January 24, 2017

Home Cures That Work for Low Testosterone

By Dr. Scott Saunders

Last week, Mitchell and Tracy came in for their test results.  They are both in their early 50s and wanted to take a look at their hormone levels.

  • She was having some symptoms of menopause.
  • He was concerned about being angry all the time, and super aggressive.  He described getting angry over nothing. For example, he had just experienced “road rage” a few days before the appointment and purposely crashed into a car that cut in front of him!

The results of their tests were very surprising:

  • She had very high male hormones and no detectable female hormones.
  • He had no detectable testosterone (low testosterone), and very low DHEA.

She should have been growing a beard, and he should have been growing breasts!

Role of Testosterone

Testosterone is an essential hormone for male development. Long-term studies in American GIs indicate that the healthiest levels of testosterone range from 400-600 ng/dl, which is just above average.  Testosterone levels peak in the early 20s and decline by about 1% per year after 40.
But, signs of low testosterone can appear at any age. These signs of low testosterone include:

  • A decline in physical energy, strength, and stamina
  • More aches and pains in the bones and joints
  • Less initiative and mental aggressiveness, or even depression

Interestingly, erectile dysfunction doesn’t seem to correlate well with testosterone levels.  Testosterone has very little effect on erection and only about a 25% correlation with libido (sexual or desire).

Testosterone and Sexual Desire

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Balance Low Testosterone Naturally

By Amanda Box

Low testosterone is one of those subjects that is typically whispered under someone’s breath.  Its lack of recognition is comparable to “erectile dysfunction.”  It is as if higher testosterone has become synonymous with masculinity!

But, there is absolutely no reason for this subject to be so hush, hush!  A decline of testosterone as men age is as normal as its increase during puberty!  It happens to EVERYONE!!  So now that I’ve tried my best to relieve the stigma, let’s talk about low testosterone.  What causes it, what are its symptoms, and how do you remedy it naturally?

The Causes of Low Testosterone

Like I stated above, low testosterone does come with age.  Men as early as 40 can start feeling the effects of low testosterone.  Some have labeled it “Male Menopause” or “Andropause.” Whatever you want to call it, it is real and it definitely deserves more attention.

But, low-T is not entirely simple. Let me explain.

  • Age doesn’t just equal a lower production in free testosterone.
  • It is the shift in the hormone production cycle that ultimately reduces testosterone.

As a man ages, the enzyme that converts his free testosterone into DHT (di-hydroxy testosterone) becomes more prevalent.  You may recognize the hormone DHT, especially if you’re lacking in the hair department.  Excess DHT likes to bond to both hair follicles and the prostate to can cause baldness and prostate problems.  This conversion leaves less free testosterone in the body and more DHT, which is not a healthy balance.

Estrogen is another hormone that competes with free testosterone.  If a man has too much estrogen, it tells the brain to turn the production of testosterone down.  Everyone has seen a man with too much estrogen.  Many times they look “soft” and may have visible breasts and a protruding belly.

What causes the spike in estrogen? Well, the cause can also be the effect – and vice versa.   Stored fat from overeating can trigger the body to convert more of its testosterone to estrogen.  Once the balance of estrogen is too high, the overall production of testosterone decreases.

The opposite can also happen. Estrogenic compounds exposed to or ingested, can cause the body to grow breasts and store excess fat. Again, the rise in estrogen turns down the production of testosterone. This is why, many times, just supplementing with testosterone may not fix anything.  Balancing all the hormones is key, not just increasing testosterone.

Estrogenic compounds (xenoestrogens) are everywhere and are dangerous for anyone to be exposed to – man, woman, or child.  They can cause hormone disruptions which precludes many health problems.  Some examples of products containing xenoestrogens include:

  • Any food containing soy
  • Cosmetics
  • Sunscreens
  • Fabric Softeners
  • Plastic Containers

Low-T Symptoms

Before I list the obvious symptoms of low testosterone, I want to remind you again that every man will experience it in his lifetime.  Symptoms or no symptoms, you may have low testosterone. I believe it is important for every man to get his testosterone levels checked in his 50s.  There is more and more research coming out confirming the connection between low testosterone and the increased likelihood of many diseases and even death.

