Men's Health

Staying Strong For Men

When women age, we can talk about it freely because women are allowed to be concerned about their hormonal changes, their faces, and figures.  For men, the problems of aging may be just as concerning, but not so easily discussed.

Just like women, men have a need for hormone balance. The adrenal glands (those tiny but mighty glands sitting above the kidneys) make the steroid hormones that allow us to run faster in danger, monitor libido, and determine energy levels. Men and women both make hormones out of cholesterol. Then the cascade of hormones proceeds into progesterone, DHEA, testosterone and estrogen. Estrogen is lowest on the hormone chain, and estrogen is formed from testosterone.

An enzyme called aromatase causes the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. Aromatase can surge when too much sugar, alcohol or refined carbohydrate is consumed, spiking blood sugar. As more fat accumulates around breasts (man boobs) and belly, the fat can also produce estrogen, adding to the problem. http://blogs.christianpost.com/health/is-your-testosterone-turning-into-estrogen-5890/

All cells in the body have hormone receptors on them. For men, testosterone should be more dominantly parked in the cells. If there is too much estrogen, then the male sexual characteristics diminish. Muscles turn to fat and the prostate can enlarge. Too much circulating estrogen is a risk for prostate cancer. http://e.hormone.tulane.edu/learning/docking-receptor-binding.html

Higher amounts of circulating estrogen increase risk of stroke.  Estrogen dominance, which is the ratio of estrogen to testosterone, is a risk for heart attack and thicker arteries. Low testosterone levels can be associated with depression and anxiety. http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/low-testosterone-8/default.htm

Statin drugs decrease cholesterol, which in turn can decrease testosterone levels. This may lead to Erectile Dysfunction caused by low testosterone. Statin drugs have also been associated with higher risk of Diabetes Type II. Sufficient healthy fats in the blood keep blood sugar levels more balanced.

You can monitor your testosterone levels through blood or Salvia hormone testing. Another simple way is to have a zinc taste test. Adequate zinc is needed for testosterone. We offer all of these tests at Well Body Clinic.

We also have herbal DHEA and testosterone boosters, in cream and tablet form that will encourage the body to make more testosterone. A detox program for weight loss, or a Blood Sugar balance program, will help you kick the carb habit, stop the snack cravings, drop weight and lose the excess belly fat.

Lifestyle choices may influence your testosterone levels. Avoid excess alcohol, sugar and grains. Eat sufficient protein, but make sure it is digested well; so digestive enzymes can be used. Get plenty of cruciferous vegetables like kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels Sprouts to help the liver metabolize excess estrogen. Get moderate exercise and sufficient sleep. (Maybe Mom was right all along.)

No matter what kind of a job you have, life itself is an Olympic event and those who train for it usually come out ahead of the crowd. Breaking old habits is never easy until the new habits have replaced them.

For Father’s Day, and every day, stay strong and ready for the next event. Healthy guys are sexier. And out-running your kids is always satisfying.

Happy Father’s Day to all the great men in our lives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brain Trust

You probably don’t play football, but this blog has something to do with all of us. I am in Chicago, where the NFL Draft is taking place as I write this. On the airplane flying here, I saw the film “Concussion” starring Will Smith as the medical coroner and researcher who first identified head trauma as an identifiable condition for athletes. The New York Times just published an article by Scott Martelle, citing a study released by the American Academy of Neurology, which found that 40% of retired pro football players suffer from some degree of brain injury.

If you saw “Concussion” you know that the explanation is that the human skull was never designed to withstand repeated blows. Some mammals that boast horns and antlers also have shock absorbers built in so that head butting does not cause brain injury. Apparently humans were not designed with this same protection, so multiple small bleeds can occur, and certain proteins get released. In a webinar on the subject I learned that these proteins might turn on an inflammatory response in the immune system.

Over time, this produces a type of dementia because the neurological connections in the brain are interrupted. Think of it like pouring coffee on your keyboard. The software is not damaged, but the connections are interrupted.

