Why is this go talking about hormones on a men’s’ health website? I’ll tell you why, because they’re fucking important! Particularly if you’re if you’re headed towards or past your mid 30’s. The only hormone that going to increase in your body over time is stress (cortisol). We know that stress is not good for the body in large doses. But what other hormones as men do we need to be worrying about? All of them is the answer! But before I get too carried away into hormones, you need to understand what they are and why we have them.

What is a hormone?

A regulatory substance produced in an organism and transported in tissue fluids such as blood or sap to stimulate specific cells or tissues into action. https://www.google.com/search?q=hormone+definition&rlz=1C1CHBF_en-GBGB806GB806&oq=hormone+def&aqs=chrome.0.0l2j69i57j0l5.2428j1j15&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Hormone: A chemical substance produced in the body that controls and regulates the activity of certain cells or organs. https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=3783

The major hormones as men that we need to be concerned with are the following:

Thyroid

The reason this goes top of the list if because it’s almost like a master hormone. It’s involved with pretty much every function in body. As such it’s known as your master metabolism hormone. A slow thyroid = slow metabolism. Metabolism I define as “Your body’s ability to convert the nutrients in food into chemical substances for making energy, hormones or enzymes”

With thyroid being involved in so many functions in the body I’ll detail out 3 major ones that will affect the most important elements of health.

  1. Smooth muscle contraction, this is every from arteries, veins, and intestines and any type of tube in the body. If your thyroid isn’t working right then smooth muscle doesn’t contract well which means. You poop less, putting you at risk of toxin reabsorption. Your veins don’t return blood back to the heart against gravity very well. This means your heart has to push blood out with more pressure to get it back to the heart to be re-oxygenated. That increase in blood pressure long term fucks up your heart and increases your risk of heart disease.
  2. Metabolism, thyroid is involved in production of digestive enzymes that help break down the food you eat. Low thyroid = low digestive enzymes = low stomach acid potency = poor food breakdown = leaky gut = inflammation = insulin resistance = diabetes. Just to show you one example.
  3. Energy production, a key sign that you’re thyroid isn’t working properly is that you’re feeling tired lethargic a lot more than you used to. It’s not just because you’re getting older, it’s because you’re stress is going up and thyroid is going down. No thyroid = low energy = can’t be arsed to exercise = weight gain = increased metabolic stress and associated health conditions with obesity. Fucked up isn’t it? And this is just the thyroid side of things.

I can’t state enough how important it is that you look after your thyroid by eating good food, exercising regularly and getting to the fucking doctor! Get this shit tested it could genuinely save your life!

Insulin

Insulin is a hormone in the body that is anabolic in nature, meaning that it helps to build and repair. It’s also highly inflammatory if it stays in your blood for too long. The primary job associated with insulin is to get sugars out of your blood stream in into cell where that sugar molecule goes on to do other jobs. Issues arise with insulin when the receptors for insulin on the cell walls are broken. They break through increased stress hormone cortisol in the blood. They break because there is too much sugar trying to get in. One the last things to think about is they breakdown because you’re inactive.

Think of the receptors like bouncers on the door to club. The way that you want to get into the club is through the front door. If you get denied at the front door because you’re wearing trainers, all is not lost. There is another way to get in, that’s to slip the bouncer on the side door £20 to let you in.

This is the same way to think about sugar and insulin trying to get into your cells. Ideally you want them going in through the front door which is free. But if the sugar and insulin don’t get in the front door they can use the side door. However this comes at a massive metabolic cost. Ever walked up a single flight of stairs and your legs were burning at the top? That means you’re using the side door to make energy and not the front door.

Problems with the insulin receptors on cell can be put onto a continuum. On the left is where you want to be going in the front door for free. On the right you’ll see you don’t want to be there. The side door comes in at the insulin resistant stage.

←—————————→

Insulin           ins. Res.               Type 2 diabetic               type1 diabetic             pancreatic cancer       death

Sensitive

Check your insulin and blood sugar levels regularly! Again it could save your life! Do not be afraid of your doctor. After 10 years of banging on at my dad he’s finally got the message to go and get his bloods checked. These sets of tests combined with a solid diet and some exercise changes, may have prevented him getting type 2 diabetes.

 

Testosterone

The big one, we finally got there. The thing that sucks about this, is that your testosterone has probably been declining since you were in your early 20’s. So what does testosterone actually do in your body besides give you the horn?

Regulates fertility Helps to build muscle
Helps make protein in your liver Helps to distribute fat around the body
Red blood cell production Libido driver
Bone mass Sperm production
Hair growth  

 

Just quickly here’s what oestrogen does.

Helps maintain body temperature Enhances feel good neurotransmitters
Improves skin through collagen levels Helps prevent bone loss
Helps to getting stored fat (cholesterol) out of the liver and into the blood Reduces acne
Helps to improve sperm health  

As you can see oestrogen in men has its place and has its function in maintain health. Issues start to occur when testosterone drops and oestrogen rises.