Dr. Elizabeth Barrett-Connor and her colleagues at the University of California San Diego tracked 800 men in California with ages ranging from 50-91.  They concluded from their study that men with low testosterone had a 33% greater risk of death over the next 18 years of their live, than men with higher testosterone.

Many other studies have been performed connecting low testosterone to a whole host of health problems.  Those include:

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Cause and Effects of Low Testosterone

By Dr. Richard A. DiCenso

What is Testosterone?

Testosterone is one of a family of hormones called androgens. Best known for their masculinizing effects, androgens first kick into action during the embryonic stages of life. An embryo is conceived when a female egg is fertilized with a male sperm. Androgens are a naturally occurring sex hormone that is produced by the ovaries, adrenal glands and other tissues. Androgen plays a key role in regulating certain bodily functions, including the growth spurt at puberty. It is believed to regulate the function of many organs, including the reproductive tract, kidneys, liver and muscles. The egg and sperm each donate a single sex chromosome to the embryo, an X chromosome from women, and an X or Y chromosome from men.

If the combination of these sex chromosomes is XX, then the embryo will be female. If it’s XY, the embryo will be male. Though in fact, it’s not until the sixth week of development that XX or XY embryos are anatomically defined. Before this the human fetus is essentially sexless, possessing a set of “indifferent” genitalia. One interpretation of this is that all embryos begin as female. Testosterone makes the difference, influencing the growth of male genitalia, while the female component of the indifferent genitalia degenerates.

Testosterone tends to be identified with masculine stereotype

According to some, the intimate association between testosterone and male identity starts early. This inference that testosterone equals male, while absence of testosterone equals female, is well-entrenched in the layers of our culture.  But, the reality is that testosterone is a girl’s hormone, too.

We have been conditioned to box our hormones into those that belong to men, and those that belong to women. Estrogen and progesterone are the so-called female sex hormones, and testosterone, the so-called primary male sex hormone. With that we assign our hormones impossible gender roles. But of course, gender is not that simple and nor are our hormones.

It turns out men and women produce exactly the same hormones, only in different amounts. Men’s bodies generate more than twenty times more testosterone than women, an average of 7 milligrams per day. Women, via mainly their ovaries and adrenal glands, make a tiny 3/10 of 1 milligram of testosterone per day.

But it may come as a surprise to know that women’s ovaries primarily produce testosterone, from which estrogen is then made. This ovarian production accounts for one-quarter of the total circulating testosterone in a woman’s body. At first glance, this might appear to suggest that women naturally have less estrogen than men.However, with the help of an aromatase enzyme, estrogen is also produced in your fat and muscle cells both before and after menopause. Aromatase is an enzyme found in the liver, responsible for the conversion of the androgens into the estrogens. Inhibiting aromatase can cause the body to produce less estrogen and maintain a higher testosterone state.

Your estrogen levels are not totally dependent on your ovaries, there are a lot of other factors that come into play, like your diet and body composition.

While these numbers may appear to be a bit confusing at first, they basically translate to the fact that women have about 1/10 the amount of testosterone found in men.

Conversely, men’s bodies produce their own estrogen, converted by their tissues from their testosterone. In reality, testosterone is as much a woman’s sex hormone as it is a man’s.

What Does Testosterone Actually Do?

Testosterone is considered to be the principal male hormone, playing an important role in the development and maintenance of typical masculine characteristics, such as facial hair, muscle mass and a deeper voice. In men, testosterone plays a key role in the development of male reproductive tissues such as the testis and prostate, as well as promoting secondary sexual characteristics such as increased muscle, bone mass and the growth of body hair.

So, why would women want testosterone? The fact is, women produce it too, and it has more positive influences than you might think. Testosterone is essential for health and well-being in women, as well. In women, studies show that it helps maintain muscle and bone and contributes to sex drive or libido and aids in the prevention of osteoporosis.

