If you regularly experience exhaustion, anxiety, brain fog, low sex drive, or weight gain, you may have a hormonal imbalance. Your endocrine system controls the level of hormones circulating in the body. And when even one hormone is out of balance, it can cause unpleasant symptoms and major health problems. Think of hormones as messengers that travel through the bloodstream to deliver marching orders to another gland or organ. If these messages are not delivered properly, trouble occurs. While women are thought to have more hormonal issues than men, this really isn’t true. And sadly, this has made it difficult for men to get the diagnosis and treatment they need.
But there are certain signs that men can identify, which point to a hormonal imbalance.
Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance
- Breast Enlargement
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Poor memory And Concentration
- Belly Fat
- Excessive Sweating
- Hair Loss
- Low Libido
- Digestive Issues
How to balance Hormones
- Eat A Nutrient-dense Diet
- Keep Your Sugar Levels Balanced
- Manage Your Stress
- Get Enough Rest
Testosterone, the male sex hormone, is what gives men their masculine features and appearance. But if you have a male hormone imbalance, your testosterone levels are decreased. Besides that, estrogen, the female sex hormone increases which can cause breast enlargement. You might not notice it at first because it happens slowly. Some men might think they’re simply gaining weight and try to take preventative measures, like working out. But, all the exercise in the world won’t decrease your chest size if you’re suffering from a hormone imbalance.
When your testosterone levels aren’t functioning properly, it can cause other important hormones in your body to react negatively, like the thyroid hormone. Abnormal levels of these hormones combined can cause erectile dysfunction. Prolactin is another hormone that can be affected which is produced by the pituitary gland. This hormone makes breast milk in women but can cause problems for men when testosterone levels fall, causing erectile dysfunction as well. It’s important to speak to a doctor as soon as you notice symptoms associated with Erectile Dysfunction. You could need medication to get your hormone levels back on track.
Poor memory And Concentration
If you find yourself forgetting your purse or wallet on the regular basis or have problems concentrating or focusing at work, these lapses also might be a sign that your hormones, specifically cortisol is out of balance. When you are stressed for a long period of time, your adrenal glands become fatigued and can no longer produce adequate amounts of cortisol. And when your cortisol levels are low, this can affect your cognitive functions like memory and focus.
Insomnia can be linked to a dysregulated hypothalamic pituitary adrenal or HPA axis, which is your central stress response system. This is where your endocrine system and central nervous system interact. It’s also responsible for regulating the sleep-wake cycle through the release of hormones, such as melatonin and cortisol. Melatonin works on the part of the brain that controls our circadian rhythm, allowing us to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. An inability to secrete melatonin may result in difficulty falling asleep or adjusting to a new sleep pattern. Similarly, when your cortisol levels are too high in the evening, you may have trouble falling asleep and feel wired but tired in the evening.
The average person adds one to two pounds around the middle every year from age 35 to 55, for a total of 20 to 40 pounds of belly fat. Even if with regular exercise and eating well, most individuals cannot lose weight and keep it off. For many, the problem is an underlying hormone imbalance. In Men, Progesterone levels start to fall in their forties. This significant decrease in progesterone production causes estrogen dominance. This leads to excess fat getting stored around the waists, belly, spare tires and man boobs. Fat cells produce even more estrogen and this leads to even greater estrogen dominance. In addition, your thyroid gland function can be impaired causing your metabolism to slow down or your pancreas to release extra insulin, the fat storage hormone.
Some people notice their skin is sweatier than the skin of other people. Others wake up in the middle of the night sweating excessively for no reason. Both can be signals that your hormones are imbalanced. Hormones regulate body temperature. If not balanced, you can experience unusual temperature changes. There may be times where you are wearing a sweater to keep warm when your friends are wearing t-shirts and shorts. Or, you may be wearing light clothing and no coat in winter, when everyone else is freezing. If this sounds familiar, it is time to meet with a hormone expert.
When you’re suffering from a male hormone imbalance, your testosterone doesn’t function properly. If you’re experiencing thinning or weak hair or hair loss, it could be due to a particular enzyme called dihydrotestosterone, also known as DHT. This enzyme is extremely potent and caused by low levels of testosterone. You might also notice that your hair growth is stunted, which can lead to baldness. If you don’t think genetics is at play with your hair loss, it could be a male hormone imbalance wreaking havoc on your body.
Besides dealing with Erectile Dysfunction, a low libido all together could also be a sign of a male hormone imbalance. Normally, testosterone works in conjunction with the luteinizing hormone to maintain a healthy reproductive system. But, when testosterone levels fall, it results in a low sex drive. Sperm production can also be affected and may lead to infertility if not treated. Especially if you’re under high levels of chronic stress, you should get checked out to ensure that your cortisol hormones aren’t causing problems, too.
Cortisol hormone is important for regulating your sleep patterns. If it’s high or low, you could be experiencing tiredness or weakness even after a full night’s rest. And, if your testosterone is also low, you may feel groggy all the time. It’s important to pay close attention to how much rest you’re getting and if you notice that you’re always tired, it can’t hurt to get your testosterone levels checked.
There are more neurotransmitters in your gut than there are in the brain, so it should be no surprise that anxiety and depression are sometimes accompanied by digestive symptoms. Hormones influence gut function through the microbiome and bacterial system in your intestines. So, a hormone imbalance can impact the population and function of the bacteria in your gut, leading to symptoms like bloating, diarrhea, or nausea.
Depression and anxiety can stem from dealing with other issues related to a male hormone imbalance. Or, it could be due to low testosterone. If you’re noticing mood swings, a lack of motivation or unexplained sadness, it might be time to have your testosterone levels checked. It could also be an underactive thyroid causing your issues which can be easily treated with medication. Don’t let the blues get you down permanently. Talk to your doctor as soon as you notice symptoms of depression. Depression can be a deadly disorder when not treated properly.
How you can balance hormones naturally?
Eat A Nutrient-dense diet
Adopting a whole foods diet rich in antioxidants, dark, leafy greens, and healthy fats is a must to correct hormonal imbalance. Cut out inflammatory, processed foods and replace with fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Eliminating certain foods can also help to keep your hormones happy. Dairy is a common offender when it comes to hormonal imbalance. Identifying your personal food triggers, not only helps in eliminating irritating food but in supporting proper detoxification of hormones as well.
Keep Your Sugar Levels Balanced
Keeping blood sugar levels balanced is key to bring your hormones back to balance. Swapping high-glycemic foods like refined white flours for complex carbohydrates like whole grains, and including more fresh fruit instead of sugary treats will help to establish more stable blood sugar levels. Relying on long-burning sources of fuel like healthy fats, protein, and fiber and eating regularly throughout the day will also support balanced blood sugar levels.
Manage Your Stress
Ever noticed how stress can bring on a breakout, or a migraine? These are examples of the effects of stress on your hormones. And prolonged stress can influence larger hormonal imbalance as cortisol increases inflammation and disrupts the production of hormones like progesterone. Managing stress is necessary to bring hormones back to balance. Incorporating daily practices into your routine like meditation, exercise and self-care are great tools for managing stress.
Get Enough Rest
Sleep is key for recovery and strengthens all efforts with your diet and reducing stress levels. Without enough sleep, cortisol and insulin are negatively impacted which will keep you in the loop of hormonal imbalance. Establish a good sleep routine. Go to sleep and wake up around the same time each day, and allow for 7 or more hours in bed each night.