When it comes to talking about hormones, ladies are generally the main focus…
And although female hormone health is extremely important, hormone health for us dudes is no less important.
Another thing that might come to mind when you hear the words “hormone health” is fertility.
Yep, your hormones are responsible for the fertility side of things…
They are also responsible for many other incredible & important processes in your body as well.
Think of your hormones as little messenger boys (or girls)… who travel around to different hormone receptors in your body, giving them a signal which then triggers different (& seriously amazing) responses.
Your hormones are like the key, & your hormone receptors are like the lock.
Once the hormones have travelled to their rightful receptor – & metaphorically speaking – ‘unlocked’ the receptor – this results in physiological reactions responsible for things like temperature control, fat storage, skin conditions, blood sugar levels, hunger, your mood, your sleep, sex drive & heart rate.
Another important thing to understand is that your hormones are produced in your Endocrine System – maybe you’ve heard of this before?
In short – it’s a system of glands located throughout the body that regulates the storage & release of your hormones.
Your Thyroid, Adrenals, & Pancreas are all part of your Endocrine system, as well as ovaries in females, testes in males + a few other glands.
All sounds pretty hunky dory doesn’t it?
But here’s the bad news…
Pesticide residues can have similar chemical structures to some of your naturally occurring hormones – & in the case of men – our Androgen hormones.
These pesticides are known as “endocrine disruptors” & they usually harm your precious hormones in 2 ways…
- They can mimic your hormones & cause an excess amount of hormones in your body – of course leading to an imbalance.OR
- They can block our your hormone receptors which stops your hormones from engaging with (or unlocking) their specific receptor, stopping essential processes inside the body from taking place.
Endocrine disruptors effect men in the form of anti-androgens & xenoestrogens.
As mentioned briefly before – Androgens are hormones that play key roles in men’s health.
Testosterone being the most important Androgen, is needed for male reproductive health, as well as muscle & bone development.
It’s also especially important during puberty.
Anti-Androgens actually stop the naturally occurring Androgens from reaching their receptors & from performing the functions they were made for.
And Xenoestrogens add to the hurt by mimicking oestrogen (the main female hormone – although guys do produce a little as well) which can lead to an excess supply of oestrogen in the body.
So as you may have guessed… when Oestrogen goes up, & Androgens go down… it’s a real problem.
Some of the not-so-fun symptoms resulting from exposure to endocrine disruptors include:
– Weight gain
– Lack of energy/Loss of strength
– Low sperm count
– Skin issues
– Gynecomastia (Man boobs)
– Lack of concentration
– Erectile disfunction
– Prostate cancer
Even though these issues are becoming more & more common – It’s also fairly common to feel pretty alone or ashamed from these symptoms, meaning that on top of what you’re already going through, your emotional wellbeing also suffers.
The good news is there’s a way out!
First & foremost – Cut out conventional produce – or at least make sure you’re eating organic when you can – we can’t stress this enough!
Secondly – Make sure you’re eating ORGANIC meat! In addition to the absolutely horrendous conditions that conventionally raised animals are put through – Remember that if you’re consuming meat that isn’t organic, you will be consuming the artificial hormones & chemicals that the animal consumed too.
Thirdly – Try to use chemical free skin care, hair care & even body sprays or aftershaves. There are SO MANY great brands on the market these days that are Certified Organic!
Fourthly – Cut out soy! Unless it is organic & fermented, soy contains natural endocrine disruptors. A small amount of organic tamari or tempeh is okay every now & then but make damn sure you’re cutting out the conventional stuff!
And lastly – Be weary of plastics & aluminium (including cans, water bottles & food storage containers) – always look for BPA free cans & go for glass storage containers & water bottles.
If this seems overwhelming to you – just start off with cutting out as much conventional produce & meat as you can – then gradually include the other steps when the time is right for you.
A way that I like to look at is – the most important thing in my life is my health… because without it I am nothing.
I hope this post helped you – & if it did – I would love you to give it a share!
And of course any Q’s – shoot us through an email or leave a comment below.
P.S – This is part 1 of a 2 part series! In part 2 we will be focusing on female hormone health 🙂