Monthly Archives: September 2013
Assessment of Hormone Levels is Critical to Balancing Hormones
What are Hormones?
What are hormones? This may be a question you have asked yourself. Your doctor may mention your thyroid or your sex hormones like estrogen and testosterone. Occasionally they will even refer to the stress hormone cortisol. But if you have not had any previous association with hormones, the discussion of hormones can leave you baffled. However, it is important to know that hormones are vital components to your health and that adequate assessment of them can be the difference between feeling good or dragging through the day.
In short, hormones are chemical messengers. They are produced within our body from specific hormone secreting glands, where they then proceed to enter the blood stream and influence activity in various tissues. They have a very distinct role in the body. This is the primary reason that many symptoms can be associated with a specific hormone. When hormones are imbalanced, they lead to a multitude of symptoms that can make life seem miserable. Just ask any female that deals with PMS if she enjoys this time of the month. PMS is an indication of imbalanced hormones, but it is also a testament to the power of hormones.
Clearly no one wants to feel hormonal or like their hormones are out of balance. Hormone balance is critical to life. There are many proposed ways in which to support hormones, but all of these should have a similar starting point. This point should be assessment of hormone levels. Hormone level assessment is critical due to the need to have a measure of the success of intervention. I often see patients in my Houston clinics that have undergone no form of hormone level assessment, only to be placed on a replacement regimen without first being sure of their particular needs. Such actions can be detrimental long term as hormone levels can build up in the system. Many times this leads to low hormone symptoms. This can seem paradoxical until you realize that often low and high hormone levels symptoms overlap each other.
There is a better way and that is through testing. Testing hormone levels is a critical step in the balancing of hormones. Hormone levels can be tested through saliva, urine and blood. Each method has its benefits and weaknesses. The critical aspect however is that with testing you are able to outline a specific repletion program based on your individual needs rather than simply applying a hormone to a particular symptom or state of dysfunction. I am still amazed at the amount of estrogen I see recommended in light of the evidence suggesting that estrogen therapy alone is not a good idea, at least not without proper hormone level assessment to know that it is being balanced with progesterone. Women commonly tell me of symptoms such as chronically itching skin, weight gain, a full feeling in the legs and increased irritability. All of these are indications of excess estrogen. The important point is that they could all have been avoided if proper hormone level assessment had been considered.
Hormones are vital to life. We need them. However, we need them in adequate amounts. The application of hormone replacement therapy is a viable method to reestablish adequate levels, yet if it is not guided by hormone level assessment, overshooting the level of hormones administered can easily take place. Nevertheless, when properly guided by hormone level assessment, application of hormones can be a difference maker in your life offering you a sense of health and wellness.
Always Feeling Bloated? Maybe Gluten is to Blame
Are you always feeling the undeafeatable feeling of bloating? It can become such a nuisance; you may not understand what’s going on. I suppose you may be like everyone else and decide to go to the doctor’s and you feel that no matter what you do, you can’t seem to get rid of this feeling. You get frustrated when you leave because you feel they didn’t listen to a word you said and send you off without an explanation. Maybe they prescribed you something that didn’t even work. Am I right?
Unfortunately, bloating is a common symptom among millions of people. A lot of times gluten can be the culprit. Of course, I’m not saying everyone has this problem; but it’s more common than you think. Even if someone doesn’t have Celiac Disease, they can still have an intolerance to gluten. When you ingest the gluten, your body is going to react and it’s only natural that your stomach will bloat; you just put something in it that it’s allergic to.
I know what you may be thinking now; how do you know if you have a gluten allergy, right? You can go to the doctor and request a test for it. However, most of the time the test gives a false negative. If you want to save yourself from the hassle, you can try eating a strict Paleo diet for 30 days to see if that benefits you; it usually does benefit many people.
