Balanced hormones play a crucial role in the health of your entire body and mind. Hormonal imbalances are becoming more and more common, and they can cause many different symptoms depending on which hormones are high or low. People often don’t understand the importance of hormones, and how much they can affect quality of life. Let’s take a look at a few hormones that are commonly out of balance.
Testosterone is a hormone typically associated with men’s health. However, women need it too, but at lower levels than men. Testosterone plays a role in the production of sperm, red blood cells and muscle mass. It also plays a role in fat distribution, and helps regulate bone mass and sex drive. Testosterone is still being studied and researchers continue to learn more about how important this hormone is. Testosterone production often declines with age, and production may also decrease due to environmental toxins or certain health conditions.
Many men suffer from low testosterone, and symptoms may vary from person to person. Possible symptoms of low testosterone can include: fatigue, erectile dysfunction, hair loss, depression, poor memory, increased body fat, and decreased muscle mass, bone mass, and sex drive. Testosterone production often declines with age, and production may also decrease due to environmental toxins or certain health conditions. Some other things that can contribute to low testosterone include excess body fat (especially abdominal fat), high estrogen levels, and exposure to endocrine disruptors. Endocrine disruptors are substances that interfere with hormones and can be found in plastic, fragranced products like soap and perfume, and many other things.
Estrogen is a hormone found in both men and women, but is found in much higher amounts in women. It is plays a role in a healthy sex drive and healthy female development during puberty. Estrogen is also involved in reducing bone loss, increasing skin quality, and even helps regulate cholesterol production. This hormone has many different functions which is why it is so important to have healthy estrogen levels. However, a condition often known as estrogen dominance is on the rise. As discussed above, we are exposed to endocrine disruptors every day, and many of these chemicals mimic estrogen in the body. This can lead to unnaturally high levels of estrogen, which can increase your risk of certain cancers.
Symptoms of an estrogen imbalance in women can include headaches, decreased sex drive, mood swings, breast tenderness, bloating, sleeping issues, anxiety, weight gain, etc. Men who may be suffering from an estrogen dominance may experience symptoms like mood swings, erectile dysfunction, infertility, and increased breast tissue growth.
Even when estrogen levels are balanced, they don’t always metabolize into the healthy forms. Estrogen is metabolized into many different forms. Some of these estrogen metabolites have more carcinogenic potential than others, this is why we have many of our patients take DIM 150. DIM is derived from cruciferous vegetables and helps the body metabolize estrogen into weaker, safer forms. While DIM is still being studied extensively, it has already shown potential in possibly reducing breast and prostate cancer risk.
Progesterone is another chemical that is mostly associated with women, but men also produce small amounts of it. In men, progesterone is necessary for testosterone production, and low progesterone levels can contribute to hair loss. In women, progesterone plays an important role in many different functions and processes. While its main function is to ensure the uterus is prepared for a healthy pregnancy, it also works with estrogen to help promote healthy bone density. Symptoms of low progesterone in women can include irregular menstrual cycles, depression, anxiety, headaches, and possibly infertility and pregnancy difficulties.
There are some supplements that may help with maintaining healthy hormone levels. These include:
- Testo Essentials – Testo Essentials is a combination of natural herbal ingredients designed to help support healthy sexual activity and overall vitality in men.*
- DIM 150 – Diindolylmethane (DIM) is a metabolite of indole-3-carbinol, a nutrient found in cruciferous vegetables. Studies have shown that DIM promotes healthy estrogen metabolism in both men and women by positively shifting the metabolism of estrogen toward protective 2-hydroxyestrogen metabolites instead of the 16-hydroxyestrone.†
- Progest-Avail – Progest-Avail™ is formulated to be used by women of reproductive age as well as by menopausal and postmenopausal women in order to ease any potential unpleasant effects of hormone imbalances and the normal hormonal fluctuations that occur with aging.
- Evening Primrose Oil – Evening primrose supports cartilage and joint function, neuroendocrine and cognitive health, skin and connective tissue health, and helps maintain nerve function, and cardiovascular health.†
Taking certain supplements may help provide the nutrients your body may be lacking, and they may help ensure detoxification pathways are open. Eating a diet high in organic fruits and vegetables may also be helpful in maintaining healthy levels of hormones. Choosing organic foods is important due to the hormonal disruption some pesticides can cause. Healthy hormones are vital to your health, so choose organic foods, naturally fragranced soaps and other products, and reduce plastic usage.
You can listen to our The Delicate Dance of Balancing Hormones podast episode where we discuss the importance of hormones here. You can also listen to it on our YouTube channel here.