Hormonal imbalances are often thought of as a “woman’s problem”. However, men can also suffer from hormone-related health issues. In fact, according to research published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice, up to 38 percent of American men aged 45 years and older may have some form of testosterone deficiency. That’s a lot of guys, and it shows that hormonal imbalances are not just a female concern.
Keep reading to learn more about the causes and treatments of hormone imbalances in men.
Common Hormonal Imbalance Symptoms in Men
There are many symptoms associated with hormonal imbalances in men. Some of the most common include:
1. Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a condition in which a man cannot achieve or maintain an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. ED can be caused by physical and psychological factors, as well as by hormonal imbalances. In the United States, it is estimated that 18 million men over age 20 have erectile dysfunction. Hormonal imbalances are often a significant contributing factor to ED. For example, testosterone is the hormone most closely associated with sexual function in men, and low testosterone levels can lead to ED. Other hormones, such as adrenaline and thyroid hormones, can also play a role in sexual function and may be out of balance in men with ED.
2. Low Libido
Low libido is a common problem for men of all ages. While it can be easy to attribute low libido to simple fatigue or stress, the reality is that there can be many underlying causes, including hormone imbalance. When testosterone levels are low, it can lead to a decrease in sexual desire. Testosterone levels can decline with age, but other factors such as weight gain, illness, and certain medications can also contribute to low testosterone levels. In addition, low libido is often associated with erectile dysfunction. However, it should be noted that they are separate issues. Low libido is when someone doesn’t want to have sex as often as they used to or at all, while ED is when someone cannot get or maintain an erection.
3. Mood Swings, Fatigue, and Brain Fog
Any man who has experienced mood swings, fatigue, or brain fog can attest that these symptoms can be truly debilitating. And while some men may write these symptoms off as a case of the “blues,” the reality is that they could indicate a hormone imbalance. Hormone levels naturally fluctuate throughout the day, but when those fluctuations become extreme, they can cause various problems. For example, low levels of testosterone can lead to fatigue and depression. On the other hand, high levels of testosterone can cause irritability, anger, and aggressiveness. In either case, hormone imbalance can significantly impact mood and energy levels.
4. Weight Gain, Muscle Loss, and Decreased Bone Density
Any man can attest to the fact that their bodies go through some pretty big changes as they age. They might not always be happy about these changes — especially when they involve weight gain, muscle loss, and decreased bone density — but most men chalk it up to “getting older.” However, many men don’t realize that these physical changes can be caused by a hormone imbalance. In fact, research has shown that testosterone deficiency may be a factor in the development of osteoporosis in men.
5. Hair Loss and Dry Skin
If you’re a man and you’ve noticed thinning hair or dry, flaky skin, it could be due to a hormone imbalance. Hormone levels fluctuate throughout our lives and can be affected by everything from stress to diet to aging. When hormones are out of balance, it can cause a range of problems, including hair loss and dry skin. In these cases, using special shampoos and lotions might not be enough to correct the problem. Instead, you may need to look into hormone therapy to restore balance and improve your overall health.
Treatment for Hormonal Imbalance in Men
Fortunately, many treatment options are available for men suffering from hormonal imbalances. If you think you may have a problem, you should first speak to a qualified healthcare professional for hormone imbalance testing. Once you’ve confirmed your situation, there are a few different ways to treat it. The most common treatments are:
- Hormone Replacement Therapy – This involves taking bioidentical hormone replacement supplements to bring your levels back up to normal. This is a personally tailored treatment option that will be different for everyone.
- Diet and Lifestyle Changes – Making changes to your diet and lifestyle is always a good idea, but it can be beneficial if you suffer from hormonal imbalance. Eating a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise can help regulate your hormones and improve your overall health.
- Natural Supplements – Many natural supplements on the market can be used in conjunction with BHRT and your new diet and lifestyle changes. For example, hair supplements may lessen hair loss, promote new growth, and strengthen strands, while digestive supplements can help to improve gut health and reduce inflammation. There are also stress supplements that may reduce anxiety and enhance the quality of sleep.
If you’re a man experiencing any combination of the symptoms above or know one who is, there may be a hormonal imbalance at play. Fortunately, many treatment options are available, including hormone replacement therapy and natural supplements. If you think you might have a problem, speak to a healthcare professional about hormone testing and treatment options today.