On this Paleo diet, you will need to cut out grains, dairy, and refined foods. Those types of food aren’t the best on your digestive system anyway, regardless of a gluten intolerance. So, you may ask yourself, “Why gluten free? Why with the Paleo diet?” The answer is simple really; gluten is found in almost everything, unfortunately. The best way to cut it out completely is a Paleo lifestyle. Many Celiac sufferers actually turn to this way of dieting and they love it. You’re still getting all of your nutrients and much more. If you are having any kind of intolerance to gluten, it’s not a definite, but you might have an allergy to milk, corn, among other things. The best way to be on the road to feeling better is strictly eating fresh fruits, veggies, meats, and healthy fats. If you keep consuming gluten, chances are you’re going to remain bloated and have other symptoms as well.
Many people wonder why gluten free is the best option. Regardless of an intolerance or not, cutting out gluten can help you with preventing illnesses and provide you with so many health benefits. Some people claim that they haven’t got sick in months or even years after being gluten free and on the Paleo lifestyle. I suggest if you want to feel better, give this a try. Don’t think of it as a diet, think of it as a lifestyle change; you will succeed with that way of thinking.
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At Home Interval Workout – No Equipment Required
At home workout-That works
Do you not have enough time to go out to the gym and get your daily workout in? I hear this in my practice a lot. If so, you’re probably looking for some at home workouts that you can do. If this sounds like something you’re interested in, you’re going to be happy to know that this article has you covered. This easy at home workout is going to get you sweating and in great shape in no time. This at home workout isn’t going to require any equipment and it’s been designed for people that want to lose weight very quickly, but they also do not want to spend any money on going to a gym or gym equipment.
Easy Workout Schedule
All you need in order to complete the workout plan below is your own body and just a little bit of time. In total, this at home workout should only take you 15-minutes or less per day to complete. Also, this isn’t one of those at home workout that you need to do every single day to be successful. Instead, you should do these workouts on the following days:
Overall, you’re going to be performing 6 different exercises and a grand total of 15 minutes or less or until failure. Follow the list below to complete the total workout. Do the exercises in the order that has been specified. There should be no rest between each exercise, unless otherwise specified. As soon as you’re finished with one, you should hop directly into the next exercise.
If the interval below is too difficult for you to complete, you could add a 10-20 second break between each exercise. As you continue going, you will notice that your endurance and overall fitness level is beginning to increase quite substantially. If you find that the interval below is too easy for you or becomes too easy, you could try resting for a couple minutes after completing the whole interval and then doing it again.
Squats – 2 minutes or until failure.
Lunges – 2 minutes or until failure.
Jumping jacks – 2 minutes or until failure.
2- minute rest period.
Pushups – 2 minutes or until failure.
Mountain Climbers – 2 minutes or until failure.
Dips – 2 minutes or until failure.
1-minute cool-down period. Don’t sit down.
Easier than you think!
This workout is designed to give you a full at home bodyweight workout. In other words, you’re going to be targeting a ton of different muscles in your body. Even though this at home workout doesn’t require weights, although you can add some if you wish, you’re going to get quite a workout after doing this interval. This interval definitely is not going to be an easy one to complete, even though you may think the opposite.
One of the best things about this at home workout is the fact that you can start doing it today. You don’t have to go to a gym and it isn’t going to take much time to do. Therefore, you shouldn’t have any excuses.
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What are Human Hormones and Why do You Need them?
Incorrect Hormone Diagnosis
One of the medical buzz words out now is hormones. This has been the case for the last several years. In talking with my patients, I have come to learn that while many are interested in the concept of maintaining their hormone levels, few really understand what that means. More shockingly, I am also noticing that some of the clinicians that my patients have been working with, are fixated in the model of seeing an individual with a low hormone, and restoring only that particular hormone. Human hormones are far more complex than this. Pushing too much of a single hormone without consideration to the effects on other hormones, is a recipe for disaster, with you the patient, being the one suffering.