Caught early enough, and treated with the correct natural medicine, the damage could be minimized, according to the webinar. But so often the damage is extensive before symptoms appear.

This is perhaps even more dangerous for younger players, whose developing brains may put them more at risk. Chiropractors have warned against kids playing football for years, because of the intense strain on tendons, muscles and bones, which could introduce a young boy to a lifetime of difficulties. And now there is even more reason to re-think football for young players.

Even if you are not a parent, or a player, there is something to consider about these new findings. If you have never seen anyone with Alzheimer’s or dementia, you may not realize the devastation wreaked by these brain disorders. Not only does the person affected have a declining quality of life, they may become violent and difficult to handle. Instead of being loving parents and grandparents, enjoying their elder years, they can become almost unrecognizable in temperament and personality.

Alzheimer’s made the news recently when Will Farrell pulled out of a comedy film based on President Ronald Reagan’s struggle with the disorder. Here is what Reagan’s daughter, Patty Davis, wrote to Will Farrell, “Alzheimer’s is the ultimate pirate, pillaging a person’s life and leaving an empty landscape behind,” Ms. Davis, 63, wrote in her blog Thursday. “It sweeps up entire families, forcing everyone to claw their way through overwhelming grief, confusion, helplessness, and anger. Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have — I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/apr/29/will-ferrell-pulls-out-of-ronald-reagan-film-amid-/?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiT0RobVlqa3laV00xTkRaaiIsInQiOiJvekZuZCtoZFRIcndqbGFBenRqNDhKdHdhZXRSNTcxT2NGZVFhdGs1V2lpTWMxTWpTYjMyVFwvNlFzRVRMcWhlOFdVQzd3c3ZLb2c3c3RBTlc3UTFOdG1jQlFXejB5UW1sSERuS1Y4WWZjdnc9In0%3D

So, we all need to protect the health of our brains, and it is not too late to start. http://www.agehealthy.org/There are a few basics you can apply now.

1) First, stop using any personal products or cooking utensils that contain aluminum. When I researched the effects of aluminum on WebMD, there were dozens of studies documenting the horrific effects of this toxic metal on nerve and brain healthy. Choose porcelain, stainless steel, glass or iron pots and pans. For non-aluminum deodorants, shop at Health food stores or see a list here. http://goop.com/the-guide-to-non-toxic-deodorant-plus-our-7-favorites/

2) Eat organic and unprocessed foods to avoid toxic chemicals and pesticides, which are neurotoxins. The only way to escape from a sea of neurotoxins in our food supply is to get smart about the foods you choose. Neurotoxins disrupt or destroy the capacity of our nervous systems to pass information along nerve and brain pathways. That is the wiring for how our bodies are run. If someone cuts that wires from the electrical control panel in your house, there is no surprise that the lights won’t come on. Eating foods containing neurotoxins is like letting someone erode away at your internal wiring. The lights don’t just go out at death. They can become dimmer and dimmer. And toxins can also affect mood and attitude towards life, so if you are suffering, you may need a detoxification program. http://www.thebestbrainpossible.com/swimming-in-a-sea-of-neurotoxins/

3) Eat plenty of healthy fats. The brain contains a lot of fat and the nerve cells are protected by an envelope composed of fats. So, one theory about the current epidemic of brain disorders is that we have not been eating enough of the right kinds of fats for the past 60 years since the non-fat craze started. Corn oil is pro-inflammatory and Fish Oil is anti-inflammatory. Eliminate corn and canola oil and include coconut, olive and fish oil in your cooking. Be sure to eat fats raw and uncooked as well, such as organic butter and raw nuts. Frankincense Essential Oil may provide some health benefits for the brain. http://naturalsociety.com/the-essential-oils-that-can-naturally-help-heal-brain-injuries/

4) Watch alcohol, drug and medication use. Not only do drugs and alcohol affect the brain, but they strain the detoxification pathways in the liver and kidneys, causing the whole body to be more toxic as a whole.

