Progesterone, most people think, is a hormone that exists only in women. But both men and women contain estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.
After a detailed blood or saliva analysis, it’s easy for us at Klinik St. Georg to see how much progesterone your body contains and compare it to normal levels. Few people know that we prescribe progesterone to men as well as women. A lack of progesterone in men has a number of symptoms which can affect them how they feel, sleep, and maintain overall hormonal balance.
Progesterone is a building block for many hormones
Progesterone is a building block for many hormones like cortisol and mineralocorticoids on one side, but also testosterone on the other side, vital in defining male characteristics. It builds also bone mass, takes part in regulating blood sugar, brain activity, and functions throughout the body to ensure a healthy balance. The process through which our bodies turn fat into energy is also affected by progesterone, as well as thyroid hormone production.
Since progesterone is a precursor to testosterone, low levels can often result in lack of sex drive, since it is an antagonist to estrogen. But, when the balance of progesterone in men is inadequate, it can result in what is known as “estrogen dominance,” a condition frequently associated with women, but we also see it in men resulting in nervousness, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, and prostate enlargement, higher risk of prostate cancer, low libido, increased abdominal fat and insulin resistance (metabolic syndrome).
Signs of “estrogen dominance”
A few signs can be early detected, when men beginning to experience “estrogen dominance” are baldness, body odor changes, breast growth, increasing body fat, and reduced muscle development. This should of course be met with caution because progesterone in men can be a result of these signs but are not necessarily the cause of them.
If you feel you are experiencing these things, contact us for a complete analysis.
Causes of elevated estrogen levels
As you may already know, the liver acts as a filter to clean and remove excess toxins from the body. One of these toxins can be estrogen and its derivatives. But if your liver is already in a state of poor health due to excess food consumption, high sugar levels, too much alcohol, and high toxicity, then it will have difficulties to remove excess estrogen. Those of you who eat foods that are high in sulfur, such as onions and garlic, are helping your body to maintain healthy liver function as well as detoxification. To eat the right food is a great help for your body to stay well.
Alcohol also causes blood estrogen levels to rise. Even moderate drinking has been linked to lower levels of progesterone in men, including a link between alcohol consumption and lower levels of zinc absorption, which has a negative effect on progesterone production. See how this is all related?
Exhaustion and weight gain
The system through which our bodies cope with and handle stress is relatively complex. This is known as the Neuro-Endo-Metabolic (NEM) – Stress Response. The NEM is essentially a complex system which links organs together to form a functional network.
One of the many complaints that those have who are under high stress often is exhaustion and poor physical condition. As it turns out, there might be contributing factors that are controllable, helping to reduce their symptoms. People who are anxious experience high toxicity, depression, and lethargy and the typical response is to run to something that can make them feel better quickly. Often these choices are not good ones, because they can damage them even more.
It is also very common for someone who is experiencing low progesterone to gain weight, which is another common symptom of AFS. In s vicious cycle, when you’re overweight, your body has a tough time producing enough progesterone to counteract the levels of estrogen. Add a malfunctioning thyroid to that equation and it can not only rob you of sleep — it can also make inflammation virtually unmanageable. High levels of inflammation cause huge problems in the body. It can cause lasting damage to the heart, brain, and liver when left untreated.
Low levels in progesterone can easily be treated
Fortunately, low progesterone levels in men can be easy to treat. Vitamin D has a big effect on sufficient progesterone production. So, I will always check your levels of vitamin D as well as your progesterone levels if you are experiencing any of the symptoms I mentioned here.
After prescribing progesterone pills (Uterogest) for one of my many female patients, she raved over how, after 20 years of night sweats and low-quality sleep, she was sleeping like an infant and dreaming in Technicolor. So, she asked me if her husband, might benefit by progesterone as well. Yes of course, but when I prescribe bio-identical progesterone either in transdermal form or as capsules for men, their first reaction is to freak a little, because they think they are growing “boobs” and hearing their voices squeak. But this is not the case they are confusing progesterone with estrogen. Most men profit enormously from progesterone, they sleep better and get their adrenaline dominance completely under control, which means a shift from sympathicotonia to more vagotonia.
We are always happy to explore what hormones are lacking in your body to unlock the key to better health, more energy, better mood, better sex life and especially better sleep, which seems to be at a premium as we age. It’s a journey we can help with. In fact, it’s a modality we are passionate about.