Human Hormone Balance
Human hormones have very specific roles. These roles are defined not just by the action of an individual hormone, but also by the interplay that occurs between hormones. Human hormones are most often talked about by their larger categories. These include the stress hormones, progesterone, the androgens, and the estrogens. Each of these categories when taken alone has a unique role that makes them worthy of consideration.
Hormone Roles In The Body
When looked at in isolation, we can think of the broad actions of these categories. For example, the stress hormones, specifically cortisol, help us accommodate to stress by controlling glucose availability and managing the inflammatory response. The androgens are the building hormones of the body. When tissues need to be repaired or when there is the necessity for increased growth of a tissue, the androgens are the responsible human hormone category. Estrogens are our stimulators. They promote growth and activity, especially in the female body. In contrast, progesterone has a slight building response, but it also acts to counter act the actions of estrogen.
The isolated action of human hormones is to some degree an unrealistic way to think about hormones. It is a good way to begin to think about some of these hormones and learn the basics, but it is not the way that hormones function in the body. Human hormones are synergistic and antagonistic. It is these balances, or lack thereof, that are often the reason for the hormone symptoms we often think about.
Stress Hormones & Androgens
Let’s think about the relationship between the stress hormones and the androgens. With chronic stress, the stress hormones are consistently released to aid in accommodation. As this process is prolonged, cortisol begins to affect muscle and bone tissue. It breaks them down. It can even have effects on the brain and short term memory. To balance this breakdown activity, you need to be able to build the body back up. This is not going to happen without the stimulus from the androgens. Androgens are going to offset the negative effects of the stress hormones to the extent possible. We can extrapolate this to the aging process and the reason that many become interested in their hormones anyway. If you are breaking your body down faster than you are building it back up, you are accelerating the aging process.
Estrogen & Progesterone
What about estrogen and progesterone? These two categories are directly antagonistic. The estrogens stimulate and progesterone inhibits. Thus, if you are “hormonal” and suffering from symptoms such as breast tenderness and PMS, you have a hormone deficiency, likely progesterone. The ability of both of these hormones to balance each other is at the core of procreation and motherhood.
Clearly human hormones are important. They are the chemical messengers our body depends on. Yet, if you truly want to know what hormones are and how to deal with human hormone deficiencies, you have to consider the interplay they have between each other and not their isolated role. May be the question should not be what are human hormones, but rather what are human hormones as they relate to each other.
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Stress Hormones are the Key to Checking Hormone Levels
Getting fully tested
I have spent a lot of time over the last few years listening to my patients talk about their hormones. A very common scenario that I see is that my patients have had only a few of their hormones checked. While this is valuable information about their state of health, it lacks completeness. Fully understanding the hormone cascade is vital to addressing hormone levels. The hormone cascade is highly dependent on all of the hormones. When men have their hormones checked, testosterone is the only hormone commonly checked. Women are not immune from this same narrow view of hormones. Many women that have their hormone levels assessed know their estrogen and progesterone levels, but they are not familiar with the hormones which more directly influence them.
One of the main categories of hormones that is rarely looked at is the stress hormones. The predominant stress hormone cortisol is responsible for a multitude of dysfunction that we typically blame on hormone levels not being balanced. The unfortunate aspect of this is that cortisol has an overwhelming impact on the other hormones. This predominant stress hormone will be produced at the expense of other hormones, thus denoting its importance. If the demand for cortisol is frequent enough, the ability to produce testosterone, estrogen and progesterone is greatly reduced. So for example when the level of testosterone or progesterone is low, the question should be asked if the need is related to lack of production of the hormone or if this is associated with increased need for the stress hormones. This emphasizes the point that when it comes to checking hormone levels, a full analysis must include cortisol.
However, cortisol cannot be assessed the same as any other hormone with a one-time blood draw. Cortisol fluctuates throughout the day. The levels of this hormone begin high in the morning and continue to taper off as the day progresses. This fluctuation provides insight into whether or not cortisol should be considered when it comes to restoring hormone levels. Elevated levels may indicate the shift of production away from vital hormones like estrogen, progesterone and testosterone over to cortisol. Additionally, if levels are low, a reduced state of total hormone production may have been reached, leaving the ability to make any hormone compromised.
