The Older Middle Aged Man: Part 2 - Oh The Hormones

Ok... So now I have done my best to describe to you one way that a health care scenario can go. I would now like to tell you how I might approach the same problem from a "functional medicine" approach.

The first thing to be done would be to get some tests of our own. I would probably use both blood and salivary hormone tests. I find the ones that are ordered by docs are full of holes and don’t usually offer the whole picture. In this case it is best to do it yourself and avoid the managed system as much as possible. After all, why should an insurance company tell you what is medically necessary? These tests are easy to order, and I would be more than happy to make sense of them for you.

So first I would like to rule out any blood sugar disorders, anemia, adrenal disorders and obvious signs of liver dysfunction. All of which can stop the body from being able to regulate itself. A very likely scenario with this man is that there will be high blood sugar in the mix.

There occurs a nasty cycle with high blood sugar/insulin and the conversion of testosterone into estrogen in men. (The opposite for women) This is well documented and happens more than you want to know. What we are seeing clinically with this older middle aged man is a swelling prostate, weight gain in the hips and breasts, low libido and some mild depression. All of which are symptoms that can occur when the testosterone/estrogen balance is shifted away from testosterone dominance. Afterall, he is a man and should be testosterone doninant. Without correcting the blood sugar problem first there is no way to correct the hormone problem. It simply does not matter how much hormone you give him. The problem will not go away.

In fact, giving that man more testosterone in the form of gels or patches is basically like giving him estrogen, which of course will make the problem even worse. The shift of testosterone to estrogen occurs in the fat tissue. The fatter and higher the blood sugar the man has the more estrogen he will create. This very basic and well documented fact is overlooked on a grand scale in mainstream medicine and men are being given hormones anyway. These men are being injured. And the more estrogen a man has, the more other hormones like DHT are going to end up ‘stuck’ in the prostate, further stimulating it to grow and possibly to develop cancer. So by injured, I really mean injured.

The harm done by exogenous hormone use is really quite staggering, which is why I chose to write about this particular problem with this man's treatment first. Hormone therapy often times makes you feel much better at first but can then give way to a "crash and burn" situation really quickly. And getting off of the stuff can be really uncomfortable.

Stay tuned for my next installment as I discuss the cholesterol problem, and how people are getting outdated information as a cornerstone for their cholesterol management.

Oh that poor older middle aged man....