Women are pretty knowledgeable these days about the effects of oestrogen overload but men are still very much in the dark - very few realise that it’s a serious problem that’s affecting them too.
Often considered to be a ‘female hormone’ we now know that oestrogen has a major role to play in men’s health too. Men naturally produce smaller quantities of the hormone than women, however both sexes are exposed to a high level of oestrogens in the environment that can easily get into the system and cause problems. Rising rates of overweight and obesity add to the problem as this contributes to oestrogen overload too.
Oestrogen Overload Increases Risk of Chronic Disease
Imbalanced oestrogen can cause a whole host of knock on effects in the body, ranging from the mildly irritating to the debilitating. What’s even more worrying is that over time, increased exposure to oestrogen can significantly increase your risk of chronic disease. Signs of oestrogen dominance in women are fairly well-documented, but the story is much less clear for men. As most men age, the level of oestrogen, oestrogen look-alikes and xenoestrogen toxins in their bodies rises. This assault is responsible for a variety of ailments.
Common Symptoms of Oestrogen Overload in Men:
• Loss of muscle
• Difficulty building muscle mass
• Gynecomastia (‘man boobs’)
• Low libido
• Loss of sexual function
• Prostate problems
• Fertility issues / low sperm count
• Depression / anxiety
• Balding / loss of hair
Where do Environmental Oestrogens Come From?
We live in an age where oestrogens are everywhere. Our bodies make them, we take them in the form of medications, and eat, drink and breathe them into the body. Here’s some of the most common sources of oestrogens in our environment:
• Food, air, water
• Plastic residues
• Industrial waste products
• Exhaust fumes
• Soap products
• Dairy products
Balance Oestrogen Naturally
You can balance levels naturally by reducing exposure to oestrogens at the same time as increasing intake of key nutrients needed to safely eliminate them from the body - thus reducing the overall load.
4 Steps to Get Oestrogen Back into Balance
Step 1 – Achieving a healthy weight through dietary and lifestyle change is a key first step to getting oestrogen back into balance.
Step 2 – Reduce alcohol, increase dietary fibre through fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils and wholegrains, reduce intake of meat and dairy & keep sugary drinks and snacks to a minimum as these dietary factors can all contribute to oestrogen overload.
Step 3 – Avoid storing food and drinks in plastic containers, which can contain oestrogen-mimicking compounds. Be particularly wary of anything heated in a plastic container. Choose glass, terracotta or stainless steel instead.
Step 4 – Optimise intake of key nutrients to support healthy oestrogen processing in the body. These include di-indolylmethane (DIM) an important phytonutrient found in broccoli, calcium-d-glucarate, phytoestrogens from flaxseed, n-acetyl-l-cysteine, glycine and l-glutathione, an important antioxidant.