You feel tired all the time but blame it on the long hours you're putting in at the office. Your sex life has hit a slump, but you figure that's just part of aging. What you may not realize is, it could be a male hormone imbalance. Let's find out how men can balance their hormones naturally.
Other symptoms of an imbalance include weakness, sleep problems, and even depression. Like an engine, your body must be in perfect balance to operate properly and can easily get thrown off from the foods you eat to the stress you're under. Here are some ways to balance your levels naturally and feel better than you have in a long time.
Get Adequate Shut-Eye.
In this rat race of a world, you may be tempted to burn the candle at both ends; getting up early and staying up late. Studies have shown that men who suffer from lack of sleep have lower testosterone.
Testosterone is the hormone responsible for your sex drive. It is also responsible for fat distribution, bone mass and strength, and sperm production. In fact, low testosterone is one of the main causes of low sperm count.
If you find yourself with a jiggly gut, unable to build muscle mass and low libido, try getting a good night's sleep, between 7.5 to 9 hours. The boost in testosterone will naturally carry you through the day without feeling like you're falling behind.
It's Best to De-Stress.
Sometimes you feel anxious when you have a looming deadline or must drive through rush hour traffic to get home at the end of the day. Other times, you may feel perfectly relaxed, but because of prior stressing situations, your body is under duress.
The hormone responsible for this is called cortisol secreted from the adrenal glands and can be thrown off by chronic stress. When these levels are off, it can cause feelings of anxiety, fatigue, low motivation and feeling unsettled.
Dr. Donielle Wilson says this hormone is "tremendously important to our health and well-being," and that it underlies, "just about every health problem we face."
The easiest way to combat cortisol levels is to take a break. If you're at the office and feeling stressed, step away for a moment. Take a fifteen-minute break and go for a short walk around the building.
Deep breathing exercises help if you don't have the luxury of getting away. Identify areas of your life where you are overwhelmed and put a plan in place to cope.
Learn the art of saying "no" and be selfish with your free time. As you declutter your agenda and create moments of rest, your stress hormone will return to normal.
Eat a Balanced Diet.
When you were eighteen, your metabolism was up, your weight was down, and you could eat anything in sight and feel great! Oh, how cruel time can be.
Thirty years later, it's the opposite. Your metabolism is down, your weight is up, and it's throwing your hormones off. Testosterone production is lowered by diets high in refined carbohydrates.
On the flip side, estrogen (the female hormone) is raised, turning your body from chiseled to chunky. However, all you need is a simple diet change to pump your testosterone into high gear.
Vitamin D has been shown to increase production of testosterone. Add natural sources of vitamin D to your diet by eating tuna, egg yolks, fortified cereals, and drinking low-fat vitamin D milk. Oysters, shellfish, beef, and beans have zinc which is an essential nutrient to keep hormones in check.
You also want to increase your cruciferous vegetable intake which helps stabilize your thyroid hormone. These are broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale and brussels sprouts to name a few. Add these foods to your regular diet and reap the benefit of a healthier, manlier you.
When you're suffering from hormone imbalance, the last thing you feel like doing is exercising. However, if you can bring yourself to do it, it will make a world of difference.
According to Eric Metcalf MPH, exercise can briefly boost testosterone post-workout. Whether it's a thirty-minute walk or a weight-lifting session, you will see a rise in hormone levels.
The key to getting a higher boost is to use more muscles. A full-body workout will see a larger reaction than one focused on a specific muscle group.
Lifting heavier weights with shorter rest periods in between will also see higher hormone reactions. Cautions not to over-train as this could cause more of the stress hormone, cortisol.
The biggest benefit of exercise is to help you lose weight. Belly fat contributes to the level of estrogen in your body and could be suppressing your natural testosterone production.
Exercising should become a habit and watch your belly shrink as your hormones rise to restore order to your body.
If you feel like your engine is running a little sluggishly, don't just discount it as natural aging. Take these steps to balance your hormones naturally. Once your engine is tuned-up, you'll be back in the fast lane in no time. Keep track of your hormone levels by doing regular blood tests: