Do you have any of these problems?
- Fibrocystic and tender breasts
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Uterine fibroids
- Decreased libido
- Mood swings
- Vasomotor symptoms
- Weight gain (hips, waist, thighs)
- Foggy thinking, forgetfulness
- Increased levels of triglycerides
The problem could be due to “estrogen dominance”, a common condition that occurs if you have a relative deficiency of progesterone in relation to estrogen. Without progesterone supplementation, most women will experience estrogen dominance at some point in their lifetime, the extent of which will vary based on genetics, nutrition, emotional stressors and exposure to environmental toxins.
You are probably thinking “What does this have to do with a man? Estrogen and progesterone are female hormones.” Actually, the male body also makes estrogen and progesterone, and these hormones need to be balanced in men, also.
In men, bioavailable testosterone (the type that can be used by the body) declines with age. However, an age-related increase in body weight and fat cells can result in increased conversion of testosterone to estrogen (which is measured as estradiol). Therefore, relative levels of free circulating estrogens increase with age and it has been proposed that increased estrogenic stimulation of the prostate in the aging male may lead to reactivation of prostate growth and cancer. In his book “Hormone Balance for Men: What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Prostate Health and Natural Hormone Supplementation”, the late John Lee, MD, stated “Optimal protection against estradiol-induced cancer occurs when the saliva progesterone level is 200-300 times that of saliva estradiol level.” Progesterone has many benefits in the male body beyond prostate protection, including defense against cardiovascular disease and many neurodegenerative diseases such Alzheimer’s.
Also, relatively low progesterone to estrogen (estradiol) ratios can create functional hypothyroidism with reported symptoms of fatigue, weight gain, constipation and thinning hair. When we are stressed, we produce higher amounts of the hormone cortisol which further reduces progesterone levels.
What can you do?
It’s important to know your levels of bioavailable (free, unbound) estradiol, progesterone, and testosterone. Saliva and/or blood spot testing is a simple, reliable means of determining your hormone levels. With this information, we can work together with you and your physician to develop a custom treatment plan to balance your hormones and monitor your progress. Contact our pharmacy about hormone testing today!