Hormone

How to Naturally Boost Your Testosterone

Posted on December 29, 2016. Filed under: Exercise, Health, Hormone, Testosterone, Weightloss | Tags: , , , , , |

Dr. Greg & Monica bodybuilding

Dr. Greg & wife, Monica

~by Dr. Greg Steiner
CA Acupuncture & Chiropractic

Over the years, testosterone levels have diminished a great deal in men and women both.  Average numbers for young men used to range in the 800’s. In the 1940’s,  an average, 40-45 year old male’s numbers had decreased down to the 700’s and by early 2000’s,  it had dipped into the 500’s. In my clinic today, we are seeing numbers for the majority of males in the 100’s-300’s.  Clearly there is a generalized decrease.  So why is it?

Years ago, in past generations, work would be done by 5:30pm, the male would come home and eat, and usually would rest and just relax after a hard day of work. This included sleeping in on the weekends and taking it easy.  Food was less processed.  Fast forward to today and it’s usually go-go-go 24/7 for both men and women.  There are no breaks, there’s high stress levels and poor quality nutrition. Many people suffer from the following…

Symptoms of low testosterone include:
Fatigue
Depression
Irritability & mood swings
Inability to build and maintain muscle mass
Weight gain
Hair loss
Breast enlargement (in men)
Hot flashes and night sweats
Low sex drive
What does Testosterone do for us?

Having optimal levels of testosterone can help you:
Lose weight
Build muscle mass
Boost your sex drive
Increase bone density
Improve memory and cognitive function
Decrease hot flashes & night sweats

Fortunately, there are ways to naturally increase those testosterone levels…

1. Take Control of Your Stress. Several hormones work against testosterone, one being cortisol. If you’re under constant stress, your body will churn out a steady stream of the stress hormone cortisol. This hormone actually blocks the effects of testosterone so your body will be less able to create testosterone. So, controlling your stress is important for keeping up your testosterone.

2. Get Enough Rest.  If a person has unrelenting stress and cannot sleep, then it’s hard for the body to shut down externally to turn on internally to produce testosterone.  A lack of sleep affects a variety of hormones and chemicals in your body and rest is needed to restore them.  Make sleep a priority, aim for 7 to 8 hours a night.

3. Get to a Healthy Weight.   Overweight or obese men often have low testosterone levels.  Losing the extra weight can help bring testosterone back up.  For underweight men, getting weight up to a healthy level can also have a positive effect on the hormone. Studies are now showing that the more fat you carry, the lower your testosterone levels will be.

4. Reduce Sugar. Testosterone levels decrease after you eat sugar, which is likely because the sugar leads to a high insulin level, another factor leading to low testosterone.  Eat foods that increase testosterone production. These include:
Tomatoes
Red peppers
Cruciferous vegetables
Alfalfa sprouts
Apples and pineapples.
Olives & olive oil
Coconut oil
Grass fed butter
Raw nuts such as walnuts, almonds, pecans
Eggs
Avocados
Grass fed meats

5. Increase Omega Oils.  Most people lack a sufficient quantity of Omega oils which are the backbones of hormones.  Whether it is from a supplement or increased intake of food sources like fish, walnuts, chia, flax or hemp seeds, a person needs good fats to make a good hormone.

6. Reduce Carbohydrate Intake.  Immediately following any high-carbohydrate meal there is a temporary drop in testosterone levels. If you are eating 3-4+ carb dominant meals per day, this will lead to lower testosterone levels overall. Try to limit your consumption of starchy or simple carbohydrates to the 2-3 hour window after your training session for the day. This will ensure that your body is adept at handling the insulin spike a little better, and will also limit your consumption of carbs.  Try starting your day with a high protein/medium fat/low carbohydrate meal like eggs or turkey bacon, along with some green vegetables and avocado/nuts. Most people who switch from a high carb breakfast, to a high protein/moderate fat breakfast report increases in energy, satiety (feeling full), and almost always end up leaner from that one change.

