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Stress and Hormonal Balance in Men

Stress and Hormonal Balance in Men
Stress and Hormonal Balance in Men

Stress and hormonal balance in men is something many men are unaware of. Physicians don't always do such a great job of talking about this with patients either. Just like in women modern lifestyles which too often include prolonged or chronic stress can lead to dysregulation of cortisol levels, which can, in turn, affect other hormones. Typically however men wait longer than women in seeking appropriate medical treatment thus prolonging and increasing their own suffering. In fact in our modern society male fertility has also dropped very significantly* due to lifestyle which often compounds stress involved for men, women and sibling children.

Let's review some of the highlights regarding stress and hormonal balance in men today and emphasize just how important lifestyle factors are for men just as they are in women.

  1. Testosterone: Chronic stress have been linked to decreased testosterone levels in men. Testosterone is ESSENTIAL for maintaining muscle mass, bone density, libido and overall vitality. Low testosterone can lead to fatigue, reduced sex drive, erectile dysfunction and the significant deterioration of health that can cause and not surprisingly mood disturbances.

  2. Thyroid Hormones: Stress disrupts the balance of thyroid hormones, which play a vital role in metabolism, energy regulation and overall wellbeing. Thyroid dysfunction can cause fatigue, weight changes and mood swings.

  3. Insulin: Prolonged stress can affect insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism, potentially leading to insulin resistance and increased risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. Men with prediabetes or diabetes are 3 times more likely to have trouble getting or keeping an erection. There could be limited blood flow, nerve damage and damaged blood vessels.

  4. Sperm Quality: Chronic stress may also impact sperm quality and fertility. High levels of cortisol and other stress hormones can affect sperm production and motility, leading to decreased fertility. ~

All too often though, men are afraid or embarrassed to seek medical help and they often resort to googling on the internet in search of supplements they believe will make it all go away.

The truth is, taking self directed supplements can pose significant risks. Supplements and online "cures" bought from unreliable sources may contain undisclosed or harmful ingredients, including prescription drugs, steroids or contaminants. There is a strong possibility the ingredients listed on label may not accurately reflect what is actually contained in the product. This can lead to unintentional ingestion of substances that may interact negatively with medications or exacerbate male hormonal imbalances.

Visiting a Dr. that you trust plays a crucial role in addressing hormonal dysfunction and the havoc is can cause in your life. Continuity in care with your Primary Care Physician is crucial. Actually addressing the source of hormonal dysfunction instead of just blindly "throwing this or that" at it is your greatest chance of getting it under control and begin to thrive again.

There are various means of evaluation & treatment that your Physician can guide you through. These may include:

1. Diagnostic Testing: Physicians conduct comprehensive evaluations to assess hormonal imbalances. This may involve blood testing to measure levels of specific hormones such as testosterone, thyroid hormones, cortisol and others. depending upon test results you may benefit by referrals to consult with other Physicians such as endocrinologists, urologists and more.

2. Hormone Replacement Therapy: In the case of a significant hormonal deficiency, such as low testosterone levels, your Physician may recommend hormone replacement therapy. This can administered through injections, patches, gels or pellets to restore hormone levels to normal ranges. However, for lasting results with the least side effects, lifestyle medicine and corrected nutrition has got to come first.

3. Medications: Depending on the underlying cause of hormonal dysfunction, your Physician may prescribe medications to address specific issues. For example, medications to manage Thyroid Disorders such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism may prescribed.

4. Nutritional counseling, exercise and lifestyle: Lack of structured physical activity, excess alcohol, smoking and lack of regular exercise is a big contributor in this day and age as is obesity. Diets lacking in clean whole foods have much more of an impact than most men realize. As in our Direct Primary Care Practice having a qualified Lifestyle Medicine and nutrition trained Primary Care Physician you can see regularly, and consult with regarding these modifiable risk factors as well as deficiencies in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients essential for hormone production and function is crucial to reversing this dangerous decline in male fertility.

 Regular follow-up appointments such as the exceptional schedule allowed in Direct Primary care practices allows for ongoing assessment and optimization of treatment strategies. ~  *One excellent research article I encourage men and their Physicians to read is entitled "The impact of selected modifiable lifestyle factors on male fertility in the modern world". This article states and I quote "Lifestyle-related factors are a significant cause of male infertility in the world today. Studies have shown that sperm quality is essentially determined by: obesity, nicotine addiction, heavy exposure to electromagnetic compatibility radiation-emitting devices and alcohol consumption. Weight loss and cessation or limitation of unhealthy lifestyle-related factors might represent the best course of action for any couple trying to achieve pregnancy." Regular follow-up appointments such as the exceptional visit schedules allowed in Direct Primary care practices allows for ongoing assessment and optimization of treatment for stress and hormonal balance in men. ~ We Are Here for You

Are you a patient? You don’t need to be alone in your pursuit of well-being. Our team is always available to help. If you'd like to schedule the next evaluation to find out which options are likely best for you, just go HERE.


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