Is More Testosterone Better?

Not necessarily! In fact, over the past decade researchers have found elevated testosterone levels to influence a person’s tendency towards

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Product Review: DHEA for Adrenal Support

What is DHEA?

DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal glands. It’s a precursor to both testosterone and estrogen in the body, although it may play other physiological roles, as well. It is sometimes called the, “mother hormone” — the source that fuels the body’s metabolic pathway.

Beginning at about age 30, levels of DHEA in both men and women begin to decrease, and by age 80, it’s estimated that approximately 95% of the hormone has been lost.

Some believe that this decline is responsible for the adverse consequences of aging and tout DHEA supplements as a sort of “fountain of youth.” DHEA, however, is not a general anti-aging solution. The trends associated with DHEA supplementation include the following health benefits:

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Why Japanese Women Almost Never Worry About the Symptoms of Menopause

In fact, they don’t even have a word for hot flashes

Menopause is a word that generally makes people cringe— both men and women.

Women – because they have to go through the discomfort of hot flashes, night sweats, muscle fatigue, dehydration, insomnia or restlessness. Because they lose the ability to think straight, and sometimes even acquire the dreaded paunch of a spare tire in the midsection. Of course, there are the classic symptoms of menopause, such as irritability, mood swings, or becoming anxious are all noteworthy facts of this mid-life phenomenon.

Men – because their women are irritable and yell at them.

*Author’s note: Dear Ladies, I don’t mind you yelling at me. It probably makes you feel a little better and I’m more than willing to do anything I can to help relieve the uncomfortable symptoms brought on by your changing bodies. Just know that I’ll always be here for you and you don’t look a second older than that earth moving day when my eyes first feasted upon you.

Here’s a little news flash for you guys – there’s also a male menopause (there’s a gender joke in there somewhere) that has to do with a drop in testosterone. So, wipe that smug little smirk-of-superiority from your lips and be supportive!

And a great way to be supportive to any woman in your life going through this trying time is to give them good, solid, healthy suggestions for putting discomfort behind them so they can feel happy, healthy, and free from aches of mind, body, and spirit…

The secret is in Asia…

But, you won’t have to move to Japan to take advantage of this menopause mauling miracle!

You see, in Asia – specifically Japan – most women don’t worry about hot flashes or night sweats – or any of the other symptoms associated with menopause.

There’s a very good reason: it’s their diet.

First, the most common symptom of menopause is the hot flash.

Hot flashes, or vasomotor flushes, are intense feelings of heat and sweating, especially around the face and neck areas. Hot flashes can affect 50–85% of women – up to 20 times a day.

Hot flashes are of particular concern because they occur in the premenopausal stages, during, and even after the “change” has fulfilled its dastardly obligation.

It all starts with a dramatic drop in estrogen levels

Once a woman reaches a certain age, usually around 51 — but can start earlier or later depending on the woman — menopause signifies the end of fertility. It begins with a significant drop in estrogen levels and is marked by irregular periods and a decline in egg production.

You can’t avoid it. You can’t stop it. So if you must deal with it, why not make it as easy as possible? A change in your diet could work wonders…

Discover the natural wonders of Asian food remedies

 

Somen Noodles by Flickr FotoosVanRobin

Instead of the high animal protein diets we westerners take in, Japanese women eat more

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Menopause: Is It All In Your Head?

You can be 54 and still be an attractive woman and feel full of energy. What may surprise you is that for some, menopause feels like a haze has been lifted and you see in a way that you haven’t been able to see before.

Until menopause, hormones, physical touch, emotions and the synapses to care, fix and help others have programmed a woman’s brain. But, in later years the brain circuits that have provided the foundations for these impulses are no longer being fueled.

Menopause is characteristically the moment 12 months after a woman’s last period and 12 months after the ovaries have stopped producing hormones that have boosted communication circuits, emotion circuits, the drive to tend and care, and the urge to avoid conflict at all costs.

