Unexplained weight gain is as much a concern for men as it is for women.
Softer, flabbier and fatter is not an ideal situation is it?
Especially when you know you're not sitting on the sofa downing beer and chips.
Just as testosterone is normally present in women in small amounts, small amounts of oestrogen in men is normal and necessary too.
A BIT ABOUT HORMONES...
Hormones work like delivery vehicles in our body and are essential for regulating multiple processes such as appetite, metabolism, sleep cycles, sexual function, body temperature and mood.
The endocrine system in our bodies can be compared to an elegant dance with just the right balance, coordination and synchronisation with each other to maintain the flow, or in hormonal terminology, the ratios.
Hormone levels fluctuate throughout our lives from puberty onwards through various stages in our lives. Hormonal signals can be disrupted due to diet, environmental pollution, pesticides, chemicals in foods, smoking, excessive alcohol, stress, extreme exercise, lack of exercise, and ageing, as well as certain medical or genetic conditions.
BACK TO THE TESTOSTERONE & OESTROGEN DANCE.
Though testosterone is the dominant hormone in men, the presence of oestrogen can be significant if levels start to rise, thus upsetting the testosterone-to- oestrogen ratio. Since oestrogen causes the liver to produce more of the carrier protein for testosterone, known as sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), less free, or unbound testosterone results. These now low levels of free testosterone and higher oestrogen levels in men result in OESTROGEN DOMINANCE.
Unfortunately its become very difficult to avoid a world that is dominated by plastic residue in our water system, food containers, exhaust fumes, personal hygiene products, and carpeting and furniture that contain oestrogen disruptors. These toxins (xenoestrogens) contribute to further disruption in hormonal function in both men and women, as well as pre-pubescent and pubescent children.
Symptoms of oestrogen dominance in men of all ages can range from mood swings, night sweats, poor sleep, depression, anxiety, reduced sex drive, erectile dysfunction, poor muscle tone and weight gain as well as 'man boobs' (gynecomastia)
The rise in body fat increases the inflammatory response, which increases the risk for chronic diseases. In women, oestrogen production drops off dramatically at menopause, but the ageing process does the opposite in men. If oestrogen production increases with age and body fat accumulates, men can develop an imbalance which has been termed, andropause.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
* Do not smoke!
* Test your hormones
* Test you genes
* Avoid reheating food in plastic containers
* Store food in glass
* Use BPA-free plastic bottles for sport
* Avoid processed refined foods and chemical additives
* Avoid blackened, charred meats.
* Avoid using refined seed oils.
* Avoid cooking at very high heat.
* Use a marinade to reduce the toxic process when grilling meats.
* Drink alcohol in moderation
* Exercise throughout life, but avoid over-training.
* Filter water
* Eat PLENTY of broccoli, kale, cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, onions, garlic, leeks. These CRUCIFEROUS & ALLIUM vegetables help the liver detoxify xenoestrogens.
* Supplement with DIM (diindolymethane) if recommended by a practitioner.
* Eat fibre found in fruit and veggies, brown rice, chick peas, lentils, quinoa.
* Eat ORGANIC produce wherever possible.
* Eat sulphur-containing foods.
* Optimise sleep
* Listen to music
* Play in nature