How many of you guys would swear that leftover pizza is a complete breakfast? Although a meat lover’s pizza with onions and mushrooms covers most food groups, there are better ways to start the day — at least from a nutritional standpoint.
Nutrition should be a high priority for anyone who wishes to age gracefully – or anyone who wants to look good, feel good, and enjoy life. Even if you’re someone who never thought twice about the food you eat, you may decide to change your habits when you understand how foods affect your hormones. Men approaching midlife or those who have started noticing changes in their libido and/or hormones may even start paying attention…
Male menopause (andropause) occurs when testosterone production begins decreasing in a man’s life, usually around his fourth decade. Symptoms may include weight gain, fatigue, reduced libido, erectile dysfunction, hair loss, swollen prostates, increased belly fat, muscle loss, hypertension (high blood pressure), heart disease, blood clots, angina pectoris (chronic chest pain), diabetes, Alzheimer’s, dementia, and even cancer. If this doesn’t sound fun, stay with me!
The decline of testosterone production may be subtle unless accompanied by other hormonal imbalance. Similar to women who periodically experience hormonal imbalances, men with hormone imbalances and/or high estrogen levels experience hot flashes, mood swings, anger, fatigue, and depression. According to nature’s grand design, growing older involves changes in hormone levels but I doubt Mother Nature envisioned this kind of madness!
The biggest problem which causes all kinds of drama, and for both men and women, is estrogen dominance. According to Ori Hofmekler (The Anti-Estrogenic Diet) both aging and stress contribute to progesterone loss in women and testosterone loss in men which further contributes to estrogen dominance.
One of the biggest contributors to estrogen dominance are hormone (endocrine) disruptors which are in much of our food, water, environment, and most commercial products, including cookware, cosmetics, and personal care items. Every system in the body that is controlled by hormones may be derailed by hormone disruptors because they mimic (or partly mimic) the body’s naturally occurring hormones. Endocrine disruptors are now known to cause adverse neurological, reproductive, and developmental effects. Common endocrine disruptors include PCB’s and dioxins in pesticides, flame retardants, phytoestrogens in soy and other foods, phthalates (plastic softeners), BPA (bisphenol A – food preservative), BHA, BHT, parabens (in lotions/deodorants), perchlorates, triclosan, and dioxins in meat.
Industrially produced estrogenic chemicals are called xenoestrogens. Xenoestrogens induce aromatase activity. Aromatase is an enzyme that turns male hormones into estrogen. Estrogen is not your best friend; too much estrogen causes a fibrosis that shrinks organs and will eventually kill you. Belly fat also produces aromatase that turns added/injected/pelleted testosterone into estrogen that will turn into more belly fat and make more aromatase.
To stay at the top of his game, a man in andropause needs to incorporate specific nutrition, eliminate toxins, start a liver detoxification program, and remember the saying, “You are what you eat.” Science shows that cells reproduce at the rate of 250 million cells every minute and are made from what we eat and digest. Eating well creates good cells, so just imagine what cells do with junk food.
Exercise is also important. Daily exercise is best, preferably in the morning so that the greatest physical challenges are done under controlled circumstances. To build strong bone, skeletal muscles must be exercised. A routine that ends in the use of free weights and kettlebells has many proven benefits and doesn’t take a lot of fancy equipment. By doing exercises that engage your muscles, you’ll end up with usable muscle, not just trophy muscle. Since blood is produced in bone, strong healthy bones lead to healthy blood.
Communication between the brain and the body via the nervous system is critically important to have a body and a brain to serve us well throughout our lives. This communication comes through nerves and muscle spindles which inform the brain of what’s happening as far as the positioning of the skeletal structure and its surroundings. 3 trillion signals per second emanate from the brain in response to the signals from the body, allowing it to act in an intelligent and coordinated fashion. Those signals better be showing up as designed or you’ll be in a world of trouble, both health-wise and otherwise. A chiropractic adjustment helps ensure smooth communication.
The hormonal system is the other part of this communication system. Sexually related hormones are the same for men and women but in different ratios. This is very important as our main sexual organs all have special cells (receptors) on them. Receptors are basically switches that can turn on a specific set of actions within the organ. In childhood, this is called, charging. A baby boy starts this charging cycle when he’s about 6 months old and produces as much testosterone as a young adult male until he’s about 6 years old. This makes sure his male parts and brain are male coded.
These same receptors continue to respond to testosterone throughout life. Swollen prostates are the result of too much estrogen trying to change the prostate into a uterus. Our specific sexual organs had the amazing ability to become male or female parts based on what hormone levels were being produced, based on our birth gender. As we go through life these hormones continue to have dramatic effects on our life, health, and functionality, both sexual and otherwise.
By the way, 80% of the guys will listen with interest to the information I’ve provided here but won’t act on it (other than pondering it over pop tarts eaten as dinner while watching something on TV). The other 20% will act on it and get healthier. They’ll be around to be with the 80% of the women who are following the program to get healthy and stay healthy. This means that my workshop on Men’s Health and Hormones will be attended primarily by women wanting to help their guys take charge of their health. So, c’mon guys, sign up!!!