All the main brain circuits to run the course are present, but the fuel for running a highly efficient engine for tracking the emotions of others has begun to run dry. As estrogen decreases through menopause, so does the calming affect of oxytocin. Even the rush of dopamine from enjoying life has diminished.

This biological truth is one of the greatest mysteries to women at this age – and to the men around them – as how the changes in hormones affect thoughts, feelings and brain functions.

Perimenopause Reward

Starting at about age 43, a woman’s brain becomes less sensitive to estrogen, accompanied by a variety of symptoms for months to years, including hot flashes, joint pain, anxiety and even depression.  The rocket fuel that feeds the sex drive (testosterone) also drops and estrogen withdrawal symptoms start with the shortening of the menstrual cycles by a day or two.  The brain’s response to glucose changes dramatically too, giving energy surges and drops, as well as cravings for sweet and carbs.

Since estrogen affects the brain’s levels of serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine other neurotransmitters that control mood and memory, it is no surprise

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It’s Time to Learn the Difference

IT’S 2002 ALL OVER AGAIN, and women are being warned against taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) because of its link to breast cancer. Why is history repeating itself? Because we haven’t learned an important lesson. Synthetic progestins are not the same as progesterone, and reporting on them as if they confer the same risks and benefits is absurd.

A study in the New England Journal of Medicine dated February 5, 2009, concluded that hormone therapy doubles the risk of breast cancer. Specifically, women past menopause who take both estrogen and progestin (such as in the form of Prempro) for five years or more have twice the risk of developing breast cancer. When these same women stopped their combination hormone formula, the number of breast cancer incidents dropped by about 28 percent within the first year.

This study is a follow-up to the landmark Women’s Health Initiative that studied more than 15,000 women between the ages of 50 and 79 who were taking HRT. In 2002, the study was stopped when researchers concluded that Prempro caused higher incidents of heart problems and breast cancer. Interestingly, the number of breast cancer cases dropped significantly since 2003. Dr. Rowan Chlebowski, a medical oncologist at Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, wanted to know why. So he assembled a team of researchers to determine if it was due to women halting their HRT or to more vigilant mammography practices.

It’s related to HRT use; getting regular mammograms didn’t affect the numbers at all. But it’s not related to all hormone therapy! The women who took only estrogen (usually in the form of Premarin) without the progestin were no more likely to develop breast cancer than women who took no hormones at all. (Progesterone lowers the risk of uterine cancer. Women without a uterus aren’t typically given a progestin.) This means the synthetic progestin is the likely culprit.

Flashback to 2002. Women around the world stopped HRT cold turkey, causing many to feel unhealthy. Why? Because many healthcare providers and researchers didn’t know or appreciate the difference between a synthetic progestin and progesterone, which is a bioidentical hormone. (For more information on bioidentical hormones, read “The ABCs of HRT” in the Women’s Wisdom Circle.) Progesterone matches a woman’s body exactly and has been shown to ease mood, sleep, and cycle-related issues. Progesterone supplementation has another unique advantage—it can be converted to other hormones, such as testosterone and DHEA, if needed. Synthetic progestin is an altogether different substance known to actually exacerbate perimenopausal and post-menopausal symptoms—in addition to increasing your risk of breast cancer, heart disease, and stroke.

It’s hard to believe that seven years have passed and yet the difference between synthetic progestins and progesterone is not widely understood. Dr. Northrup has been doing her best to educate women across the U.S. and the world and has recently appeared on TV, radio, and webcasts to share her knowledge. (To learn more click here.) She encourages all women to learn about all the options for hormone therapy available today, particularly those involving bioidentical hormones. Dr. Northrup also hopes that all women will look with a critical eye at mainstream news about HRT, especially the news that’s sensationalized. As is the case with the study described above, there’s more to the story than meets the eye.