5) Maintain a healthy weight and balanced blood sugar levels. An overweight or obese body is usually a body with inflammation and insulin resistance. The earlier this is handled, the better. Inflammation means that the immune system is constantly “on” and does not get a chance to calm and switch off. This is a perfect recipe for burnout, and we all need all the help we can get from our immune systems.

Healthy brains begin in the womb. For all of us, taking care of the brain has become a priority, given the rising epidemic of brain disorders. To keep your wits about you, be smart and do a detoxification program and follow the tips above. By the time symptoms hit you, it may be too late to reverse the damage. We have plenty of grey matter, and brains should easily last a lifetime. To stay connected to your loved ones, you have to keep your own wiring in working order. We can help. Call us. 818-562-1400.

 

 

Fighting That Afternoon Slump?

You know, right around three or four p.m. when you can barely keep your eyes open. You just run out of juice. And you want coffee, sweets or a shot of Red Bull just to keep going.

Since coffee at that hour may interfere with nighttime rest, sweets are not a good solution, and you know that Red Bull is not healthy, what can you do to get through your day? And how can you avoid eating the wrong snacks, when you are tired and your willpower is low?

First of all, how much sleep are you getting? If you are running on empty in the sleep department, your body will give out when it needs more rest.  So, listen to the signals.  If you routinely burn the midnight oil and stay up until one-two a.m. you are doing yourself a serious disservice, unless you can sleep ‘til noon. For the vast majority of us the body needs at least seven hours of sleep per night, and some need more. The consequences of insufficient sleep go beyond the afternoon yawns. Weight gain, lowered metabolic rate and risk of more serious disease states are all possible. http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/consequences

This varies from person to person, but sleep deprivation is not a good way to catch up on your work. You will most often find that you don’t perform as well, drive as smartly, or act pleasantly, when you are sleep deprived. So, hit the sack earlier on a gradient. Get your adrenals checked if you routinely stay up and get a second wind. If you cannot go to sleep earlier, seek help. Call the office and make an appointment so that we can get your body resting well.

Secondly, consider what you eat at lunchtime. A carb-ful lunch may spike and then crash your blood sugar. Instead of a sandwich, pasta or pizza, choose salad and protein. Food intolerances may be revealed by how you feel after you eat. If you feel speeded up, drowsy, or lethargic, or have indigestion, you may have an intolerance to a food. If you are eating the same foods every day, it may be a food you eat commonly. I will be writing more about this in upcoming blogs. I have seen some dramatic improvements in health and well-being when a food intolerance is identified and the offending food omitted.

Third, even if you are eating well, if you are even a bit over your ideal weight chances are your metabolism and blood sugar are out of synch. A blood sugar balance program can put you on the right path and help you find out how energetic you can feel when you are eating correctly for your metabolism. You always hear people talking about eating for health, such as veggies and whole foods. These days there is more to it than that. You have to eat so that you don’t release too much insulin, causing the cells of the body to become resistant to the constant high levels of insulin. Insulin is the door opener to the cells to allow fuel (sugar in the blood) to enter. How do you know if your blood sugar is out of balance? Afternoon slump is one sign. And if your waist is bigger than your hips, that is another sign. Get help. Estimates that up to 30% of the population has Diabetes.https://www.diabeteseducator.org/news/aade-blog/aade-blog-details/karen-kemmis-pt-dpt-ms-cde-faade/2017/07/26/the-2017-national-diabetes-statistics-report-is-here

And many more are pre-Diabetic. Many people can be helped so that their Diabetes is arrested and their pancreas repairs. Pre-Diabetics don’t have to progress to a disease state. Diabetes Type II is one of the most easily controlled diseases, but it does take a firm plan and changes in your eating.