Stress hormones are a key to checking hormone levels. Without the information they provide, adequate direction to guide hormone replacement therapy is lacking. I have seen many times in my patients that simply addressing stress hormones is enough to make significant changes in the hormones that are commonly checked. However, gaining control of your stress hormones means understanding those factors which most dramatically increase demand. A few of the more frequent ones are lack of sleep, a poor diet that includes the consumption of refined and pro-inflammatory foods, and lack of exercise.
Finding the correct approach to supporting your hormones is not difficult, it just means taking a complete approach. This is best done by not simply addressing the hormones that appear to be the cause of your hormone symptoms, but also looking at the hormones that may be most directly influencing them. This is most often the stress hormones. Upon adequately assessing the stress hormones as part of a complete hormone workup, a realistic plan can be put into action to help overcome hormonal deficiencies.
Stress as a Cause of Hormone Deficiency
Stress has become such a routine part of our lives that we rarely give it the attention it deserves. In recently conversing with a patient, she told me that she only knew how to function in a stress state. Asking for clarification upon her comment, she went on to tell me that her life has become so inundated with stress and the seemingly perpetual growth of her “to do list”, that when she was not pushing to tackle the next line item that she was not being productive. On top of this she went on to tell me that she was suffering from unrelenting fatigue and that her menses had become increasing irregular.
The more I listened to my patient, it was clear that she was suffering from a hormone deficiency. Worse yet, it did not appear to be a single hormone, but multiple hormone deficiencies that were affecting her. The interesting part about this patient is that she is not alone. In fact, she is one of many that I see with similar presentations. Further emphasizing a broad scale problem is that hormone deficiencies secondary to chronic stress are. not gender specific; Males are equally as susceptible. The bigger picture is that we all live in a world that can trap us and make us victims if we allow it to. The secret is having the tools to help your body better deal with stress.
The onset of hormone deficiencies secondary to stress is not a mystery, but it is rarely talked about in the full context of its significance. I could walk into almost any clinic in Houston, or across the United States and find patients nearly identical to my patient that I initially described. Why? The answer goes back to the need for our bodies to handle stress. Stress is the priority for the body. It is the classic “fight or flight” response. Chronic stress requires consistent production of the hormone cortisol.
Many think about cortisol as being the hormone that promotes increased fat around the midsection. While this is a real consideration for cortisol, the main objective of cortisol is to increase the availability of glucose so that you can continue to accommodate to your stress. Cortisol has many affects in the body, but the primary action is glucose (blood sugar) regulation. Given that our body has a build in mechanism to handle stress, we are meant to endure it. The problem becomes when that stress is unrelenting. Our body can manage intermittent stress. In fact it actually does better when we are exposed to intermittent stressors. In contrast, relentless stress damages our body. This is where hormone deficiencies begin to present themselves.
Balancing Hormone Production
When you are dealing with stress and the demand for cortisol is high, the ability to produce other hormones is reduced. There is only a limited amount of total hormone that can be made each day. If the majority of that is going towards your stress hormones, then this leaves little to support the hormones such as progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, and the estrogens, just to name a few. As a result you end up with hormone deficiencies. Again, these are not just usually one hormone, but many, thus further explaining why symptoms can feel so relentless.
Overcoming a hormone deficiency means dealing with the cause. For most, that is going to be stress. According to research, we can actually use intermittent stress to help us better accommodate to chronic stress, whether physical or psychological. For example, routine exercise is a valuable part of the hormone restoration process when properly applied (). However, true restoration does not mean just using hormone replacement therapy. It means getting back to the core of the dysfunction, and in this case, that means aiding in your body’s ability to manage stress on a day to day basis while also offering the necessary precursors that would allow your body to inherently make its own hormone. You can beat hormone deficiencies, even those related to stress. It just takes a game plan that is specific to you and your needs.
