Although most people are aware that women can be significantly impacted by hormones, you may not know how important it is for men to keep their hormones balanced. The male endocrine system is just as important to health and well being as the female hormone system, even if it doesn’t get as much attention. Learn more about the role hormones play in a man’s body and how to know if your hormones are properly balanced.
Important Hormones in Men
Cortisol and epinephrine: often called stress hormones, these are produced by your hypothalamus and control the fight-or-flight response to danger. A surge of these stress hormones will increase your heart rate, open up your airways and release fat and glucose into your bloodstream. An imbalance of these hormones caused by excessive stress can cause you to accumulate belly fat. Keep these hormones in check with regular exercise and stress management techniques.
Leptin, ghrelin, CCK, insulin: these hormones help control your appetite and weight. Ghrelin causes you to feel hungry when your stomach is empty and cholecystokinin (CCK) is responsible for telling you when you’ve had enough. Leptin and insulin also help signal your body that it’s time to stop eating. An imbalance in these hormones can cause you to feel hungry more often than you should or not experience satisfaction after a full meal. This can lead to overeating and weight gain. Research has shown that reducing sugar intake helps to restore balance among your weight and appetite hormones.
Thyroxine: secreted by your thyroid, this hormone manages your metabolism and energy levels. A malfunctioning thyroid can cause weight gain or loss, weakness and fatigue. Thyroid problems may need to be addressed with dietary changes or prescription medication.