Although he was basically healthy, fit, and buff, his breasts had suddenly started to grow and now looked more like a woman’s than a young stud’s. In addition, he had lost his sex drive and his ability to perform sexually. He was pretty disturbed.
It turned out that he had recently begun taking a medication to help him regrow his prematurely balding hair, and this medication had somehow interfered with his hormones. Stopping the drug and starting a supplement program to balance his hormones helped.
TIME TO THINK ABOUT BEACH BODIES
We were recently fortunate enough to spend a few days on the beach. While we were there we were blown away by the awesome bodies we saw. But not the way you might think. There were lots of large, bobbling breasts on display, but not only on the women.
(caption: pretty awesome, huh?)
Big breasts on men were rampant everywhere. This situation is called gynecomastia. It is not only a cosmetic issue. Gynecomastia is usually a symptom of an imbalance between male hormones like testosterone and female hormones like estrogen.
Both men and women always have both male and female sex hormones. It is the balance between the two that determines our characteristics. To be healthy, women need to have a preponderance of female hormones, and men need to have a high ratio of male to female hormones.
Gynecomastia happens when men experience a decrease in their testosterone/estrogen ratio. But it is not all that happens in such cases. A collection of problems called “andropause” can occur. Andropause can include erectile dysfunction, depression, irritability, and other mood disorders, fatigue, “burnout,” and a variety of other problems.
ANDROPAUSE AND METABOLIC SYNDROME
Andropause often happens along with the development of what is called “metabolic syndrome,” a combination of obesity, diabetes (or prediabetes), cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure. In fact, andropause contributes to metabolioc syndrome, and metabolic syndrome leads to andropause.
Fat cells secrete a hormone that converts testosterone to estrogen. And the lower the testosterone/estrogen ratio gets, the more fat gets deposited. So it creates a vicious cycle. In this vicious cycle the changing hormone ratio leads to more progression of the metabolic syndrome, which means more heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes, as well as more obesity.
It’s not only metabolic syndrome that causes andropause. Exposure to environmental estrogens can change a man’s hormone ratios and lead to gynecomastia and other symptoms of andropause. In fact, some researchers have stated that we are all “swimming in an ocean of estrogen,” because many chemicals have estrogenic effects. We are exposed to estrogen and related compounds from birth control pills and hormone replacement medications that enter the water supply through the urine of the patients who use them, and are not cleared by water treatment processes. But in addition, BPA, which is famous for leaching into water bottles, is estrogenic in nature. BPA and related chemicals are used to line aluminum food cans, and make up part of cash register and credit card receipts. Other chemicals called phthalates and parabens are used as softening agent in a wide variety of consumer products and even cosmetics. Many pesticides and herbicides are estrogenic in effect and leave residues in our water supply. And, don’t forget the young man who developed gynecomastia and impotence from a medication he took to regrow his balding hair.
WE CAN HELP
Fortunately, we have ways of addressing these problems.
We help people by measuring hormone levels and prescribe nutritional programs that can help shift hormones back to the way they are supposed to be. We help you avoid toxic exposures and detoxify your system. And we work with you to modify your diet and exercise patterns to help you lose weight and heal the manifestations of metabolic syndrome, the diabetes or prediabetes, the heart disease, and/or the high blood pressure.
Call us at 303-394-4204. We can help.