Issues arise when your ratio of testosterone to oestrogen goes way out of balance. Too much of anything in the body is a bad thing. Typical signs that your testosterone to oestrogen ratio is off can be the following:

  • Low sex drive
  • Only want to cuddle and watch a chick flick rather than fuck
  • Get emotional after sex
  • Poor erection quality in the morning or even when you’re turned on
  • Poor gym or sports based performance
  • Increased fat storage with no change in diet or exercise
  • Low seminal fluid production
  • Hair loss or gain
  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue (we see again as well as in thyroid)
  • Brain fog
  • depression

The only way you’re going to know for sure if your testosterone is low is through a blood test. However, amazing as the NHS is the ranges they have in place for what’s considered normal levels of hormones. Doesn’t actually cover a reduced level of testosterone that could be impacting on your health. Not just your sexual performance, get it tested guys!

“According to a landmark study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, the normal reference range for healthy testosterone levels falls between 264 and 916 ng/dL (nanograms per deciliter). (Ali) Gilbert says that a T level below 300 ng/dL may signify hypogonadism, a condition associated with sexual dysfunction, decreased muscle mass and bone strength, lower fertility, and less energy.” https://www.muscleandfitness.com/features/active-lifestyle/5-things-know-about-testosterone-replacement-therapy/

I can’t stress enough guys, get your T levels checked, you may need to go private to get it done. But I’ll tell you now it could make the world of difference. The good news is that you don’t have to inject it either. Now you can use a cream to rub over your balls, much nicer!

I’m no expert on testosterone replacement therapy, I’d suggest you follow Ali Gilbert and Jay Campbell for that.

Stress or Cortisol.

Stress, we’ve all felt it, we all know the term but what actually is it? It’s a hormone in your body that actually helps to:

  • Lower inflammation
  • Aid recovery
  • Wake you up in the morning
  • Excite you when you need it
  • Ramp you up and get you ready for danger or fleeing if you need it.

In the right dosages the stress hormone cortisol is very healthy for you. However, issues arise when we’re constantly flooding our body with this hormone. Your stress response by evolution should only be raised by four things:

  1. Fighting for territory or a mate (remember that we evolved from and still are animals just clever ones)
  2. Fleeing from danger
  3. Hunting
  4. Reproduction (this a complicated one because the balance between stress response and arousal is tightly linked) [1]

Now as you can imagine for 1-3 your body needs a lot of stress hormone to start the processes that allows you to tap into massive energy reserves and unlock that stored adrenaline. What’s been discovered through research [2] is that the same hormonal response to physical and immediate danger. Can be set off by mental or emotional stress too. An example would be you going into the office on a Monday and you see an email from your manager that says in the subject “I need to see you”. Seeing that sentence can start the release of cortisol and raise your stress hormones ready for fighting or fleeing. Now you have all this release of stress, adrenaline, blood sugar and insulin. But there is no fight and there is no physical exertion. Now your body has to try and flush out all these excess hormones, blood sugar and insulin through the liver, kidneys, pee and poop. If you’re doing this to your body multiple times a day, through a range of different mental and physical stressors, eventually something will break. Normally your state of overall wellbeing.

 

How To Know If you’re Stressed Out.

Signs or symptoms that you might be elevating your stress level beyond your body’s ability to flush it out can be and are certainly not limited to the following:

  • Increased inflammation and sensitivity to pain
  • Increased fat storage without a change of dietary intake (food quality or quantity)
  • Increased insulin resistance (a precursor to type 2 diabetes)
  • Constant fatigue
  • Brain fog and trouble focusing
  • Under active thyroid symptoms (weight gain, cold hands and feet, low poop frequency)
  • You get every cold and flu going
  • Skin breakouts (happens to me personally)
  • Mood swings
  • Aches and pains
  • Low sex drive or lack of sexual performance. When your body is in survival or stress mode, it’s not interested in getting busy.
  • Headaches
  • Inability to sleep
  • Inability to lose weight and fat
  • Dark circles and bags under your eyes
  • Poor digestion, feels like food just sits in your stomach and doesn’t move [3]

[1] Why Zebra’s don’t get ulcers, Dr. Robert Sapolsky[2] McLeod, S. A. (2010). What is the stress response. Retrieved from https://www.simplypsychology.org/stress-biology.html[3+4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4254585/

By understanding what stress is and how it interacts with the rest of your body. You should gain an appreciation of just how important it is from a health perspective to get it under control.

Putting it all together.

Hormones are key piece in a very intricate puzzle in your body. They are responsible for much and as soon as they start to decline, health issues appear. Only mild at first and then they get worse, If you think you have any of the signs or symptoms I’ve listed out, get to your GP and talk to them. Trust me you’ll feel better for doing it! Plus they’ll be able to help you get it sorted.

For more details on hormone balance get in contact at info@coachingformen.net and we’ll get a plan together for you. Thanks for reading and fair play to you for making all the way through.