The Manly Side of Hormones

By: | Tags: | Comments: 0 | December 2nd, 2011

Progesterone and estrogen are usually associated with female sex hormones; however, progesterone is equally important to a man’s health. As men age, estrogen levels slowly increase while levels of both progesterone and testosterone gradually decline; this downward slide begins in a man’s thirties and continues unless appropriate measures are taken. This gradual decline results in men having too much estrogen in their body, or estrogen dominance. Once the body’s hormones are out of whack, a wide range of health problems is soon to follow.

Yes, men suffer from menopause too. Although not as dramatic as menopause, this steady decline in testosterone and progesterone is very real and is an inevitable part of the aging process. Just like women experiencing menopause, this age-related hormonal decline in men can have a wide range of effects on the body and mind from a decline in mood, energy, motivation, sexual desire and motivation to decreased mental sharpness, indecisiveness and irritability. There may be a “spare tire” around the abdomen and male pattern balding.

In particular, men can suffer from estrogen dominance if they are experiencing symptoms such as gynecomastia (enlargement of the male breasts), weight gain, insomnia, gall bladder problems and prostate enlargement, which leads to urinary problems. Frequent visits to the restroom become a regular part of their bedtime routine.

As a man ages, so does his prostate gland causing swelling and growth. An enlarged prostate is the result of hormonal imbalance. In fact, the impact of hormonal balance on the prostate gland is huge because the prostate’s metabolic actions are mainly directed by progesterone and testosterone. Part of the aging process in men is the conversion of healthy testosterone levels into its more problematic metabolite, dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Why is this cause for concern? DHT production is behind male patterned baldness and an enlarged prostate.

In modern day America, toxic chemicals, such as petrochemicals, pollute our environment and can have detrimental effects on male fertility as well as overall health. Petrochemicals are referred to as xenoestrogens because they mimic the effects of estrogen hormones in the human body and interfere with normal hormone function. They are used in thousands of manufactured goods; in particular they can be found in plastic bottles from which we drink, the chemicals used in dry cleaning, the lotions and sprays we use for personal hygiene, the pesticides sprayed on food, and meats from animals raised on synthetic hormones.

This is a disaster for men. Not only do xenoestrogens disrupt the production of testosterone as well as promote estrogen dominance, they also antagonize the effects of testosterone in the body. Xenoestrogens are linked to the dramatic decline in the average sperm count in Western societies since the 1950s as well as the rise in testicular cancer.

If a male’s hormones are imbalanced, he will continue to experience the negative effects of this gradual loss in his body’s natural hormones until the day he dies. This gradual hormonal decline is inevitable unless measures are taken to counteract this loss.

Maintaining healthy levels of progesterone and testosterone with bioidentical hormones will result in not only improved mental health but also improved physical health including good prostate health. To clarify, we do not advocate abnormally high doses of testosterone to achieve superhuman strength or aggressiveness; we do advocate supplementing with a low-dose of bioidentical hormone therapy.

Men should also take saw palmetto (160 mg twice a day). This Native American herb strengthens the prostate gland and inhibits the conversion of the good testosterone into its more problematic kind DHT.

To evaluate if you have healthy levels of progesterone and testosterone, take our  symptom checker health quiz.

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