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Uncovering Hidden Health Risks: A Guide to Common Hormone-Related Issues in Men
You may be thinking, “Wow, this sounds about as exciting as watching paint dry,” but take a breath because we’re about to dive into hormones' vital role in giving you the best life possible.
And we all want that, right?
Come on then; we promise this blog will serve as your go-to guide on exactly how to treat your body like the temple that it is!
Off we go!
What are hormones?
Let’s start off strong by defining what hormones are.
Hormones are chemical messengers in our body that control various functions, from growth and development to mood and energy levels. You’ll have gotten very acquainted with them during your teenage years!
In men, hormones play a crucial role in maintaining our overall health, and when our hormones are out of whack, it can lead to a whole host of issues.
For example, low testosterone levels can lead to decreased muscle mass, increased body fat, and a decreased sex drive. Not sounding like a good time? Because it isn’t! On the other hand, high estrogen levels can lead to “man-boobs”. Still, estrogen imbalance might be the answer if you’re wondering why you look more like Pamela Anderson than David Hasselhoff.
High estrogen levels also decrease the ability to grow a full beard, so if you’ve struggled to muster more than a few chin hairs over the years, it could be a sign that estrogen is getting in the way. And let’s face it; patchy beards are frustrating to deal with!
But never fear, my friends, all is not lost. There are simple steps you can take to help maintain a healthy hormonal balance, such as eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly. And if you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can try implementing some yoga poses into your routine or take up a bit of meditation. Trust me, your mind and body (and possibly your partner) will thank you.
Understanding the connection between hormones and overall health is key to maintaining a happy, healthy, and hormonally balanced life. So, embrace your manhood and don’t be afraid to take care of yourself. Self-care is for the guys too!
Now we’ve covered what hormones are, let’s look at how each hormone directly impacts your body.
Understanding Your Hormones
If you didn’t get well acquainted with your hormones during your teenage years, now is as good a time as ever!
Hormones play a vital role in regulating our bodies in both men and women. However, men can face various hormone-related health problems, some of which can be quite serious if not properly considered and treated. We’ll cover those shortly!
First, let’s get a wrap on those pesky hormones and what they do in your body:
- Testosterone: Testosterone is the male sex hormone that is responsible for maintaining muscle mass, bone density, and sex drive.
- Dihydrotestosterone (DHT): DHT is a testosterone derivative responsible for hair growth and the development of male characteristics during puberty. High levels of DHT can lead to hair loss, so it’s important to have your DHT levels checked if you’re experiencing any hair loss or thinning.
- Luteinizing Hormone (LH): LH is produced by the pituitary gland and stimulates testosterone production in the testes. Low levels of LH can lead to low testosterone levels, so it’s important to have your LH levels checked if you’re experiencing symptoms of low testosterone.
- Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH): FSH is also produced by the pituitary gland (busy pituitary gland!) and also stimulates the production of sperm in the testes. Low levels of FSH can lead to infertility, so it’s important to check your FSH levels if you’re trying to conceive and are having trouble.
- Estrogen: Estrogen is typically thought of as a female hormone, but men also produce and need a certain amount of estrogen for overall health. High estrogen levels in men can lead to the development of “man-boobs” and decreased ability to grow a full beard, as we mentioned in the introduction of this blog. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, you might benefit from checking your estrogen levels.
- Thyroid Hormones: The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate metabolism and energy levels. Low thyroid hormone levels can lead to fatigue and weight gain, while high levels can lead to weight loss and increased heart rate. If your energy levels are waning or your weight fluctuates at extreme rates, these are the hormones to look at.
- SHBG (Sex Hormone Binding Globulin): This is a protein produced by the liver that binds to and regulates the levels of testosterone and estradiol levels in the bloodstream. It helps maintain a balance of these hormones by making them unavailable to bind to cells and exert their effects, keeping their levels in the blood in check. The amount of SHBG in the body can be influenced by factors such as age, weight, and other hormones.
A complete hormone assessment, such as the Saguaro Bloom at-home Men’s Complete Hormone Assessment, will indicate if you have an imbalance with any of these hormones.
And men, you need to pay attention to this stuff. The earlier, the better!
