When we talk about hormonal imbalance, we naturally assume we are talking about women, but men also experience natural periods of hormonal imbalance during their lifetime.
Risks to men of hormone imbalance
Men are also at risk of developing different hormonal imbalances than women because they have different endocrine organs and cycles.
Men experience imbalance at two natural life transitions: puberty and ageing and are also subject to certain medical conditions that affect them including prostate cancer and hypogonadism (low testosterone).
Symptoms of hormonal imbalances in men include:
– reduced sex drive
– erectile dysfunction (ED)
– low sperm count
– reduced muscle mass
– reduced body hair growth
– overdevelopment of breast tissue
– breast tenderness
Treatment for hormonal imbalances may vary depending on the cause. However three of the symptoms are related to the increase seen in men of oestrogen dominance such as osteoporosis, breast size increase and sensitivity, and these can often be helped by supplementing with progesterone.
While there has been no specific research done with regards to natural progesterone usage in men, there have been interesting reports from patients with prostate cancer which has been diagnosed both by blood test and biopsy. These patients have found that, as a result of using natural progesterone for about a year, the levels of PSA (Prostatic Specific Antigen) in their blood have decreased to normal levels.
The mechanism for this apparently beneficial effect of natural progesterone is not clear but may relate to progesterone being a precursor of testosterone.
Men as they get older have a tendency to produce less testosterone and more di-hydrotestosterone, which seems to have an over stimulating effect on cells.
Progesterone could have the effect of neutralizing the di-hydrotestosterone, which would thus help to maintain testosterone levels. It is also thought that progesterone may have an effect on the genetic coding of some cells, and in this prevents the development of abnormal cells.
Other treatment options for men with hormonal imbalances include testosterone medications which can help reduce symptoms of hypogonadism and other conditions that cause low levels of testosterone, such as delayed or stunted puberty.
Another major factor for hormone health is to implement any necessary lifestyle changes such as:
– maintaining a healthy body weight
– eating a nutritious and balanced diet
– exercising regularly
– practicing good personal hygiene, focusing on washing areas with a lot of natural oils, such as the face, neck, back, and chest
Lifestyle factors that affect both men and women:
– avoiding triggers that cause hot flushes, such as warm weather, tight synthetic clothing and spicy, rich, or hot foods and drinks
– reducing and managing stress
– avoiding packaged foods
– replacing older non-stick pans with ceramic pans
– using glass, not plastic, containers to store and heat foods and drinks
– restricting the use of cleaning products that contain toxic chemicals, such as bleach
– buying fruits and vegetables that have not been sprayed with pesticides or ripening chemicals
– not microwaving foods and drinks in plastics
Men are generally not as concerned, or informed, about their hormonal health as women are so please do pass on and share this information with them.