7. Change up your Exercise.  Testosterone adapts to your body’s needs. If you spend most of your time lying on the couch, your brain gets the message that you don’t need as much to bolster your muscles and bones.  When you’re physically active, your brain sends out the signal for more of the hormone but know that longer workouts are not necessarily better. Exercise type and duration can influence your testosterone levels.  If you regularly engage in long, drawn-out workouts with lengthy rest periods or excessive endurance exercise, then your testosterone levels may actually see a reduction.  Workouts lasting longer than about an hour may begin to spike cortisol levels and subsequently decrease testosterone. Additionally, research has shown that a quicker rest period between sets (1 minute vs 3 minutes) triggered higher acute hormonal responses following a bout of resistance training. So, keep your rest periods short and engage in vigorous exercise like weight training incorporating big compound lifts like squats, dead lifts, bench presses and lunges or running hills in order for you to maximize your testosterone response.  Workouts should be between 15-45 minutes up to an hour but no longer, even with rest breaks included. While cardio is important and  it’s good for the circulation, it’s not the most effective way to produce testosterone.  You want to focus more toward the amount of exertion, not just how long you can keep endurance up.

Adding in supplements like zinc, vitamin d, and b-complex have also shown to help testosterone.  Even body building experts (like my wife) believe that eating at certain times during the day and frequent meals with controlled portions also help.  I recommend get your blood levels tested first to find out where you fall on the scale and devising a plan from there.

 

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Slowing the Aging Process

Posted on November 20, 2015. Filed under: Acupuncture Information, Aging, Chiropractic, Exercise, Health, Hormone, Joints, Pain, Posture, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

~ by Dr. Greg Steinerbigstock-Mature-couple-having-fun-in-co-13905050

Growing old is inevitable, but getting old shouldn’t be used as an excuse.  For those who say, “I can’t do this because I’m getting older”, that’s an insufficient answer.  You don’t have to fear aging and let it prohibit you from the things you want to do.  There are a number of things that can be done to slow the process or at the least, allow you to age well.

Many processes going on in the body effect how we age.  Circulation is one of them.  It’s similar to having narrow roads, with fewer trucks on the road making deliveries.  Circulation is our transport system for our bodie’s resources, namely oxygen and nutrition.  As we age, we have a less efficient delivery system.  Also influenced by age is mobility and elasticity.  The gradual need for reading glasses demonstrates a decrease in elasticity in eyes.  It’s kind of ironic how we age that certain things get saggy while other things stiffen up.  Hormones can also get out of whack.  Testosterone & estrogen usually become unbalanced and growth hormone, responsible for repair also decreases.  Imbalanced thyroid levels and insulin can lead us to  suffer from fatigue and other issues.  And let’s not forget about inflammation.  There is inflammation that comes from a recent injury (like breaking a toe), but there’s also inflammation from an injury from 10 years ago.  Some of this stems from scar tissue forming, which over the years becomes less elastic and reduced circulation in that area.  Natural anti-inflammatories in the body work at a slower rate so we feel pain in that particular spot.

But know this, all of those things, at least by some degree are correctable.  Stretching for elasticity and mobility is helpful, but won’t necessarily solve everything.  Due to the computer generation, people these days can barely turn their neck left or right.  It’s double the problem from what I was seeing 20 years ago.  If the neck isn’t kept flexible, it can promote shoulder pain and headaches as well.

Chiropractic can be very helpful in restoring and maintaining mobility and flexibility.  Some people stretch and stretch yet still can’t touch their toes.  Usually this indicates a ligament issue.  Their bones and spine aren’t flexing.  One of the secrets to having a bouncy, happy walk isn’t about being flexible, it’s about having your bones & ligaments moving properly.  If everything is aligned and moving correctly, and the structure is perfectly aligned, the individual has a light, bouncy walk with or without flexibility.

Diet and exercise can help circulation.  Acupuncture and herbs are also useful in promoting circulation as well as helping reduce inflammation.  If you improve the circulation, you’ve got a better supply system which can transport out the waste products.  The healthy diet can then provide the right nutrition to be transported in.  Blood tests can determine how well hormones are balanced.

Everything is tied into one another.  Just like a plate of spaghetti, if one noodle falls off, it usually takes several with it.  Just be sure to treat all the issues together as a whole rather than trying to look at each “noodle” independently.