Is a Hormone Deficiency the Cause of Your Fatigue
The alarm clock buzzes and you wince as you roll over and hit snooze. All you want is just to sleep a little longer. If you only had another hour to sleep, it might make it better. You think to yourself it is only Tuesday. How am I going to pull myself through the rest of the week? Grudgingly, you finally pull yourself out of bed, your feet make their way to the floor and you begin dragging yourself through your day. Before the day even gets started, the thought of coming home at 5 o’clock already starts to sound good. But you know you must push yourself through the daily grind.
If this resembles you, you are not alone. The number of patients that I coming in with similar symptoms is countless. The day to day activities have become increasingly tiresome. It seems when I see patients suffering from similar presentations, the symptoms have been present for a while. There may have been efforts to try to alleviate the fatigue. The standard ones seem to present themselves repetitively. Maybe you have tried some B12, or energy drinks and supplements, coffee, or even going to the point of having your thyroid checked. If you are a man dealing with this in your middle ages, low testosterone was likely a consideration.
While not the only reason, a hormone deficiency is often the cause of fatigue, and many other symptoms. A hormone deficiency is often responsible for feeling unrefreshed when you wake in the morning, as well as becoming tired in the afternoon. If your levels are extremely low, you will feel tired at other times as well and maybe throughout the entire day. Living with a hormone deficiency is no way to live. You feel less than you know you should and it begins to ware on your after time. Lack of productivity makes you question your self-worth. Clearly, having a hormone deficiency is significant.
However, hormone deficiencies do not have to be a way of life. You do not have to live with the symptoms of a hormone deficiency such as fatigue, lack of motivation and low sex drive, just to name a few. Correcting a hormone deficiency can be a real life changer, literally! It is the difference between enjoying each day and continuing to feel like you are less than you know you truly are.If you are like many of my patients, you quickly realize after considering a few of these symptoms, that you indeed need to address your hormone deficiency. After all, no one wants to drag themselves through each day. Correcting your hormone deficiency means taking action. Hormone deficiencies don’t just go over time. In fact, they generally become worse. The first step is getting the right kind of testing. This means looking at the interplay between all of your hormones and not picking 1 or 2 to address. When you know the state of your hormone deficiency, only then can you set up a realistic plan to intervene.
I have seen the lowest of lows with my patients with they come in when it comes to fatigue and hormone deficiencies. I’m talking about levels low enough to make you question how someone ended up so deficient. Yet, nearly all of these patients turn a corner within a reasonable period of time. Their secret was nothing more than identifying their hormone deficiencies, and other possible sources of fatigue, and taking action.
If You Feel Hormonal, You Have A Hormone Deficiency
How do you know if you are Hormonal?
There is the cynical, but often accurate adage that you should beware of a female when it is her time of the month. “Look out, Jane is PMS-ing. If you push her she will snap at the slightest thing.” We have all heard these types of sayings. PMS, or premenstrual syndrome, is a real consideration for many women. It is often defined by irritability, mood changes, bloating, cramping, and increased cravings. The manifestation has become so common, and severe in some females, that traditional medicine has further labeled it as PMDD, or premenstrual depressive disorder. PMS, or PMDD, is often what has been simply called being “hormonal”.
What does it mean to be hormonal? This is a common presentation. Women in my clinic often tell me that they are hormonal for at least part of every menstrual cycle that they have, and if they are not, then they have dealt with it in the past. Yet, if being hormonal is so common, then there must be a common reason. Indeed there is. This reason is often related to progesterone. However, progesterone is just one hormone deficiency that manifests when you are hormonal. The bigger picture is that numerous hormones are deficient, and until these hormones are properly addressed, you are going to likely remain hormonal.
