What constitutes "male hormones" is a bit of a misconception. Both men and women possess the same array of hormones in their bodies. The key differences arise from where these hormones are generated in the body, their concentrations within the bloodstream, and the specific impacts they have on the body in males versus females.
Within men, estrogen—specifically in the form of estradiol—fulfills roles that encompass the regulation of libido, erectile function, and the generation of sperm cells.
Progesterone, although often associated with women's reproductive health, also plays a crucial role in men by facilitating testosterone production. Additionally, it aids in preparing sperm for potential fertilization and may contribute to improved sleep.
Testosterone, arguably the most recognized male hormone, acts as an androgen that governs libido and influences factors such as bone density, fat distribution, muscle mass, strength, and the production of sperm.
Prolactin, known for stimulating breast milk production in pregnant women, is also present in men, albeit in smaller quantities. It is believed to assist in safeguarding the central nervous system and reducing anxiety in males.
In men, the levels of prolactin tend to surge after their partners give birth, which is thought to be linked with male paternal behavior—specifically, the inclination to nurture and provide comfort to their child.
Oxytocin, a chemical messenger associated with various behavioral aspects, particularly social interactions, is pivotal for bonding in women. However, in men, it contributes to sperm function and the production of testosterone.
The male hormonal cycle refers to the testosterone cycle, which undergoes fluctuations every 24 hours, impacting mood, attitudes, and behavior in men.
In males, testosterone typically peaks during the early hours of the morning, gradually declining after 9 am throughout the day. As nighttime approaches, testosterone levels in men reach their lowest point before sleep. However, during the overnight period, testosterone accumulates, resulting in its highest levels in the early morning.12
Moreover, men aged 45 and above generally exhibit lower testosterone levels compared to younger men. Additionally, this older demographic tends to maintain steadier testosterone levels throughout the day without experiencing the morning surge commonly observed in younger men.
Because these symptoms begin to take place in your 40s, they are often chopped up to “getting old.” However, these are symptoms of low testosterone, not age itself. In fact, after the age of 50, testosterone levels can drop up to 50% from their peak, coinciding with men reporting their lowest levels of general life satisfaction. (Many researchers believe this hormonal imbalances could play a role in the stereotypical midlife crisis).
Signs of low testosterone include:
• Bone loss
• Decreased physical performance
• Slower cognition and brain fog
• And more
Exercise can raise testosterone because it promotes muscle building. According to the research, the more muscle you have, the higher your testosterone levels. Exercise is also excellent for balancing other essential hormones such as cortisol, insulin, and thyroid hormones. Just a little movement every day can make a big difference. The average person spends more than half their day sitting and the typical office worker spends 15 hours a day sitting. Our bodies are not designed for such sedentary lifestyles and by exercising a couple of times a week, you can help balance your hormones and promote longevity. In fact, research shows that just 150 minutes (or more) weekly can increase life expectancy by seven years when compared to those who don’t practice regular, moderate exercise.
Sleep is critical for hormonal health as it helps regulate hormones such as cortisol, the stress hormone, which modulates other hormones in the body. One indicator of chronic stress is the ratio of cortisol to testosterone: a high ratio of cortisol to testosterone is a key endocrinological indicator that stress is compromising your health. Moreover, neuroscientist and author of Why We Sleep: The Power of the Mind and Dreams, Dr. Matthew Walker states that men who get an average of five to six hours of sleep per night will experience such a drop in their testosterone levels that they will have the same levels as men ten years their senior. It is important to note that over 70% of adults in America report that they do not get enough sleep on a regular basis. Aim for eight hours a night regularly for optimal hormonal health.
Toxins are often called “endocrine disruptors,” meaning they fundamentally disturb hormonal function upon exposure. The average person is exposed to over 700,000 toxic chemicals on a daily basis. Many of us are not even aware of the ways we expose ourselves to toxic chemicals. For example, one study found that women put a minimum of 168 chemicals on their face during their morning routine. Over time, such exposure can take a toll on your health and hormonal function. That is why it is important to buy high-quality, clean beauty products, cleaning products, and household items to limit your toxin exposure. To gain insight into how toxins may be compromising your health, consider our comprehensive testing bundle: The Next Health Total Tox Burden Package. By analyzing over 90 biomarkers, this package empowers you to understand your level of toxin burden and take an informed plan of action to optimize your detoxification. By eliminating harmful substances you can restore your sense of health and alleviate symptoms such as brain fog, bloating, joint pain, skin problems, lack of energy, and so much more. Read about our tips for Daily Detox Practices here
Hormone Optimization is a key part to maintaining a high quality of life and improving longevity.
In men, increasing testosterone and reducing estrogen levels can increase lean muscle mass and bone density and reduce fat mass, which is crucial for maintaining a healthy body composition. In addition, benefits of hormone therapy can include:
At Next Health, hormone therapy is not a one-size-fits-all prescription. Instead, our Hormone Optimization Program is a personalized approach crafted by our team of Functional Medicine Experts. We offer Bio-Identical Pellets, Prescription Pills, Creams or Injections.
Your path to well-being is as unique as you are, and we're here to support your individual health goals.
Start the journey to restoring your hormone health by testing your hormone levels.
Questions? Call or text: (310) 295-2075