Male hormones and herbal testosterone support is a key factor when when discussing men's health. Unfortunately, men speaking about their health openly is still taboo, due to years of generational masculinity stereotyping and misguidance. However, taking a look at male hormones alone could help so many men dealing with specific struggles.
Before we jump into our post let's first take a look at some men's health stats:
-Men are 4x's more likely to commit suicide than women
-Men are 24% less likely to have visited a doctor in the past 12 months
-On average, men live 5-7 year less than women
-30,000+ men die from prostate cancer a year
-40% of men 20 years and over are obese
-50% of testicular cancer diagnosis has been found in ages 20-34
-Inactive men are 60% more likely to suffer from depression than those who are active
-Men who sleep 7-8 hours a night have 60% less risk of fatal heart attack than those who sleep 5 hours or less
-Drinking more than 10 drinks a week doubles your risk fro type 2 diabetes
-Only 30% of a man's overall health is determined by genetics, 70% is controllable through lifestyle
What are hormones?
Hormones are chemical messengers within the body. As messengers, they travel through the bloodstream to tissues and organs to help them work properly. Hormones tend to work slowly and can affect a number of different processes in the body such as growth and development, metabolism, sexual function and reproduction, mood.
Men and women have the same hormones. However, each gender has varying hormone levels based on their needs. Due to this, men and women experience different problems when it comes to deficiencies.
Where are male hormones produced?
The primary hormones involved in the functioning of the male reproductive system are follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH) and testosterone. FSH and LH are produced by the pituitary gland.
Male hormones like testosterone are produced by the gonads by the Leydig cells. Small quantities of testosterone are also produced by the adrenal glands in both sexes. It is an androgen, meaning that it stimulates the development of male characteristics.
Men also have progesterone, which is a more dominant female hormone, but males need progesterone to produce testosterone. The adrenal glands and testes in males produce progesterone.
What is the purpose of testosterone in men?
The most important male sex hormone is testosterone. Testosterone contributes to: puberty, penis and testes size, facial and body hair, sex drive, sperm production, fat distribution, red cell production, maintenance of muscle strength and mass.
While testosterone is mainly seen as being responsible for sex drive and sperm count, it also plays a part in all organs within the body: heart, brain, bones, liver, kidneys, skin and more.
Some example symptoms of low testosterone are: decreased mood and energy, loss of muscle mass and strength, decreased facial and body hair, erectile dysfunction, loss of sex drive, anemia, sudden, unexplained weight loss, excessive sweating, difficulty sleeping and headaches, changes in heat and cold sensitivity, dry skin or skin rashes, changes in heart rate and blood pressure, irritability, anxiety, depression, increased thirst and frequent urination.
An example of how the hormones work with decreased hair loss is that when androgens such as testosterone and DHT fluctuate, it can shrink hair follicles and shorten the usual hair growth cycle which can result in hair loss and thinning.
What is the Male reproductive system?
The male reproductive system contains the external genitals (the penis, testes and the scrotum) and internal parts, including the prostate gland, vas deferens and urethra. A man's fertility and sexual traits depend on the normal functioning of the male reproductive system, as well as hormones released from the brain.
Can you locate a hormone deficiency?
Yes, make an appointment with your health care practitioner for these tests:
What causes male hormone imbalance?
Male hormones tend to steadily decrease after the age of 20. By age 40, most men retain only half of their original hormones, and by age 80 they typically retain only 5%.
Aging plays a role in male hormone balance however, it is NOT inevitable. They can be affected by other factors such as activity level, diet, genetics, injuries, medications, and stress.
For example, someone who is active and eats a well balanced diet can retain and balance more of their hormones versus someone who is less active and has a bad diet.
Conditions related to low testosterone: depression, obesity, osteoporosis, diabetes, erectile dysfunction, inflammatory disease, alcohol or opiod use, cardiovascular disease, prostate cancer, metabolic syndrome, HIV/AIDS.
It can also be caused by certain medications: blood pressure medication, cholesterol medication, narcotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, antidepressants, cigarettes, and acid blockers.
Majority of male hormone imbalances fall within these 4 categories.
Andropause: Or male menopause.
Adrenal fatigue: High stress and prolonged stress can cause your adrenal glands to lower the production of cortisol.
Hypothyroidism: A condition where the thyroid gland becomes underactive.
Hyperthyroidism: A condition where the thyroid gland becomes overactive.
How to restore male hormone balance?
Best practices for restoring hormone balance in men are to:
-reduce levels of stress
-get good quality sleep
-beware of excessive estrogen in environmental toxins
-consistent strength training
-eat a balanced diet: one low in sugar and focused on a healthy gut
Best herbs for male hormone balance?
There are two things to look at when creating healthy hormone balance, adrenals and testosterone.
As we covered earlier stress plays a huge factor on our hormone balance. Chronic stress leads to dysfunction in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis that is responsible for detecting a threat and the body’s response to that danger. Prolonged stress may lead to changes in cortisol levels. Cortisol is a main stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands.
The way to support your adrenals through herbs is with adaptogenics which are herbs that help the body adapt to stress.
Adaptogenic herbs are herbs such as Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, Eleuthero, Tulsi,, Cordyceps, Ginseng, Licorice, Maca, Gotu Kola, Shatavari, Moringa, Schisandra, Bacopa, Astragalus, Milk Thistle, Amla, Suma, Lycium, Bilberry, He shou wu, Dang shen.
Additional support for testosterone are herbs like damiana, saw palmetto, yohimbe, puncturevine, fenugreek, ginger, chinese lovage, desert broomrape, tribulus, dodder, cnidium, dong quai, morinda, sarsaparilla, bois bande, linseed, sea moss, tonkat ali, chaney root, mondia whitei.
*The statements made within this website have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These statements and the products of this company are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult your physician before implementing any new herbs or supplements in your diet.
There are many ways to support healthy male hormone function and men's health. If asking for help is something that doesn't come easy to you as a male and you are reading this, I hope it helped shed some light.
As woman, I obviously have men in my life and want to help and support them as much as they need. The health industry pushes hormonal, mental health, and wellness for women more than they do for men which should change.