That’s right folks it’s here again! Movember. The month of thick beards and Men’s health awareness. If you read my blog last year, I explained the origin of the event and what it all stands for. In the short form, men from all over the world stop shaving in the month of November to show their support for men’s health awareness. Contests for the best beard or mustache take place to raise money for a variety of causes associated specifically with men’s health. The movement has gained so much attention over the years that it is hard to find one who is not aware of the event. This Movember’s blog spot is not to explain the logistics or cause but to expand more on men’s hormones and how you can support them naturally through diet, exercise and nutritional supplements.
What is the number one hormone that most people associate when they think of men? That’s right – testosterone. It wasn’t until I attended Chiropractic school for my training that I gained a vast knowledge on the way testosterone interacts within the male body but also the other important hormones and how they must all be in synchrony for ideal function. Men also need an optimal balance of hormones like estrogen, DHEA, Cortisol, and Androstenidione! These are the common hormones associated with the androgen steroid pathways. Let’s talk about them individually and how they can impact overall men’s health.
Testosterone is a naturally occurring hormone that is made mainly in the testicles of men but also made in small amounts in the adrenal glands. Low testosterone is one of the first topics most of my male patients jump to when they feel they are not at an ideal state as they feel. It is worth investigation and if low, we must look at why. Lower levels are often associated with older men and often the medical community will prescribe testosterone as a drug to try to balance the deficiency. It sounds good in theory, right…? Sure, but is it that easy…? I think not. What most men don’t realize is that testosterone can convert into estrogen through the enzyme aromatase. Chrysin is a nutritional part that can help balance this pathway should it be over converting. The best way to know is to check hormonal levels and other associated markers to see if this is in proper balance. After your test results are evaluated and treatment plans developed and carried out, then it is time to retest. What good is a test if you are not going to follow-up with results to see if the treatment strategies are working?
Next, let’s talk about DHEA. DHEA is and abbreviation for a precursor hormone called dehydroepiandrosterone. This important hormone is present in both men and women but much important to help men create and keep up healthy testosterone levels. I heard a lot about DHEA during my rugby career as the goal of these élite athletes was to build body mass and strength to be able to run the opponent over. The idea behind the more natural support was that if you had more DHEA then you create more potential to increase testosterone levels. According to a recent article posted on livestrong.com, DHEA can help treat erectile dysfunction, build muscle mass, and improve physical performance. (1)
The consensus with the picture of optimal hormonal patterns in men is that they are in balance from the point of production to the point of degradation. Until recently it was hard to test where the hormones went after they were produced and how fast or not so fast they were breaking down. You can now use a variety of take-home testing methods to interpret a complete picture of your hormones. The D.U.T.C.H. test is an acronym for dried urine test for comprehensive hormones. We use this test in our office and Dr. Mercola also recommends the test as another picture of what your hormones are doing clinically. (2) This is the newest test being used by practitioners for an extra window to balancing your body’s chemistry. If you feel your hormones are out of balance, then get busy testing your bodies profile so no questions remain unanswered.
Andrew J Kender III DC
November 20, 2016
Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. Andrew Kender, Dr. Robert Nichols, Dr. Jessica Eckman, Chiropractic Physicians