Fourth is being significantly overweight. An overweight body is a body that is burdened by the excess pounds that require miles of extra blood vessels and a strain on the muscles and tendons to manage the extra pounds. A pick-up truck is not built to carry the load that an 18-wheeler can handle. And our bodies are supposed to be like small trucks, not the big rigs. It is the crapo-hydrates that pile on the pounds. No one gains weight on greens, broccoli and fish. And when your body needs the extra nutrients to make the miles of new blood vessels and support the tendons and joints you can get hungry. And the more crapo-hydrates eaten, instead of healthy foods, the more hungry a person can become. It is a Merry-go-round ride of hunger, junk food and fatigue. The only answer is to get off. But don’t jump. Stop the Merry-go-round first, by doing a Detox/cleanse. Not only do people lose weight but they report feeling better than they have in years during and after the cleanse. And there is plenty of food allowed, so no hunger.

Find out what your particular needs are and get a game plan to help your body feel energetic all day long. If you are fighting that afternoon slump, we can help. Ask yourself if you really think it will get better if you don’t change something you are doing. Call the office to book. And meanwhile try some of our herbal supplements to give you a natural boost that still allows you to sleep at night.

 

 

 

 

Do All Men Develop Prostate Problems?

According to WebMD, half of all men develop problems of enlarged prostate after fifty and 8 out of 10 after age eighty. http://www.webmd.com/men/guide/prostate-problems   Fortunately, most of these problems are Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, which does not lead to cancer, but will cause frequent urination and reduced stream.

There are several reasons why the prostate may enlarge that can be addressed with diet and natural medicine. Many of us are eating foods that contain “phytoestrogens”. These are plant-based estrogens that can create estrogen-dominance in women. In men these estrogens can compete with hormonal receptor sites for testosterone, so that men are getting more female than male influence. As testosterone rates decline with age, this can create a kind of estrogen-dominance in men, also. Estrogen is a growth hormone, so it can cause the prostate to enlarge.

Soy is the worst food for excess phytoestrogen, and should be avoided by men completely, except when fermented like tempeh. Soy is highly allergenic, and can cause severe muscle pain, especially in the neck. Some foods will inhibit estrogen. For a list see here. http://www.holisticonline.com/Remedies/hrt/hrt_food_and_estrogen.htm

Cow’s milk and gluten in wheat are also estrogenic. Prostate improvement may be obtained by switching to goat and sheep dairy, and using gluten-free grains. Avoiding grains will also help with weight management and reduction of belly fat.

Fat cells also produce estrogen, so belly fat will contribute to too much circulating estrogen. Man-boobs in obese men are not just fat deposits-they are the result of excess estrogen.

Xenoestrogens are chemicals that have estrogenic actions in the body. They are toxins that bind with cell receptors for sex hormones. This is one reason for low testosterone in men. Even the chemicals in your shampoo may be causing low testosterone and too much estrogen. http://military-fitness.military.com/2012/01/cause-of-low-t-xenoestrogens.html

Your best defense is to eat organic food, and shop at health food stores for your personal care products. We are all over-exposed to environmental chemicals that we cannot avoid, so when you have a choice, pick organic and natural ingredients in the products you buy for home, pets and personal use. Do a cleanse and get checked for chemical and metal toxicity. This will also help to protect your from cancer.

Mineral deficiencies are also found in men with prostate problems. Zinc, iodine and calcium are needed for healthy prostates. Healthy oils will help maintain the correct calcium balance between bones, blood and tissue, so it is not enough to eat enough calcium in the diet. Good fats like fish oil must be included. Saw-palmetto is a plant nutrient that can be effective.

For older men, I like to use DIM, an extract from vegetables that helps the liver metabolize excess estrogen. Eating vegetables like kale, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage will also help the liver.

Most men who have prostate issues will ignore them and live with them, according to studies. But you can be pro-active and the changes you make at home will only enhance your health and well-being in general.

Don’t forget we still have our June special. $200 for Saliva Hormone Testing and full consultation for male patients. The Saliva Testing checks Testosterone, and  other Adrenal hormones like DHEA and Cortisol (your stress hormone).

Wishing Good Health and Happy Father’s Day to all the Fathers in our lives!