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  #1   ^
Old Sat, Feb-09-19, 06:17
WereBear's Avatar
WereBear WereBear is online now
Posts: 11,214
Plan: Epi-Paleo/IF
Stats: 220/155/150 Female 67
Progress: 93%
Location: USA
Default Male PCOS? Amy Berger looks at data.

I listened to Amy on a HMVN podcast (which I am liking, the host is very informed about the science, and the guest list is stellar) and she mentioned this article she had written from a year ago, which I had missed.

Is There a Male Equivalent to PCOS? (a.k.a. The Detrimental Effects of Hyperinsulinemia on Men's Health) instantly struck me as an “of course!” situation. If women develop a problem with their reproductive systems from a high carb diet and the resulting insulin resistance, then of course men would, too.

This also highlights a continuing prejudice in medicine, where so much of what doctors do today is based on what they learned from testing young white men who were going to medical school. Even though they treat women as “different,” they don’t go on to the logical next step of understanding that treatment should also be different, not seeing women as less accurate copies of men.

We know for certain that PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome)—which is “is the most common endocrinopathy of reproductive aged women affecting 6-10% of the population,”—is driven primarily by chronic hyperinsulinemia. (Incidence may be as high as 18% among certain cohorts when different diagnostic criteria are used, putting the number of women affected worldwide at around 10 million.)
In fact, the causal link (not just an association!) between hyperinsulinema and PCOS is so well-known (and so powerful) that metformin—best known as a diabetes drug—is among the frontline pharmaceutical interventions for PCOS. Keep this in mind as you read about the men’s issues here.

I have read about LOTS of women with PCOS who went lowcarb and not only solved their distressing symptoms, they got a baby, too. In fact, I’ve seen many blog posts from women lowcarbers warning other women that low carb ramps up your fertility, so if a baby isn’t right for you right now, make sure you have your birth control needs met.

Facial hair, acne, oily skin, mood swings, weight gain, menstrual irregularities, and infertility are not the only signs and symptoms of PCOS. These signs & symptoms are driven by the underlying hormonal disturbances, which include: elevated insulin, increased adrenal androgen synthesis (more testosterone and/or DHEA), decreased sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), increased luteinizing hormone (LH), and decreased follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). And while the stereotypical PCOS patient is overweight or obese, as many as 50% of women with PCOS are not overweight or obese. (Remember, chronic hyperinsulinemia leads to obesity in some people, but not all. There are millions of people walking around with a “normal” body weight, but sky-high insulin levels.)

Since men produce all of these hormones as well, could there be a male equivalent of PCOS?
Let’s take a look at three different areas where chronic hyperinsulinemia has adverse effects on men:

Early onset androgenetic alopecia (a.k.a. male-pattern baldness)
Erectile dysfunction
Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) – enlargement of the prostate gland

Isn’t it amazing how much stuff we think of as “normal aging” turn out to be connected to the way we eat? Fascinating stuff. A good read.

Now I’m off to see what else I missed, since I’ve been very low energy the past few months. Though that is getting better: at the one month mark on Keto plan.
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  #2   ^
Old Sat, Feb-09-19, 09:26
GRB5111's Avatar
GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
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Plan: Ketogenic (LCHFKD)
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Location: Herndon, VA

Amy's got some great information. Always a good read or listen. Thanks for the link!

I believe hyperinsulinemia has many negative influences on males that can diminish capabilities in many areas. Testosterone production can be impacted along with a myriad of many other conditions. I've experienced the disappearance of a variety of health conditions that my doctors would typically treat separately as diseases unto themselves like hypertension, sleep apnea, GERD, skin tags, visceral fat, and several others. There's a pill for everything, and everything is treated as an island. Insulin resistance, a term which I believe Amy no longer favors, and/or Metabolic Syndrome are the conditions that overlie all these other "diseases" and when successfully treating these broader conditions, tend to clear up all the others. The great thing is that lifestyle changes, still dismissed by many medical practitioners, are powerful enough to diminish or eliminate hyperinsulinemia or Metabolic Syndrome. Once that is achieved, these associated symptoms disappear.
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