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What Are Estrogen Blockers?

Some body builders use estrogen blockers.
Estrogen blockers are used in breast cancer treatments.
A patient's hormone levels can be checked through blood samples.
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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 13 August 2014
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Estrogen blockers are chemical compounds that block the actions of estrogen. These drugs can work in a number of different ways, and they are used in several different applications, including in breast cancer treatment, where they are used to slow the growth of the tumor or to prevent recurrence. As with other medications that interact with hormones in the body, these medications should be used under the supervision of a healthcare professional.

There are a number of different kinds of estrogen blockers. Aromatase inhibitors, including vorozole, testolactone, and formestane, actually block the production of estrogen. Selective estrogen receptor modulators, such as tamoxifen, clomifene, and arzooxifene, are designed to block estrogen receptors, behaving slightly differently in different kinds of tissue. Antiestrogens also act to block estrogen receptors.

In the treatment of cancers, these drugs are used to slow the progress of the cancer. In the case of selective estrogen receptor modulators, they can also target specific estrogen receptors to deliver targeted therapy. Blockers, including clomiphene, are also sometimes used in infertility treatment, as they can assist some women who are having difficulty getting pregnant. These drugs are also used by some clinicians in the treatment of transgender children to essentially put puberty on hold until they are old enough to make decisions about whether or not they want to proceed with medical and surgical options.

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Among body builders, some people promote the use of estrogen blockers because of the estrogenic effects of high levels of testosterone in the body. Testosterone is a precursor to estrogen, and aromatase inhibitors can be used to stop the body from forming excess estrogen, keeping levels in the body low. This practice has attracted controversy, especially when it is used for primarily cosmetic reasons and when people use pills and supplements sold without medical supervision.

There are a number of side effects associated with these medications. They can cause dizziness, headaches, sweating, hot flashes, and confusion. With the supervision of an endocrinologist, a patient can determine the appropriate dosage based on the situation and an acceptable threshold of side effects. The endocrinologist can also take regular blood samples to check on hormone levels in the blood while assessing the patient's overall health to confirm that the current drug regimen is still safe and functional for the patient.

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Discuss this Article

SalmonRiver
Post 2

My older brother used to be into competitive body building. He got involved with steroids. Probably not shocking, I know. I think you really shouldn’t alter your body with chemicals to gain muscle mass. But, to each their own, right? He had used estrogen blockers and had side effects along with them.

He stopped taking steroids and estrogen blockers after a while and started getting out of the competition circuit. The side effects he had with the estrogen blockers were mostly fatigue and headaches. Those went away after he stopped using them. He seems to be back to normal these days.

mantra
Post 1

I often try to find natural options when it comes to medicine. There are so many toxic chemicals we put in our bodies. Sometimes, it is absolutely the best option. That being said, there are alternatives to prescription estrogen blockers. When it comes to body building, I have read that calcium d-glucarate can play a part in effective estrogen blockers for men.

There are plant-based estrogens called isoflavins. They come from lignan sources like flaxseed. They have been used as a method to prevent and treat cancer. I cannot speak personally as to how well that works. I have read it is effective against breast cancer. I do include flaxseed in my diet, but I am no expert on these things.

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