There is so much written about women’s health and in particular hormonal health. Often we fail to realise that men’s hormonal health is just as important. I work with many male clients and guide and help them on improving their health using nutrition and functional medicine- finding and treating the underlying cause rather than treating the symptoms. Very often issues come to light that are as a direct result of hormonal dysregulation which can have a profound effect on both psychology and physiology. Working with nutrition and other aspects of well being these issues can often be resolved, or controlled. Things don’t happen over night and there is no silver bullet but with knowledge, and the right tools used correctly there can be many positive outcomes. I Look at the human body as a magnificent machine and the food consumed as fuel for this machine. Providing the optimal fuel for any machine will give optimal performance.!
Today we humans are generally over fed but under nourished. As we slowly deprive our bodies of what they need we end up with long term chronic health conditions that take a long time to resolve and sometimes never leave. For men this can manifest in issues which are related to oestrogen dominance.
WHAT? but oestrogen is a female hormone!
Males do have oestrogen and it is this hormone that can cause so much anguish if there is in-balance.
Oestrogen Dominance in men
Males often present with apple shaped obesity – fat accumulation around the abdomen. Finding they have thinner arms and legs often breast cell growth
Oestrogen has a major role to play here. Men naturally produce some oestrogen and we are all exposed to high levels of oestrogens from the environment that can enter our bodies, this can increase the amount of circulating hormone. On top of this, if men are overweight or obese, this can contribute to oestrogen overload- as oestrogen is manufactured in the fat cells.
Long term oestrogen in-balance has been linked to chronic disease. It is possible that Oestrogen dominance plays a role in prostate conditions. Male breast growth, - gynaecomastia and reduced sperm count,
As men age their testosterone levels diminish somewhat and if the level of oestrogen and -oestrogen look alike compounds is higher there can be some significant alterations in physiology.
Oestrogens are everywhere – medicines, perfumes, plastic residues. Fumes, plastics, industrial waste etc.
A high fat, high diary, low fibre diet is thought to increase the amount of oestrogen in the body as does, alcohol and excess insulin which is produced when the pancreas is over worked and under paid. Caused by consuming too many carbohydrates. The hormone insulin encourages fat cell accumulation.
Some Symptoms of oestrogen dominance in men
Difficulty putting on muscle
Redistribution of body fat- thin arms and legs
Breast growth- gynacomastia
Reduced body hair
Enlarged prostate gland
Hypoglycaemia- low blood sugar
The Liver to the rescue – but only if it is well nourished!
The liver is basically a great big incinerator breaking down toxic waste and then eliminating it via the bowel, the kidneys and the skin,
Oestrogen and oestrogen like compounds are detoxified by the liver along with all other toxins-alcohol, all the by products of metabolism- think of the liver as the house hold waste site of the human machine! If the liver has too many toxins to cope with, and if the diet is lacking in key nutrients that the liver needs to do its job, the toxins will be left to circulate. Just like at the house hold waste site- if the skips get full and are not attended to by the staff rubbish overflows and circulates around the site.!
With regards to oestrogen specifically, if left to accumulate in the body it has to park itself somewhere and goes to oestrogen receptors on specific cells –which are located in breast tissue and visceral fat tissue.- hence breast and belly fat can sometimes proliferate.
Then, if the body is accumulating excess energy, this turns to fat, fat cells manufacture oestrogen. If there are insufficient key nutrients for the liver to detoxify this excess oestrogen it may remain in the body and accumulate.
If some of this excess energy is from alcohol, The liver has to detoxify the alcohol as well as everything else. Excess alcohol leads to weight gain, fat cells manufacture oestrogen, oestrogen can not be detoxified as the liver is over worked .The cycle just keeps going!!!!
This is NOT an anti alcohol blog, but if you resonate with these issues, then you may need to consider some optimal liver support.
Its not all doom and gloom
Healthy oestrogen metabolism and ultimately detoxification and elimination can be obtained by ensuring you fuel your body with the key nutrients to support the liver detoxification processes.
You can see below the key nutrients the liver requires in order to function optimally.
How to support your liver nutritionally
The liver needs key vitamins and minerals to do its job efficiently.
If you are undernourished and lacking the key vitamins and minerals your liver requires to eliminate all these toxins, they will accumulate in your body. If oestrogen is one of them this can cause various symptoms some of which I have listed above.
Some key nutrients are essential for optimal liver function.
Sulphurous compounds from cruciferous vegetables
The antioxidant glutathione
Obviously we can get these key essential nutrients from our diets. By eating as natural a diet as possible. Unprocessed with a variety of fruits and vegetables and good quality proteins.
However very often if in oestrogen dominance, or you have leaky gut syndrome,
or you are stressed,
Then you may need a more targeted approach of nutritional support taking digestive enzymes, pro biotics, and key potent well absorbed formulations to support your liver detoxification process.. As well as ensuring the food you consume is supporting your amazing machine!
So whilst you may not be able to control your exposure to oestrogen, you CAN support the way your body handles it.
If you would like more information on how I can help support you with this or many other health issues, why not book a complimentary discovery call with me to help you become your very own Hero!