Men's Health: Fatigue, Chronic Stress, and Mental Health Need to be Addressed

Oct 26, 2021

When it comes to Mental Health, symptoms of depression in Men can look a lot different than women. Dr. Michael Myers,  a psychiatrist and clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia, notes that symptoms commonly present as migraines, back pain, and irritable bowel syndrome (1). 

Warning bells should also be going off for men, when feeling “worn out” becomes a normal state of being. Tired and stressed are often signs of prioritizing our many responsibilities above health.  While being exhausted is not gender specific, men are at higher risk of developing disease and die at higher rates for all the top 10 causes of death including: heart disease, diabetes, liver disease and many cancers. 

Fatigue and stress can lead to poor food choices, skipping exercise, using caffeine and other substances as stimulants and calming aids can perpetuate poor health.  Low levels of testosterone, obesity and many prescription medications can also negatively influence male vitality. The good news is that many of these hazards can be addressed with preventative lifestyle choices and daily habits.

"Beliefs about masculinity also encourage men’s general lack of interest in health issues; many men simply don’t believe they are susceptible to depression, so why bother learning about it? Similarly, risky behaviour, seen especially in younger men – including abuse of alcohol and/or drugs and violence – can mask their emotional problems, both from themselves and their physicians."  -

Lifestyle Habits

  1.        Drink 1 Liter of filtered water for every 50lbs of body weight.  Optimal hydration flushes toxins and improves all functions of the body.  An alkaline host is a primary defense against disease.  To further promote an alkaline state add supplements or foods that are alkaline forming like the juice of half a lemon, fermented green foods, spirulina and chlorella.
  2.        Make a daily commitment to moving your body.  Exercise improves our cardiovascular health and aids in stress management.  Exercise also helps the body release a substance called luteinizing hormone which increase free testosterone production.    45 minutes of exercise can increase free testosterone by up to 39.6%
  3.        Eat Organic! Choose nutrient dense SuperFoods. Stock up with organic fruits and vegetable and organic protein sources.  Fermented superfoods are readily digested and absorbed. They add nutrition, antioxidants, enzymes and micronutrients to support well-being.
  4.        Listen to your body.  If your body is telling you it is tired, stop and listen.  Are your shoulders tight, sore achy joints or muscles, always fighting something? Reset your boundaries, make better food choices and rest your body.
  5.        Hormonal balance is key to male vitality. The hormone system is complicated and is influenced by age, diet, exercise, supplements and environmental factors. Did you know that men experience male menopause? Similar to women, around the age of 40 men can start to notice a decrease in testosterone. This drop can have some negative implications on their mental health.

Let's dive a little deeper into Male hormones...

Testosterone is a male sex hormone made in the testes and the adrenal glands.  Most testosterone in your blood is bound to albumin or sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) and is unavailable to the body. Unbound testosterone is bio-available (free) testosterone.  The amount of free testosterone is directly related to masculinity, male energy, strength and performance.  Free testosterone can be increased through influencing production factors or by preventing free testosterone from turning into bound test (SHBG and DHT).  We can positively affect the production of free testosterone by increasing the sterols and by decreasing hormones circulating in the blood which inhibit the production of free testosterone.

Andropause is the slow but steady reduction in testosterone and other hormone production that occurs with aging. The main symptoms are: loss of libido and potency, loss of muscle mass, depression, nervousness, insomnia, fatigue, inability to concentrate, erectile dysfunction, frequency of urination, loss of memory and sweating. Reduced amounts of free test can also be a result of diet, exercise and elevated hormones including cortisol, estrogen and cholesterol. These hormones are connected via the endocrine system and when elevated have a negative reciprocal effect on free testosterone.

Cortisol is a catabolic hormone that is elevated under stress.  Elevated cortisol disrupts the testicular testosterone production process and upsets the delicate balance levels of luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), and prolactin.  Stimulating the production of luteinizing hormone helps our body create free testosterone.

Vitamins, Minerals and Herbal extracts that can support the production of free testosterone include:

Zinc, Magnesium and B6

Highly absorbable forms of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6 aid in the production to testosterone, the maintenance of lean muscle tissue and improve sleep and alleviate symptoms of stress. 

Male Hormone Support Herbal Extracts

Rhodiola, Ashwaganda, Holy Basil and Siberian ginseng are adaptogenic herbs which are clinically shown to manage cortisol levels.    Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant and along with DIM have been shown to reduce estrogen levels resulting in stimulating luteinizing hormone to produce testosterone.

Tribulus, Fenugreek and Tongkat ali increase luteinizing hormone by providing plant sterols that are converted through hormonal pathways to produce more total testosterone and increase levels of free testosterone

Saw palmetto and Stinging nettle block the interaction between free testosterone and bound testosterone (SHBG and albumin bound testosterone).  These herbs also prevent the interaction that changes testosterone to DHT.  DHT is found in higher concentrations in those suffering from benign prostate hypertrophy (BPH) and in cases of male pattern baldness. 

Other Nutrients that can support stress and Mental Health Include: 

B-Vitamins: When we are constantly stressed, we tend to use up a lot more of our B-vitamins. And at a much faster rate than we can sometimes keep up through diet alone! That's ok because this is where a good quality B-vitamin complex can be very helpful. A lot of B's are also important for brain health and supporting mood. Note: It's not recommended, unless advised by your practitioner, to take a B-complex for more than 3 months without taking a break.

Magnesium: This super power mineral has over 300 functions in the body and is especially important for regulating our nervous system. Magnesium has a very high burn rate when we are chronically stressed so it's very important to supplement with a good quality magnesium to support our bodies needs. 

When it comes to supporting Men's Mental health it is imperative that we continue to raise awareness around their vulnerability and susceptibility to depression, Men and Women need to end the stigma associated with Men's Mental Health and continue to voice the need for more research and resources. 

A great resource for men is: Its a Movember Foundation funded group based out of the University of British Columbia that is dedicated to supporting men living with depression, as well as their friends and families. They provide practical advice, information about professional services and inspirational stories of recovery (2).



All information and tools presented and written within this Article are for educational and Informational purposes only. Any nutrition, lifestyle and product recommendations are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Before starting any new supplements, diet and exercise program please check with your doctor or practitioner.


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