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Nov 07

How Can Men Tell If They Have Low Testosterone?

Hormonal imbalances don’t just affect women. In fact, most men will experience a decline in testosterone levels at some point during their life. Declining testosterone levels are commonly seen in men starting in their 40s, and levels continue to decline approximately 10% per decade. The process is often gradual, but can have significant consequences. Low testosterone in men is a medical condition known as andropause, which means low androgen hormone (i.e. testosterone) level. By the time men reach their 80s, some level of andropause occurrence reaches 90% of men.

Andropause naturally occurs when testosterone production declines while the levels of testosterone-binding proteins increases. The result is that levels of “free testosterone” available to the body are lowered. Unless your doctor is specifically assessing testosterone levels, it can be easy to overlook or mistaken for other conditions like depression.

This is unfortunate because of the important role testosterone plays inside men’s bodies. In men, testosterone helps maintain both physical and mental health by increasing energy, preventing fatigue, maintaining normal sex drive, and increasing strength of structural tissues. The first step toward resolving hormonal imbalances like andropause is to identify the symptoms you may be experiencing. 

Low Testosterone Symptoms in Men

Symptoms commonly associated with decreased testosterone levels deficiency include:

  • Night sweats
  • Hot flashes
  • Low sex drive
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Moodiness, irritability, & depression
  • Reduced critical thinking ability and difficulty concentrating
  • Reduced flexibility
  • Reduced body hair
  • Reduced strength and stamina
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Aches and pains
  • Difficulty recalling memories

What Other Hormonal Imbalances Can Men Experience?

Low testosterone is not the only hormone imbalance that a man can experience during his life. It’s not uncommon for an excess amount of estrogen to be discovered with accompanying andropause. Excessive estrogen in men can be associated with prostate gland diseases, such as benign prostatic hypertrophy and prostate gland cancer. Excess estrogen in men is also associated with altered mood and metabolism.

It’s important to resolve testosterone deficiencies and other hormonal imbalances before they can cause long-term consequences. Long-term testosterone deficiency can be associated with insulin resistance and diabetes.

Some of the ways men can counter andropause symptoms and raise their testosterone levels include the following:

How Abundant Life Health Care Can Help

The most effective way to assess your current hormone levels and identify any imbalances like andropause is to perform a saliva test. These tests are more helpful than blood tests because they allow us to determine your active tissue levels rather than the inactive hormones found in blood tests. Saliva testing also has the advantage of giving us the average of your hormone levels over the course of a day, as opposed to a one-time level of a blood test.

At Abundant Life Health Care, we understand that treating hormonal imbalances means addressing more than just your symptoms. In order for you to have the best outcomes, we address all of the factors that contribute to your wellness and help provide you with solutions to improving your overall health.

It’s our goal to help you discover your optimal energy and wellness. Request an appointment to start your journey toward abundant health today.


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Nov 01

Could You Have Estrogen Dominance?

It’s a common belief that estrogen deficiency resulting from ovarian failure is the primary cause of menopause, but did you know that estrogen dominance is more frequently the culprit of troubling symptoms? Estrogen dominance occurs when a woman’s body has too much estrogen relative to progesterone.

In “Estrogen Dominance is Really Progesterone Deficiency,” Dr. Jay Mead points out that, “although estrogen levels do decline with age (approximately 40 - 60% at menopause), more relevant is the fact that progesterone levels plummet by close to 90% at menopause from premenopausal levels.”

Under the impression that estrogen deficiency is causing their symptoms, many women go to see their doctor about estrogen replacement. However, the symptoms of estrogen dominance can begin even in your thirties and continue as you approach perimenopause. Identifying if your symptoms are caused by estrogen dominance is an important step toward receiving the correct treatment.

Estrogen Dominance Symptoms

There are a broad range of symptoms that can arise when too much (rather than too little) estrogen is produced in the body. The symptoms of estrogen dominance can last for 10-15 years as women approach perimenopause. Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Mood swings (can include depression and irritability)
  • Weight gain around the abdomen and hips
  • Fatigue
  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Hair loss
  • Bloating from water retention
  • Memory loss, or difficulty concentrating
  • Decreased libido
  • Breast tenderness and swelling
  • Cold hands and feet (symptoms of thyroid dysfunction)
  • Difficulty sleeping

What Can Cause Estrogen Dominance?

In a normal menstrual cycle, estrogen is the dominant hormone for the first two weeks leading up to ovulation. In the final two weeks, that estrogen is balanced out by progesterone. 

Where problems arise is when women enter perimenopause and experience cycles without ovulation. When this happens, estrogen isn’t balanced out by progesterone and symptoms occur. Other contributing factors of estrogen dominance can also include:

  • Impaired immune function
  • Excess levels of stress
  • Excess body fat
  • A low-quality diet containing excess refined carbohydrates

How Abundant Life Health Care Can Help

The most effective way to diagnose hormone imbalances like estrogen dominance is through saliva testing. This gives us the most accurate snapshot of the “active” hormone levels currently in your body. We can then correct these imbalances using bio-identical hormones, nutrition, dietary supplements, and lifestyle changes.

At Abundant Life Health Care, we understand that treating hormonal imbalances means addressing more than just your symptoms. In order for you to have the best outcomes, we address all of the factors that contribute to your wellness. 

It’s our goal to help you discover your optimal energy and wellness. Request an appointment to start your journey toward abundant health today.


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Sep 27

Digital Detox, Part 2

I'm planning a digital detox.  Read about my guidelines and join my social experiment!


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Aug 17

Digital Detox

dig·it·al de·tox

noun informal

noun: digital detox; plural noun: digital detoxes

 


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Jun 29

Is that Mole Normal or Skin Cancer?

When you are looking at a mole, do you know what to look for that might indicate skin cancer?  Here's a memory tool to help you.  And if you're not sure sure if a mole is normal or not, get it checked!


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