 

Christiane Northrup, M.D. is a visionary pioneer and beloved authority in the field of women’s health and wellness. A board-certified OB/GYN physician, Dr. Northrup was also an assistant clinical professor for 20 years. Recognizing the unity of body, mind, and spirit, Dr. Northrup helps empower women to tune in to their innate inner wisdom to transform their health and truly flourish. Dr. Northrup is the author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, The Wisdom of Menopause and The Secret Pleasures of Menopause. She has also hosted six highly successfully public television specials. Her work has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, the Today Show, NBC Nightly News, The View, the Rachael Ray Show, Good Morning America, and ABC’s 20/20.  Visit http://www.drnorthrup.com/ for more details.

 

 

Dong Quai: Natural Menopause Treatment

How to Balance Low Female Hormone Levels during Menopause. Dong Quai is a Natural Herbal Remedy to Increase Estrogen and Progesterone.

 

Benefits of Dong Quai

Over its million years of existence Dong Quai root has had a variety of medicinal uses. Ancient Chinese civilization used to use it as a sedative, aphrodisiac, anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antispasmodic and is often referred to as the “female ginseng.”

Dong Quai root contains phytoestrogens, which have been proven to have a biological structure, which is chemically similar to estrogen. This component of many phytoestrogenic plants is capable of regenerating diminished estrogen levels. Estrogen is a key part of the body and an imbalance can cause a number of painful or embarrassing menopause symptoms for women approaching middle age.

Chinese herbalists usually soak the root in wine or boil it in water, discard the root and drink the liquid as a tonic. Apart from being helpful in soothing menstrual issues, Dong Quai root is also used to combat high blood pressure and anemia.

Dong Quai Root is also known for being able to treat the following effectively:

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Relief from menstrual disorders such as irregular bleeding
  • The relaxing of peripheral blood vessels
  • Spasms
  • Relief from menopausal symptoms

Advantages of Dong Quai

  • Dong Quai root as a viable option to female hormone replacement therapy: Dong Quai is useful for treating hot flashes, night sweats and sleeplessness, the latter usually occurs as a result of night sweats and sometimes itching. For maximum effect Dong Quai should be taken with black cohosh.
  • Dong Quai root as treatment for other conditions: Dong Quai is also used for effectively treating PMS, arthritis, and lowering blood pressure.
  • Dong Quai root is an efficient treatment method for menopause symptoms: This herb aids in regulating the levels of estrogen in your body, which also assists in relieving menopause symptoms. Moreover, Dong Quai is a mild sedative that will help reduce mood swings and stress related to menopause.

Cautions

If you are taking an anticoagulant (blood-thinning) medication or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (such as ibuprofen), check with your doctor before trying Dong Quai as it will have additive blood thinning and anti-inflammatory properties. Dong Quai also contains substances called psoralens that can react to sunlight, especially in fair-skinned people. Dong Quai may have a mild laxative effect, and menstrual bleeding may increase when taking Dong Quai. Stop taking Dong Quai if a skin rash or photosensivity develops. Don’t take Dong Quai if you are pregnant or nursing. Dong Quai root has also been linked to aggravate the spread of breast cancer cells. As with all herbal and dietary supplements, you should always inform your physician about what you are taking in order to avoid potentially dangerous drug interactions.

The Natural Way

Traditional Chinese medicine refers to Dong Quai as the Queen of female herbs because of its beneficial effects on the female reproductive system in much the same way as ginseng is popular for increasing potency of men. In fact, Dong Quai ranks only next to licorice in frequency of use in Chinese herbal medicine. Its optimizing effect on female hormones, its healing properties for uterine disorders and its richness in nutritional supplements make it valuable as an aphrodisiac for women.

Dong Quai:

  • May be used as a general woman’s tonic for female reproductive health
  • Promotes hormonal balance
  • Helps maintain healthy estrogen and progesterone levels in menopause symptoms
  • Promotes emotional balance to address PMS “blues”
  • Provides long-term benefits for female health

Order Dong Quai HERE.

 

 

To Soy or Not To Soy!

