Posted by Live Well Testing on 09/07/2017

4 Things to Know about Testosterone and Its Effects on Hormone Balance in Men

4 Things to Know about Testosterone and Its Effects on Hormone Balance in Men

Hormones are chemical messengers that control all critical cellular activities in our body. Both men as well as women need to have them in balance for a healthy body and mind. Hormone imbalance can lead to a plethora of health problems. Timely diagnosis and analysis of the exact cause and nature of imbalance will equip you to better deal with it.

Hormone imbalances are more pronounced in women but fluctuations in hormones cause problems for men too. With age the level of testosterone, the male sexual hormone, falls and can potentially lead to estrogen dominance in men. This in turn leads to health issues like urinary tract problems, tiredness, infertility, moodiness and even prostate cancer.

A comprehensive test will help you determine whether you are experiencing hormonal imbalance. But before that you must check whether you have any of the telltale symptoms of the condition. Also, besides medication it is possible to restore hormone health by adopting good lifestyle habits and resorting to safe natural remedies.

Here are a few tips for you to manage your hormonal wellbeing and get your life back on track.

1. Why Does Hormonal Imbalance Occur?

Hormone imbalance can occur due to a wide variety of reasons. A healthy 40-year old male will have only 50% of the growth hormone testosterone that he had in his body at age 20. By the age of 80, this will drop to about 5%. This decline in testosterone levels is called andropause or ‘male menopause’.

An enzyme called aromatase converts testosterone into estrogen. As you get older, more testosterone gets converted into estrogen than is being produced in your body. This leads to estrogen dominance which in long-term results in serious health problems like prostate cancer. Aromatase activity also increases with increase in abdominal fat, thereby depleting testosterone level in the body. Hence obesity is also responsible for hormonal imbalance.

Low testosterone is linked with depression, low libido, insulin resistance and excessive weight gain.

2. Other Causes of Hormonal Imbalance in Men

Hypogonadism is the condition where testes become under active in producing testosterone. Autoimmune diseases, chronic kidney and liver ailments, obesity, diabetes and cancers also cause testosterone level in the body to drop.

As mentioned earlier, estrogen dominance is another condition that exacerbates hormonal imbalance. Aging, synthetic hormone replacement therapy and Type 2 diabetes are among the known and common causes.

Pituitary gland problems and long term illnesses also lead to low testosterone levels. Certain genetic or inherited diseases like Down syndrome and alcohol abuse adversely affect hormone balance in men.

Other probable causes include use of certain types of painkillers that affect the sex-hormone binding globulin (SHBG) and lead to fall in testosterone level. Bioavailable forms of testosterone are bound to albumin or are in free state, whereas SHBG-bound testosterone is not capable of affecting cellular actions of the essential hormone.

High testosterone level may indicate cancer of adrenal glands or the testicles.

3. Symptoms and Effects of Hormone Imbalance

It is not hard to spot telltale symptoms of hormonal imbalance in a healthy male.

Foggy thinking, night sweats, decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, low sperm count, infertility, increased urinary urge, memory problems and headaches are all linked with hormonal imbalance in men. Decreased stamina, irritability, weight gain, reduced muscle mass and hair loss are some of the other symptoms that you need to watch out for.

Poor cardiovascular health has often been linked to low testosterone level. Insulin resistance and atherogenic lipid profiles that are typically cardiovascular risk factors are also seen at higher levels in men suffering from low testosterone level.

The health and wellbeing of your central nervous system is another key indicator of hormonal health. Testosterone functions as an endogenous neuroprotective agent and promotes neuron integrity. It also improves neuron survival, especially as you get older and are more vulnerable to neurodegenerative diseases. Studies suggest that low testosterone production increases vulnerability to Alzheimer’s disease. Testosterone treatment was found to be helpful in improving cognitive ability and visual-spatial function.

4. Importance of Hormone Testing

Timely hormone testing will help arrest hormonal imbalance and improve symptoms. Millions of men experience an unhealthy combination of high cholesterol and low testosterone as they age. This could be due to the body producing more raw materials in the hope of processing more hormones. Several studies indicate that a healthy testosterone level can effectively reduce cholesterol level in some patients.

Early morning tests are usually carried out because that’s when the level of free testosterone in the body is at its highest. Further endocrine tests may also be suggested if your doctor deems necessary.

A healthy diet, stress-free lifestyle, regular exercise and a socially active disposition are all found to be helpful in combating testosterone decline.

Conclusion

A low testosterone level may be indicative of other deep-seated physiological issues. Sometimes addressing the hormonal imbalance will help reduce or alleviate several other nagging health issues. So it is important that you check your hormones regularly and follow a healthy lifestyle to ensure that you stay in your best shape well into your old age.


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