Invest in your health and hormones now because, unfortunately, imbalanced hormones can lead to those serious health problems we hinted at.
Interest peaked now?
Here are the most common hormone-related health problems that men face:
- Low Testosterone: Testosterone is the primary male hormone regulating muscle mass, bone density, and sexual function. Low testosterone levels in men can lead to decreased energy, muscle weakness, and decreased libido.
- Erectile Dysfunction: This is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse. Physical and psychological factors often cause it, but hormonal imbalances can also play a role.
- Prostate Problems: The prostate is a small gland located near the bladder and is responsible for producing semen. As men age, the prostate can enlarge and cause problems such as urinary difficulty and an increased risk of prostate cancer.
- Gynecomastia: This is a condition where men develop excessive breast tissue, causing them to have a typically feminine appearance. An imbalance of hormones often causes it, particularly increased estrogen levels.
- Adrenal Fatigue: The adrenal glands produce hormones such as cortisol, which help regulate stress and metabolism. Adrenal fatigue occurs when the adrenal glands become overworked and stop functioning properly, leading to fatigue, weakness, and decreased immunity.
- Thyroid Disorder: The thyroid is a gland located in the neck that produces hormones that regulate metabolism. When the thyroid is not functioning properly, it can lead to conditions such as hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid).
Surely you want your body to have the energy to do all the things that you love?
Whether that’s to wear what you like and feel confident, play sports every weekend with your friends or take care of your kids and grandkids into your old age.
We’re all guilty of taking our bodies for granted, thinking they’ll keep the cogs turning forever. But if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it may be your body’s cry for help, and you need to answer!
Hormone-related health problems are ridiculously common, but if left untreated, they can deplete your life of joy.
If you suspect you may have a hormone-related health problem, take a complete hormone assessment and speak to your medical provider about appropriate treatment.
Thankfully, you can keep your hormones in good balance in many ways, and because we’re so generous, we’ll explain what you can do!
Taking Care of Your Body
So, how can you give your body that all-important TLC?
None of it is rocket science; you likely already know what you need to do, but one of the hardest things we experience as humans are sticking to habits.
Hence, we’re here to give you a lil’ nudge in the right direction as a friendly reminder.
Here are some tips for taking care of your health and fitness:
- Exercise Regularly: Yup, dust that gym membership off and get outside. Regular exercise is essential for maintaining a healthy weight, building muscle, and reducing the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes. Give yourself a gentle push and aim for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.
- Eat a Balanced Diet: A double-cheese burger from Five Guys occasionally won’t do you much harm. But it’s all about balance. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats can help you maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and support overall health.
- Get Enough Sleep: Swap your phone for a book before bed and prioritize those Zzzs. We often disregard just how important sleep is to humans. Sleep is essential for physical and mental recovery, so aim for at least 7-9 hours each night, even if it means one less episode on Netflix!
- Avoid Harmful Habits: This one goes without saying. Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and drug use can negatively affect your health and well-being, so avoid these habits. We always advise seeking the right professional help if you are struggling with them. A problem shared is a problem halved, after all!
- Manage Stress: Stress can be unavoidable, but managing it is integral. Chronic stress can harm your health, so finding ways to manage stress, such as meditation, deep breathing, or physical activity, is important.
- Get regular check-ups: Regular check-ups with a doctor can help you stay on top of your health and detect potential issues early. This includes regular screenings for diseases like heart disease, prostate cancer, and diabetes and regular hormone assessments to ensure your hormones are in balance.
- Stay Active: It goes hand in hand with exercise. Engage in activities you enjoy because you’ll be more likely to stick to them. Playing sports, hiking, or biking might get your endorphins buzzing, and they’ll do wonders for helping you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
If you give these tips your best effort, there’s no doubt your body will benefit from them, and you’ll be doing what you can to lead a healthy life.
Remember, your health is your most valuable asset; ensure you take care of it!
Saguaro Bloom’s at-home Men’s Complete Hormone Assessment will get you the results to track your hormone levels and overall health. With our traditional and leading-edge diagnostics, you can access your lab results through our easy-to-digest intuitive data via your online health profile.
We are committed to helping you understand your health and what you can do to improve it.