Men Have Hormones Too!
Are your hormones in need of a tune-up? Consider the following:
- The speed at which your heart beats
- The power of your brain and quickness of your memory
- The measurement of your waistline
- The feeling of vitality you have when you wake up each day
- The number of hairs on your head
- The degree of sexuality and sexual function you have
- The look and strength of your muscles
- The mood you wake up with and your outlook on life
- The number of pounds you gain every year
- The rate as which your body ages
- The degree of risk you take and the guts you have to take those risks
YES, these all have to do with male hormones.
I find it so interesting that men often do not ask for their hormones to be tested, when indeed nearly everything can go wrong when your hormones are off balance! Research has demonstrated that low testosterone in men is strongly correlated with Metabolic syndrome (pre-diabetes), Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, bone loss, depression and a 50 percent increase in death. What is happening with men today that could be causing an increase in these symptoms, as early as age 35?
Why factors contribute to the decline in male hormones?
- Toxic stress—increases in circulating stress hormones (cortisol) down-regulates testosterone production and increases the conversion to estrogen in the male body.
- Increased body fat/obesity—fat converts testosterone to estrogen by increasing aromatase levels (enzymes converting testosterone to estrogen) in the male, creating a hormone imbalance and increasing the risk of heart disease. Obesity and elevated insulin levels suppress messages from the brain (LH) to the testis—thus lowering testosterone production.
- Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG)—this hormone increases with age; with environmental estrogen exposure (plastics/pesticides) this hormone binds testosterone and allows estrogen in the man to rise over time, creating the hormone imbalance no man wants to have!
- Liver function—the liver is responsible for removing excess estrogen and SHBG. Wearing your liver down by excessive drinking, eating increased processed foods and running too many chemicals through your system over time will reduce liver function and compromise healthy testosterone levels.
So now that you know what can create hormone wipeout for men, it might be helpful to share with you the key hormones involved in helping a man operate at 100 percent.
Key male hormones associated with andropause:
- Thyroid hormones
- Thyroxine (T4)
- Triiodothyronine (T3)
Your body’s engine helps control cholesterol levels, metabolism, immunity, energy, sleep and over 200 other bodily functions
Sex Hormones (Testis):
Men with too much estrogen will be at increased risk for heart disease, prostate problems, depression and weight gain
Men with too little progesterone are at an increased risk for prostate problems, estrogen imbalance, poor adrenal (stress gland) function and reduced support to the thyroid glands.
Men with loss of testosterone will have issues with fatigue, loss of sex drive and function, lack of memory and concentration, weight gain around mid-section, depression, lack of focus and zest for life, muscle weakness and bone loss, poor performance in the work place, reduced stamina, irritability, loss of hair, and many more.
Increased day-to-day unrelenting stress will eventually lead to poor adrenal functioning, which directly affects the production of DHEA, testosterone, progesterone and cortisol. Imbalance in stress hormones leaves men feeling exhausted, sleepless, often sick and over-reacting to stress—to the point that they just do not tolerate increased day to day stressors as well physically.
Testing hormones in three key areas—thyroid, testes and adrenals—can provide a complete picture as to what is happening to cause the symptoms and how to fix them efficiently. The various systems all interact and communicate, and when one hormone level changes, several others can be affected. Looking at the entire picture is the answer for helping men through nagging symptoms and preventing illness and age-related diseases.
I believe that men must be treated on an individual basis with a comprehensive plan that considers their specific chemistry. It is of utmost importance that the levels be interpreted according to the man’s age and “optimal ranges” rather than just “normal broad parameters.” Ultimately eliminating symptoms and optimizing hormone levels at the same time is the goal for treatment.
Synthetic testosterone replacement therapies exist. However, I favor non-synthetic bio-identical testosterone replacement, which is the exact molecular structure as human testosterone. This formulation can be compounded in a pharmacy to meet individual needs. The doses can be easily altered to achieve optimal results and may contain other needed hormones for balance.
Other factors to take into consideration when treating a male for hormone imbalance include diet, supplements that help with the appropriate conversion and metabolization of testosterone, stress management, exercise and lifestyle changes to provide for ultimate success.
It’s all about balance! Cheers to optimal hormone balance!