Hormonal imbalance in men is a very common problem today and is often ignored. Usually, imbalance of hormones is associated with women but in fact, men also experience this problem. Men above 30 years have higher risk of having a hormone deficiency and they experience depression, frequent mood swings and weak sex life.
The symptoms of andropause or hormonal imbalance in men becomes noticeable by the behavior and shape of the body. Below are various symptoms that come with hormone imbalance in men.
Gaining weight in the body
When the male sex hormone called testosterone becomes deficient in the body, males start to lose masculine look and gain muscle mass. With the lowering of testosterone in the body, the process of fat digestion becomes slower and this leads to increase in weight. Also, the increase in the level of cortisol in the body due to high stress increases the accumulation of fat cells in the body.
With the decrease or imbalance in the level of testosterone, the sperm count decreases. Testosterone is a luteinizing and follicle-stimulating hormone, which helps to keep the reproductive system in the best shape. As the cortisol levels increase, the male starts to lose libido.
The imbalance in the thyroid and testosterone hormone in the body leads to erectile dysfunction. The level of testosterone determines to what extent the body is efficient in performing its functions. Increased level of high prolactin in men also causes erectile dysfunction. Prolactin is a milk-making hormone, which is prominent in women, but pituitary gland in men produces a low level of prolactin in normal condition. But when it starts to produce more, it can lead to erectile dysfunction.
Men with hormone imbalance can feel tired even with sleeping for 8 hours on the last night. When the level of testosterone is low, it leads to sleeplessness and grogginess. Increased stress can create more cortisol, which disrupts the sleep cycle. High levels of this hormone lead to weakness and tiredness.
When there is low testosterone in the body, it gives a bad and low mood. The lessor overactive thyroid gland is the main reason for this. The thyroid is responsible for inducing a mood of motivation, sadness, happiness etc.
Loss of hair
The testosterone produced in the body gets converted into other molecules and one among them is DHT or dihydrotestosterone which causes baldness. With this enzyme hair becomes thin and weak.
Hormonal imbalance in men is caused due to a combination of factors including stress, past health problems, exposure to toxins, diet and the environment of working. Food allergies and gut related issues can also disrupt the balance of hormone levels in the body. By the current analogy, a leaky gut syndrome where the intestinal wall lacks the probiotic bacteria, which facilitates the absorbtion of nutrients is also responsible for the spike in unhealthy hormones in the body. The health issues such as obesity and diabetics lead to inflammation of gut and development of yeast, candida or other bad bacteria in the body. Moreover, being overweight, indulging in a sedentary lifestyle, susceptibility to genetic disorders, lack of sleep and exposure to toxins including alcohol, pesticides, viruses, cigarettes, and others results in an imbalance of hormone in men.
To test the imbalance in hormone levels, the doctor will suggest you certain tests depending on your age and specific hormones. The obvious test would be a blood test to measure the level of hormones in the bloodstream. This test gives an idea of the amount of testosterone, cortisol, DHEA, progesterone, estrogen and thyroid hormones in the blood. A nurse would draw the blood from the vein and give it to the laboratory personnel for testing its makeup in a test tube. Other than the blood test, the doctor would suggest urine test to determine the change of hormones through time. The urine test will be done once within a period to see the change or improvement. For this, buying a urine test kit might be necessary. The saliva test is used to measure the concentration of hormones. This involves chewing paraffin tablets for 3 minutes. The candidate should refrain from drinking or eating for two hours before doing the saliva test.
Do’s and Don’ts
Do’s for hormone imbalance in men
Consume saturated fats
To keep a balance of hormones in men, eating foods with good quality saturated fat is essential. Consume organic yogurt, cheese, ghee, red meat and organic chicken to get B12 and folic acid, which keeps the endocrine system in balance. You might have heard many times that cholesterol is bad for your body, but the recent research conducted this year shows otherwise. So have healthy amounts of cholesterol to help the glands secrete their hormones. Eating egg yolk also benefits to people to a great extent in this regard.
Consume minimally processed sugar
Eat foods that have almost no processed sugar. Sugar is known to disrupt the cycles of the hormonal system. The increase of sugar in the body increases the production of insulin, which wreaks havoc on the sex hormones such as testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen. This results in the increase of stress because of the secretion of adrenaline and cortisol. Substitute honey for processed sugar in your diet.
Eat a lot of leafy greens
Leafy greens such as bok choy, chard, kale, collards, lettuces, mustard greens, cilantro, parsley, dandelion greens, and others have antioxidants that neutralize and clean the toxins in the body. They pull excess hormones and calms the body.
Don’ts for hormone imbalance in men
Do not eat processed soy products
Processed soy products such as soy protein powder, soymilk, tofu, and soy protein powder are heavily processed and packed. These contain phytoestrogens, which emulate human estrogen and can negatively affect libido, fertility, thyroid health, pregnancy and others. If you like soy, stick to tempeh, shoyu, tamari, and miso.
Do not neglect the digestive issues
If digestive issues such as constipation, gas, bloating, or diarrhea go and come back frequently, it is important for you to go to a doctor and get a thorough examination of your gut and stomach.
Do not consume refined oils
The refined oils such as safflower oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, canola oil, vegetable oil and soybean oil are heavily processed and go rancid by the time they hit the store shelves. These oils disrupt the hormonal system and cause inflammations in the body.
Drink maca root tea
Maca root contains adaptogens, which boost the production of male sex hormones. It increases fertility and reverses hypothyroidism. Maca root is rich in potassium, calcium, iron, iodine, zinc, phosphorous, sterols, fiber, and protein. It improves health and energy of the body.
- Mix a cup of herbal tea, yogurt, juice or water with ¼ tsp of maca root powder.
- Drink this mixture every day for a few weeks.
- You can increase the quantity of maca powder from ¼ tsp to 2 tsp over a few weeks.
The pituitary gland is responsible for creating a lot of hormones in a human body. Its health is affected by the amount of Vitamin D in the body. It can lower estrogen, affect your appetite and weight. Vitamin D deficiency can release parathyroid hormone, which negatively affects the pituitary gland. Expose your body daily to sunlight for helping the body to make Vitamin D. Milk, cod liver oil, oily fish, and eggs are also rich in Vitamin D. If you have chronic Vitamin D deficiency.
Consequences if neglected
If hormone imbalance in men is neglected the immediate effect would be increased stress on the body. This results in disorders such as blood pressure, diabetics, enlargement of the heart, kidney stress, and poor digestive system. If neglected for long, it can lead to heart attacks, increased mood swings and depression.