Hormones control everything from our reproductive functions to our mood, our sleep, even our appearance.
We have well over 200 hormones in our body working at any given time completing thousands of jobs simultaneously. Hormonal imbalance can lead to serious disease.
Hormones control our metabolism, our mood, our energy, strength and vitality, our immune function, brain health, and sleep patterns among other things. Hormones keep us youthful and healthy levels corelate to how many years we will be lucky enough to clock on this planet. When hormones are chronically imbalanced, we can suffer serious illnesses and early demise.
Hormonal imbalance causes persistent weight gain, low libido, fatigue, anxiety and depression, digestion problems, rapid ageing and increase risk of general disease.
To achieve hormonal balance we need to exercise, eat a clean diet, practice mindfulness to reduce stress and impede our lifestyles – reduce our exposure to toxins, as well as supplement with hormone balancing herbs and natural health products. Some to consider would be I3C, DIM, Vitex, EstroG, Calcium D Glucorate, Sulforaphane, and Glutathione.
Some shocking statistics
Hormonal imbalance affects more than 80% of adults
An estimated 65 million Americans have metabolic syndrome, a set of underlying risk factors for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
One in 13 people suffers from hypothyroidism. Some sources say up to 30 percent of the population has a thyroid disorder and an estimated 13 million cases may remain undiagnosed each year.
Forty-three percent of women aged 18 to 59 report experiencing sexual dysfunctions at some point in their life.
About 75 percent of women experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Seventy-five percent of menopausal women in North America experience life-disrupting symptoms.
Andropause, also known as male menopause, affects 30 to 40 percent of aging men.
An estimated 30 percent of men and 40 percent of women suffer from insomnia, a statistic that increases with age.
Seventy-four percent of adults are chronically sleep deprived.
The World Health Organization reports that depression will become the world’s number one disability, surpassing cancer and heart disease.
An estimated 80 to 90 percent of all disease is caused by stress.
Know your numbers!
Women, get a comprehensive hormone test that reveals: estradiol, estrone, estriol, progesterone, testosterone, sex hormone binding globulin, DHEA, FSH, LH, and Prolactin.
Men, look into DHEA, DHT, Estradiol, Total Testosterone, Sex Hormone Binding Globulin, Free Testosterone, Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1, and Prostate Specific Antigen.
A bit extra info for the men
Andropause isn’t as well accepted as menopause, but here are the facts…
- Andropause, also known as male menopause, affects 30 -40% of aging men and almost 40% of men over the age of 45 have low Testosterone
- By 18 years old, testosterone peeks. Total testosterone goes down by about 1–2% per year on average
- in your 30s, and bioavailable testosterone decreases by about 2–3% a year
- muscle mass also decreases 1–2% a year once you hit middle age (but it may to do with more time spent on work and family and less time spent working out)
- Testosterone was discovered in 1935 when scientists isolated it from bull testes. The word comes from combining testicle + sterol + ketone.
- Low testosterone is linked to inflammation, weight gain, and worsened cardiovascular health, among many other ailments.
- A study published in 2007 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinological Metabolism showed evidence that population-level declines in testosterone levels in American men was occurring. By 2017 the Testosterone replacement therapy market was estimated to be worth 5B USD.
- Quality sleep, physical activity weight bearing, management of fat tissue % and conservation of lean muscle retention
What guys need to know about their lab tests:
Tightly bound testosterone: About two-thirds of the testosterone in your blood is bound to sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) and not readily available for use by your body.
Loosely bound testosterone: About one-third of the testosterone in your blood is weakly bound to albumin. Once the bond is broken, the testosterone circulates as free testosterone in your body.
Free testosterone: A small percentage of the testosterone in your blood (1–4%, as a rule) floats around freely. Your body can readily use it, and then – depending on your genetic aptitude – the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase can convert it to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a very potent androgen.
Bioavailable testosterone: loosely bound and free testosterone compose your bioavailable testosterone, which has a greater impact on your health than your total testosterone.
Range: Lower level of about 10 nanomoles per liter, or nmol/L (or about 300 nanograms per deciliter), and upper range of 35 nmol/L (or about 1000 ng/dL).
Hormonal optimization requires good diet and lifestyle
Exercise: Resistance training can raise testosterone levels for 15–30 minutes after exercise and benefit testosterone production in the long run by improving body composition and reducing insulin resistance. Burpee (everyone has a floor)
Stress causes cortisol to go up and testosterone to go down
Sleep: deprivation can cause 10-20% reduction in T
Diet: avoid processed fats, high sugar, excess alcohol, and phytoestrogens
The vicious cycle:
- Extra fat and worse metabolic health → lower testosterone
- Lower testosterone → less energy to exercise and feeling crappy, which leads to stress eating
- Less exercise and worse eating → lower testosterone, and so on and so on
What lurks in the environment can upset hormones too
BPA: Starting in the 1960s, plastic made with bisphenol A (BPA) was considered the ideal material — light, resilient, and less likely than other plastics to absorb odors and become smelly. Since then, however, BPA has been shown to interact with estrogen receptors
Phthalates, a class of chemicals that can be added to plastics, have also been implicated as chemicals of concern which can interfere with testosterone production
- HMB – maintains muscle mass
- Zinc – Helps to make more T
- Vitamin D – deficiency causes low T
- Boron – anti inflammatory
- DHEA – especially when tested low, converts into testosterone
- Tongkat Ali – Anti Estrogenic
- Fenugreek – Libido / Antidiabetic
- Coleus forskohlii – boosts testosterone and induces fat loss
- Panax ginseng and Ginger – may slightly increase testosterone
- Magnesium – helps with insulin sensitivity and therefore indirectly testosterone
- Horny Goat Weed – boosts testosterone