Many causes exist to create hormone deficiencies and imbalances that lead to becoming hormonal. Some of the more common causes are the chronic secretion of stress hormones, poor dietary choices, and lack of exercise. The typical picture is low progesterone and low or marginal levels of estrogen. Sometimes, the estrogen is elevated, but it is more often the imbalance between estrogen and progesterone.
Estrogen and progesterone have a unique balance that they must maintain to prevent you from becoming hormonal. It is a checks and balances system. Simply stated, estrogen stimulates. It stimulates the female brain and the estrogen sensitive tissues to change. A good example would be the breast. Many women begin to notice breast tenderness prior to menses. This is a good indication of low progesterone leaving the estrogen unchecked. Estrogen also serves the role of promoting fat and water retention. Think back to the PMS symptoms; irritability, moodiness, bloating, cramping and cravings. When you think about these classic symptoms of being hormonal as related to over stimulation or increasing water retention, it becomes easy to see the connection to estrogen. Regaining control over estrogen also means correcting the progesterone deficiency that you likely have.
It is likely that if you are suffering from hormone deficiencies contributing to being hormonal, you are also dealing with the effects of stress hormones. The stress hormone cortisol is notorious for stealing from progesterone to maintain its production. Much of the demand for cortisol comes from our lifestyle, but this is by no means the only source. We must also consider sources of inflammation for which there is a need for cortisol. One of the most common sources of inflammation is the diet. Fortunately however, just as a poor diet creates inflammation and leads to hormone deficiencies and becoming hormonal, so to can an adequate diet such as the Paleo Diet help correct some of the causes of hormone deficiencies.
Being hormonal is not a way of life. You are not cursed with it. It is simply the manifestation of dysfunction in the body secondary to a hormone deficiency. Our bodies depend on hormones. They are the chemical messengers that tell our body what to do throughout the day. If they provide the wrong message, you end up dealing with the wrong outcome. Thus, identifying your hormone deficiencies and working to correct them is key to overcoming being hormonal.
Hormone Deficiency is a Common Cause of Fatigue
Have you ever asked someone how they are doing today, only to hear the response, “I’m tired.” Unfortunately, the person that answered this way is in the majority. Many people are going throughout their lives living in a state of constant fatigue. Fatigue is more than just a simple annoyance. Rather, it suggests that the overall state of the body is less than optimal. However, rarely is anything done about it. Many just keep trying to push through. Eventually fatigue becomes a way of life. However, this is no way to live life.
In talking with healthcare providers across the country, one of the most common complaints that enter their clinics is fatigue. This problem is not isolated to Houston. Rather it is concern throughout the entire United States. Fatigue can seem illusive. It is correlated with many different states of dysfunction and disease. However, it is not specific to any one condition. When dealing with fatigue, finding answers can seem challenging. The likelihood of finding an answer can seem daunting if you have been dealing with if for some time. After all, there is no medication to take for fatigue. Occasionally approaches such as B12 injections are recommended, but while useful, they rarely get to the underlying reason for fatigue.
Fatigue can present many ways. It can be noticed as lack of energy upon rising in the morning after sleeping, decreased production during the day, a lull in motivation in the afternoon or even mental fog and gut dysfunction. However, of the many presentations of fatigue, the one that I see repetitively is hormone deficiency. Hormone deficiencies that cause fatigue tend to manifest as a result of the increased demand for the stress hormone cortisol. As more cortisol is needed to aid in accommodation to stress, the result is a state of hormone deficiency is created since a limited amount of hormone can be produced each day. Once this threshold is exceeded, hormone deficiencies begin to manifest.
This should come as no surprise. Ask yourself if you are dealing with more dealing with fatigue. Now, also be honest and ask if you are also dealing with more stress than what is considered ideal for your body. If the answer to both of these is yes, you are not by yourself. There are many others out there just like you. The difference however, is that you know see the connection between hormones and fatigue. If your fatigue feels more chronic and unrelenting, your hormone deficiencies are likely more severe and need immediate attention to help alleviate your symptoms. If you feel fatigued when your stress levels increase, this is speaking directly to you.
