estrogen. And hence how it works to cure gyno. In other sites, such as bone tissue, it actually increases estrogen! So make no mistake, SERMS do not control estrogen, they only modulate estrogen at certain sites. We do not want to use Nolvadex any longer than we have to on cycle, and preferably ever again other than when it comes time for PCT.
Now I have seen Bob use 1000 mg of testosterone weekly without an aromatise inhibitor at all and not experience any side effects, then I have seen Tim use 250 mg testosterone weekly with 1 mg of arimidex every other day and grow a B cup set of boobs within the week. Because of this large degree of variance from person to person, it is hard to give everyone the same prescription. Sensible doses for most as a starting gauge I believe can be given though and they are:
Arimidex at 0.5 mg every 3 days or 0.5 mg every other day. Increase dose by 0.25-0.5 mg if symptoms occur until maximum effective dose is reached. If symptoms still persist, try Aromasin before Letrozole.
Aromasin at 12.5 mg daily or 12.5 mg every other day. Increase dose by 6.25-12.5 mg if symptoms occur until maximum effective dose is reached. If symptoms still persist, try Arimidex before Letrozole.
Letrozole to be used after the other two aromatise inhibitors fail at 1.25 mg every day or every other day until maximum dose is reached. Increased by 0.75-1.25 mg if symptoms persist.
If Gynecomastia is present during the course of this experimental period, use Nolvadex at 20-30 mg twice daily until symptoms are controlled, then cease use. Use again if needed.
It is important to not go the opposite way and tank your estrogen levels, because I promise you what you will experience will be much worse than high estrogen side effects. We want to land our estrogen to within normal limits (which is within reference ranges on the blood test) and if you have high estrogen but are asymptomatic, which means you feel good, then do not treat any further. There is no known harm in males to have estrogen levels outside of the reference range any more than there is to have testosterone and androgen levels outside of the reference ranges. As we know, we are way outside the ranges for testosterone on cycle! Do not use a single mg more of any estrogen control medication than you have to. Estrogen is important for mental health, well being, bone health, heart health, muscle gain, muscle function, libido, eye health, wait; estrogen is important for just about everything! We have demonised estrogen over the years as something feminine when it is in fact not so in the right context. Quite the opposite actually. For some newbies fearful of estrogen, I will admit it can be a daunting outlook at times but I promise you with this basic guide, once you nail it, you will be able to instinctually gauge your estrogen levels easier with each cycle and that will lessen the need for so many blood tests and experimentation. Get it right the first time. Don’t do what I and many others did. It is a regrettable experience we will share with you.
Hope that helps! Any specific questions related to this post do not hesitate to ask in the comments section below or email us at email@example.com
– Au Steroids Team
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