HORMONES – What About Men?

Last month we talked about Estrogen dominance and the fact that it may be somewhat epidemic for both genders. I am addressing this topic again from the male side of the issue because it is less talked about, and because the entire topic of hormone imbalance is greatly misunderstood. The vast majority of men are surprised to learn that estrogens are present in their bodies and that at low levels this “female” hormone actually contributes positively to their long-term health and well-being.   Male estrogens are essential for a solid libido, optimum brain function, healthy heart and strong bones, and are naturally produced in small quantities as a bi product of testosterone metabolism or conversion. Elevated male estrogen levels on the other hand, can lead to reduced strength and lean muscle mass loss, excessive body fat, especially in the chest and belly, hair loss, enlarged prostate and a decreased ability to produce testosterone. Men will usually notice a decrease in their youthfulness, vitality and sex drive. What causes this estrogen-testosterone imbalance? The stress of modern life, use of medications and alcohol, intake of emasculating foreign estrogenic-like compounds in processed, packaged foods (and even in our water supply) exposure to environmental contaminants, and excess body fat (which stimulates the production of even more estrogen) are all co contributors. Unfortunately, unless testosterone level tests show severely lowered levels, there is not much attention given to treatment for the great majority of men who suffer from mild or moderate symptoms of hormone imbalance. So, it is usually chalked up to “normal aging.” And the usual intervention in the form of replacement with synthetic...