Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Notes on the “Holy Hormones Honey” podcast (August 8, 2012)
Dr. Ken Stoller said oxytocin helps the brain to heal so it can start processing emotions. Testosterone blocks the effects of oxytocin. Men have less oxytocin to begin with, then from adolescence onward, testosterone blocks its efficacy. As men age and testosterone levels start to drop, the oxytocin begins to be expressed.
Testosterone spikes and dips 4x/hr. It also fluctuates daily, higher in the morning and lower at night, contributing to irritability and anger. According to Dr. Jed Diamond, it is actually more common for there to be anger and irritability when testosterone is dropping rather than when it is too high.
Men do have hormonal cycles, individual to each man rather than a set monthly schedule like women have. Dr. Diamond recommends increased exercise, massage, warm baths.
It feels like the man’s partner is going out of her way to get on his last nerve, when in fact, it is the man’s hormone levels that are the cause. The cause is internal, not external.
Europe has been using hormone replacement therapy for men with good results since World War II.
30-40% of men in male menopause have hot flashes. The hot flashes indicate a more rapid change. The change can happen any time between 35 and 65 for men, though for many it is 40-55, and tends to be a more subtle and slower change for men compared to the rapid drops in estrogen, progesterone and testosterone in women.
Midlife crisis, or “male menopause,” is based on biochemical changes and hormone drops. For men, sexual changes include erectile dysfunction and loss of libido. Emotional changes: increased anger and irritability, depression. Physical changes: dry skin, weight gain in the belly despite healthy diet and exercise, increased risk of heart attack (related to hormone levels).