However, as with many things in healthcare, the cause provides us a solution when approached in a restorative manner. If a hormone deficiency is a primary cause of fatigue in today’s high stress environment, then identifying the cause of the production of the stress hormone cortisol is a must. To build levels back up, commonsense hormone restoration should be a consideration. However, this alone will not help keep your energy levels up. In addition, hormone deficiency related fatigue also occurs secondary to lack of exercise, a diet devoid of the right nutrients and cofactors, reduced ability to remove toxins from our body, and not taking the time to enjoy life.
One thing you should absolutely know about fatigue is that it does not have to be a way of life. You can overcome fatigue, but it takes knowing the more common causes. One of the most common is hormone deficiency. Deficiencies in multiple hormones can be associated with fatigue, but much of it can be linked back to the stress hormone cortisol. Therefore, a diligent approach to conquering fatigue means not only addressing the stress hormone cortisol, but also knowing how all of your hormones are being affected. Take this step and you will soon be on the path to improved health and wellness and fatigue will be a thing of the past.
Hormone Deficiencies & Male Hormones
“Low T Syndrome?”
You cannot turn on the television anymore without seeing an ad discussing male hormones. This has become big business. There is even the catchy name “low T syndrome”. We are not just talking about a state of health anymore. No! We have gone on to label this as a syndrome or condition. And what is being proposed to deal with it. Well, depending on the commercial, it is the masculine named hormone gel or the cleverly named natural product that is guaranteed to improve your sex life and help you lose the spare tire around your waist. They all sound amazing? But is it too good to be true? Well if we have to ask the question, then you have your answer.
Estrogen in men
Numerous men are dealing with hormone deficiencies and the related symptoms. Otherwise the commercials offering options for male hormone replacement would not be so prolific. While male hormone replacement therapy is likely part of the solution, it is not the entire answer. You need to truly establish your need. I have seen numerous male patients that have been told their male hormone testosterone is low. When I ask if the male hormone estrogen was checked, I often get a puzzled look. But wait, isn’t estrogen a female hormone? It is predominant in the female, but males have it also, just as females have testosterone. The increased conversion of testosterone to estrogen in males is a common problem, but one that is not often addressed. If you add testosterone to a male that is converting testosterone to estrogen, he continues to feel like less of a man. He might feel better short term, but not long term.
There are some real considerations that should be made when it comes to dealing with hormone deficiencies in males. First, do you have symptoms? Symptoms of male hormone deficiency, specifically, but not exclusively low testosterone, would include low motivation, low libido or sex drive, increased fat deposition, low muscle tone, loss of muscle strength, decreased morning erection, decreased fullness of erection and lack of stamina. Clearly from this list, there are reasons outside of sexual function. Unquestionably those are important, but they are not the only reason that males should pay attention to the hormone levels. Just consider the unmotivated, apathetic male in our society. They are not held with as much regard by peers as the male that is energetic and of a “go-getter” attitude.
Correcting male hormone deficiencies also means asking the basic question, why? Why have the male hormones started to become deficient? Is it solely a manifestation of age? While an 80 year old man should not have the testosterone of a 20 year old, they should be able to maintain a realistic amount to support normal bodily functions. However, what I too often see is the 30 year old starting to manifest male hormone levels that reflect what you might expect in a 70 year old. The creation of these hormone deficiencies is driven by increased demand for stress hormones to support our lifestyle choices. The wrong foods, lack of exercise, the wrong type of exercise, and lack of sleep are just a few.
Addressing male hormones is not difficult, but it is not as simple as popping a single pill or lathering up in cream. Recreating a balanced hormonal environment means balancing all the male hormones and their subsequent interactions and conversions to hormones like estrogen. After all, I don’t know many men volunteering for more estrogen. If you suffer from some of the symptoms that were noted, you obviously realize a hormone deficiency exists. The key is managing and correcting that deficiency such that you can have complete balance of all of your male hormones.