Soy products are big business in the health food industry. Promoted for its appeal as a natural, low fat, no cholesterol food, it’s easy to see why so many of us would buy into the claim that soy is a health food. Besides, if much of Asia enjoys dietary forms of soy on a daily basis then it must be good, right? Not necessarily. There are seemingly advantages and disadvantages associated with soy that may make you think twice about whether or not it’s truly beneficial to your body.

Nutritional Facts and Figures

Soybeans are nutritious. For vegans and vegetarians, soy is an important source of protein, rich in iron, zinc and calcium. Dr. Mercola, a natural health advocate, is largely against adding soy to the diet unless it’s the fermented variety such as Tempeh, Miso and Natto. Fermented soy may offer many health benefits to the body. Unfermented soy contains large amounts of natural toxins, including enzyme inhibitors that block the action of trypsin and other enzymes needed for protein digestion.

“They can produce serious gastric distress, reduced protein digestion and chronic deficiencies in amino acid uptake. In test animals, diets high in trypsin inhibitors cause enlargement and pathological conditions of the pancreas, including cancer,” says Mercola.com

Negative or Positive Results

Research shows that Asian people, who eat large quantities of soy, have lower rates of heart disease, breast cancer and prostate cancer, fewer hip fractures and fewer hot flashes. However, there is little research to prove that soy is the reason why. Where heart disease is concerned, the AHA does at least support soy foods for good heart health if only because they usually replace less healthful choices, like red meat, and because they deliver plenty of polyunsaturated fat, fiber, vitamins, and minerals and are low in saturated fat.

Questionably, the biggest pro to adding soy to the diet is its effect on cholesterol levels. In 1999, the FDA endorsed soy as a means to lower cholesterol. However, according to the American Heart Association’s, eating 50 grams of soy each day lowers LDL only about 3 percent. When you consider that 50 grams of soy protein is more than half the average person’s daily protein requirement, that’s a lot of soy for a relatively insignificant decrease. You would need to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of soy milk a day!

Soy provides isoflavones and essential fatty acids. According to the Health Services Agency of Stanislaus County, CA, these isoflavones are phytoestrogens, weak estrogen-like substances made by plants. “They are similar enough to estrogen that they are able to bind to estrogen receptors, possibly explaining how soy might protect against breast cancer.”

Unfortunately, these same phytoestrogens, in large quantities, may also have a negative impact. The Harvard School of Public Health brings attention to a handful of unsettling reports that suggest that concentrated supplements of soy proteins may actually stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells. “On August 12, 2000, two senior US government scientists, Drs. Daniel Doerge and Daniel Sheehan, announced their belief that soy products could cause breast cancer in women, brain cancer in both genders, and infant birth defects. Their internal protest letter within the FDA cited 28 studies showing the dangers of soy products containing isoflavones.

Possible Risks

When we think of soy, many of us first think of tofu – and the Asians. Also known as textured vegetable protein, tofu is high on Mercola’s list of soy foods to be avoided. Why? It’s commercially made in large metal containers and thus contains high levels of aluminum. It’s also flavored with MSG…yuk! But above all, soy infant formula remains top of the worst soy foods list for Dr. Mercola. “Infants fed soy formula have up to 20,000 times the amount of estrogen circulating in their blood stream than infants who are not fed soy formula!”

So…Soy?

To conclude, there is no evidence to show that soy-based foods eaten in moderation as part of a varied diet, are harmful. If you do want to add soy to your diet, to take advantage of the possible cholesterol and cardiovascular benefits, you would be wise to consume soy in moderation and at best only eat fermented forms.

Roger Asmus entered a fitness competition and won the Mr. Teenage Colorado in 1991. He was later named Mr. Mile High in 1996 and achieved his dream when he was proudly awarded the title of Mr. Natural Colorado in 1998. Roger has been highly sought after as a model and authority in the fitness world, appearing in national news and magazines sources. Roger is currently one of the top personal trainers in the country and is president of Core Health Innovations™.

 

 

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