When most people hear “hormone imbalance,” many immediately assume that the condition only refers to middle-aged women undergoing menopause. Unfortunately, this misconception is mainly due to a lack of information or proper education on the matter, leading millions of people to ignore symptoms that could be indicative of hormone imbalance and eventually affect their overall quality of life. But the truth is that hormone imbalance can affect anyone at any age, including the male population.
However, since hormone imbalance typically occurs in men as they grow older, many males believe that the symptoms they experience are just a result of natural aging and rarely consider other potential causes. Without a proper diagnosis, many cases involving hormone imbalance in men are left untreated, eventually leading to more serious medical conditions that significantly impact their health. Of course, attending regular check-ups with your physician can help you catch hormone imbalance during its early stages and correct the issue before it becomes problematic, but you can find relief much faster if your doctor is made aware of the symptoms you’re experiencing. Understanding how your hormones work and recognizing the signs of hormone imbalance is the first step in receiving the proper treatment needed to balance your hormone levels and reclaim your quality of life.
Understanding Hormonal Imbalance
To fully understand how hormonal imbalance can negatively affect your health, you will first need to understand the purpose of hormones and how they work inside the body.
What Are Hormones?
Every human has several different organs located in various places throughout the body. These are known as endocrine glands. Together, the glands make up your endocrine system and are responsible for developing and secretion of various chemicals known as hormones.
Hormones travel through the bloodstream and carry messages to your muscles, organs, skin, and other tissues. These chemical messages tell your body what to do and when and how to do it. As part of the endocrine system, hormones are responsible for various bodily functions, including:
- Growth and development
- Sexual function
What is Hormonal Imbalance?
The endocrine system is controlled by your pituitary gland, which monitors the number of hormones that travel within your blood. When certain hormone levels rise, your pituitary gland will stop other glands from producing and releasing hormones. When hormone levels start to decrease, the pituitary gland will command particular glands to increase production and release different hormones to compensate for the deficiency. Eventually, these fluctuations in hormone levels can lead to a case of hormone imbalance.
A hormone imbalance usually occurs when your body either has too much or too little of one or more hormones. Even a small change in your hormone levels can cause your body to experience sudden changes that can significantly affect your life. Over 50 hormones in the human body are essential to our body’s physical functions, which means that a dozen types of hormone imbalances can lead to several kinds of medical conditions and various symptoms. Some cases of hormonal imbalance are temporary issues that can be quickly corrected with immediate treatment, while others may become chronic conditions that persist for a lifetime. Typically, the most common hormone-related medical conditions include:
- Thyroid disease
What Are the Types of Hormonal Imbalance in Men?
Commonly seen as the most common male hormone imbalance, andropause is typically characterized as male “menopause” due to its similarities to the age-related transition older women experience after their bodies have had their last menstrual cycle. For most men, andropause usually occurs once their testosterone levels significantly decline during their 40s or 50s. Men with andropause usually develop various symptoms, including depression, fatigue, muscle weakness, mood swings, and erectile dysfunction.
When men suffer from chronic stress, the constant strain can wear down their adrenal glands and affect their levels of cortisol, the hormone needed to regulate their stress response. Once your cortisol levels have declined, your body will have difficulty maintaining other hormones, such as the sex hormone DHEA. Eventually, those low cortisol and DHEA levels can lead to a hormone imbalance and cause several unwanted symptoms, including constant fatigue and impaired mental focus and concentration.
Certain medical conditions, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, can cause the body to create antibodies that eventually damage or destroy the thyroid gland. As a result, the thyroid gland may produce less thyroid hormone or cease production altogether, causing hypothyroidism. Once hypothyroidism occurs, men are more likely to experience sudden weight gain, hair loss, high sensitivity to cold temperatures, and a slower heart rate.
Medical conditions such as excess amounts of iodine in your diet, thyroiditis, and Graves’ disease can cause the thyroid gland to become overactive and produce excess amounts of thyroid hormone, which can lead to a hormone imbalance. Men with an overactive thyroid may have a rapid heart rate or trouble sleeping and typically exhibit symptoms such as irritability, nervousness, and anxiety.
Symptoms of Male Hormone Imbalance
Hormone imbalance can be difficult to pinpoint since many hormonal changes in men can be confused with symptoms associated with exhaustion or other common medical conditions. However, whether the cause is hormone imbalance or something else entirely, it is wise to address these symptoms quickly before they can negatively affect your way of life. Consult with your physician as soon as possible if you are experiencing symptoms such as:
- Hair loss
- Low sex drive
- Weight gain
- Memory loss
- Impaired cognitive function
Men with hormone imbalances, such as low testosterone, may also experience gynecomastia ( the development of breast tissue), decreased bone mass, and erectile dysfunction.
Сommon Causes of a Hormonal Imbalance
Men’s hormone levels commonly fluctuate throughout the day and even at various points in their lives. However, certain instances and even significant lifestyle changes can lead to detrimental fluctuations in hormone levels that can become permanent, eventually leading to hormone imbalance. For most men, the most common causes of hormone imbalance typically include the following:
- Cancerous or benign tumors
- Steroid hormone use
- Certain medications
- Injury or damage to an endocrine gland
- Cancer treatments
- Autoimmune diseases such as Type 1 diabetes
Treatments for Males
Since there are many different types of hormone imbalance, a physician may request several diagnostic tests to determine the cause of your hormone-related condition. Then, depending on your symptoms, they may suggest several forms of male hormonal imbalance treatment to help you restore your hormone levels.
For example, if you have low testosterone, your physician may prescribe hormone replacement therapy to help raise your testosterone levels to the expected standards. Or, if you have decreased thyroid hormone levels, you may receive a prescription for synthetic thyroid hormone pills to help you replenish your diminished thyroid hormones.
Outside of medical treatment, men can also make specific lifestyle changes that can help fix their hormone imbalance, such as:
- Receiving a full night’s sleep
- Eating a regular nutritional diet
- Getting plenty of sunlight during the day
In some cases, certain types of hormone therapy are better at correcting your hormone imbalance. For example, physicians may prescribe bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, which utilizes plant-derived hormones, as a more natural form of treatment to replenish your hormone levels. Regardless of your chosen method, it is important to discuss your symptoms with a physician or licensed hormone specialist so they can help you explore all available options and start addressing your hormone imbalance immediately.
At Renew Vitality, we specialize in hormone replacement therapy to help treat men suffering from symptoms of hormonal imbalance. Our hormone specialists utilize years of medical experience to combine safe hormone medications with easy-to-manage wellness plans to create a comprehensive hormone replacement therapy that can help you restore your hormone levels to optimal standards. If you believe you may be experiencing hormonal imbalance, please contact us at 1-800-785-3945 and schedule an appointment at any of our hormone replacement clinics in the United States to explore our available treatment options.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hypogonadism, typically associated with low testosterone, is the most common cause of male hormone imbalance.
A combination of hormone therapy and healthy lifestyle changes is typically the best treatment for hormone imbalance.
Yes, in some instances, hormonal imbalance can lead to periodic breakouts of acne.
Hormone replacement therapy is the best treatment for hormonal imbalance. However, bioidentical hormone medication is the most natural form of hormone medicine and is considered the best treatment for hormone imbalance.