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Time to Change Your Personal Care Products

Posted on March 4, 2014. Filed under: Allergies, Children, Health, Hormone | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Be sure to read ingredient labels

Be sure to read ingredient labels

~ By Dr. Greg Steiner

Have you ever looked at the label of ingredients on your personal care products?  Most of the words are near impossible to pronounce, and definitely don’t seem like things we’d find in nature.  With all the products we put on our body (i.e. shampoo, body wash, lotions, perfumes, etc…) it’s no wonder so many individuals have developed allergic reactions and skin issues.  If you’re one of the lucky ones who don’t seem to be affected by the chemicals found in personal care products, you can still be headed towards trouble in the future.  While small amounts of these products don’t usually overwhelm our system, an ongoing accumulation of toxins can make the body less able to withstand them.  While there are hundreds of different types of chemicals found in our personal care products, here are just a few you should try to avoid:

  • Sodium Lauryl and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS)—Foaming agents which make products lather. Usually found in toothpaste, shampoo, body washes and soaps. These noxious substances are skin irritants.  Be wary of those labels that say “Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (derived from coconut oil)” as they are trying to make it look like it’s natural but the way they make coconut oil into SLS is through a highly chemical and toxin producing process.
  • Parabens—Used to preserve products for longer shelf life.  Can also be disruptive to hormones
  • Artificial Fragrances aka Phthalates (like benzene and toluene)—Used to make things smell good, but have been found to be hormonal disruptors. Instead look for products that use essential oils for natural fragrance.
  • Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA)—Common preservative in skin care products. It’s been attributed to thyroid problems and has shown to cause reproductive disorders.
  • Propylene Glycol–Found in many industrial and commercial products, including antifreeze, liquid laundry detergent solvents & paint as well as personal care products. The side effects of this common product include irritation and sensitivity to the eyes, skin and mucous membranes,
  • Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)—Often used in oven cleaner products as a powerful de-greaser. Found in many baby wipes, skin cleansers, lotions, shaving cream, lip balm, contact solution and laxatives.  PEG has been linked to kidney damage, leukemia, breast, uterine, and brain cancer.

As far as ingredients go, more is not better.  Try to choose natural products with a shorter list of ingredients.  Many of the ingredients found in bottles are just cheap fillers and not really important to the quality or effectiveness of the item.  Also, try to select products that can provide more than one use.  Shampoo can also work as a body wash, some facial moisturizers can also be used on the cuticles, etc…Or be bold and make your own personal care products.  There are dozens of recipes on the internet using coconut or olive oil, castile soap, vinegar, and essential oils which provide a great natural substitute and save money too!

 

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Are Hot Flashes A Result of Hormonal Imbalance?

Posted on September 13, 2011. Filed under: Hormone |

Surprisingly, these unwelcome bouts of sweat and general discomfort don’t always come with the aging body – over the years I’ve seen any number of ‘young’ (choosing words carefully here!) women experiencing mild to major discomfort. Even the total symptom picture varies among women – for some the heat is the only issue, and for others there can be accompanying nausea, various levels of headache, and mood changes which are usually negative.

Hot flashes are symptomatic of a hormonal imbalance, often involving estrogen. Of course there is more to the story – much more. Of all the systems of the body the hormonal or ‘endocrine’ systems is one of the hardest to understand, diagnose and treat. The important thing to understand is that hormones – all 60+ of them – interact in amazingly complex fashions that are yet to be fully mastered. If you ask a well-educated and experienced endocrinologist about it, he or she will tell you that though more research is being done all the time, it raises as many new questions as it gives answers.  The point: only at times are there simple answers to endocrine issues.

In the case of estrogen imbalances generally, depending the exact situation estrogen can promote unwanted weight gain, and even be implicated in certain types of back and hip pain that is alleviated by hormonal ‘balancing.’  In men, excess estrogen also promotes fat gain, especially in the chest area. An interesting paradox to illustrate the action in males is that when large, super-muscular bodybuilder types take in too much testosterone, while they build massive muscles on the one hand, the excess testosterone converts to estrogen and creates fat growth on the chest, giving the appearance of small female breasts overlaid on a large chest muscle. Powerful stuff, hormones.

Back to hot flashes. In my clinical practice – 20 years at the time of this writing – I’ve seen both young and old women distraught and frustrated with apparent long-term ‘menopause.’ Many of these women were taking various combinations of hormone replacement therapy with limited or little result – that’s why they were seeking alternatives. While practicing in Europe I did observe that some of the younger women were able to significantly improve their condition and reduce their medication simply by cleaning up their diet, which in this case meant reducing ‘bad’ carbohydrate intake and increasing high quality omega oils (which are also called essential fatty acids, or EFA’s).

There are acupuncture methods for working with hormonal imbalances generally, and treating hot flashes specifically.  Herbs and supplements are often of use, but generally the most effective approach is to use specific combinations of these methods, fine-tuned and tailored to the person.

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