When most people hear about hormone imbalance it’s typical to think more of women, menopause, and body changes. But men also may develop hormone imbalances that can result in some serious health changes during the aging process. Hormone imbalance in men is a very common but underreported condition. Aging plays a large role in male hormone imbalance and various symptoms shown. There are many questions that can be answered by learning more about your imbalances and how you can receive treatment.
1. Get the Facts
What is hormone imbalance? When does hormone imbalance occur? What are some symptoms in males? What do I need to prepare for? What tests are available? How can I seek treatment? Learning the answers to these questions is key to your health and getting treatment.
What is a Hormone Imbalance?
Hormone imbalance in men may develop as a consequence of aging. We usually think of testosterone levels dropping but abnormal levels of thyroid hormones or cortisol may also occur. When hormones are even slightly imbalanced it can cause major health problems. According to BioTe Medical, “A hormonal imbalance can occur at any point in a man’s life—even in his early 30s. Symptoms can be brought on by stress, an acute injury, illness, poor nutrition, inadequate exercise, and a host of other factors. Having too much or too little of just one hormone can have ramifications throughout the body, so it’s important to know the indicators of male hormone imbalance, such as low testosterone.”
When Does it Occur?
There are many contributing factors to when a male hormone imbalance may occur. According to CORE Medical & Wellness, “male growth hormones tend to steadily decrease after the age of 20. By age 40, most men retain only half of their original growth hormones, and by age 80 they typically retain only 5%.” Other contributing factors may include:
- Activity levels
- Choices in your diet
- Increased stress levels
- Medications being consumed
2. Symptoms In Males
When hormones are out of balance, a range of common symptoms may occur. Testosterone plays an important role in your health. Getting familiar with these symptoms will help you understand how they can be managed and what treatment to seek. The most common symptoms include:
- A decrease in body hair growth including beard growth
- Breast tenderness
- Erectile dysfunction
- Gynecomastia (development of breast tissue)
- Hot flashes
- Loss of bone mass (Osteoporosis)
- Loss of concentration
- Loss of muscle mass
Not all men experience all of symptoms and they can range in severity from person to person. Do you know what’s causing your hormonal imbalance? Many of these symptoms may occur no matter how healthy of a lifestyle you embrace. The first step is to make an appointment for a consultation to get professional advice.
3. Talk to Your Doctor for Treatment
If you’re experiencing symptoms and have questions on what to expect or how to prepare, the best person to consult is your doctor. Your family doctor can help with the basics, but a specialist in hormone imbalance may be best equipped to assist you. When talking with your doctor, it’s important to be prepared with information about your symptoms. The following are some topics to keep in mind:
- When did your symptoms first occur?
- How often do they occur?
- Do you have an increase in stress?
- Do you have trouble with maintaining or getting an erection?
- Have you had a recent change in your weight?
- Does anything help relieve your symptoms?
Remember to bring a list of all current medications, supplements, and vitamins.
4. Diagnoses and Tests
There are multiple tests available to correctly diagnose a male hormone imbalance. Some diagnostic tests that might be suggested include:
- Blood tests
- Genital exam
- Depending on circumstances and goals of treatment, more advanced tests such as ultrasound, thyroid scan or a semen analysis may be advised.
Contact Chapel Hill Gynecology
Treatment for a hormonal imbalance will vary depending on the individual and what is causing it. To learn more about treatment options, we can help. Dr. Karen Clark of Chapel Hill Gynecology is an experienced OB/GYN and NCMP. She specializes in management of hormone imbalances including menopause management and hormone therapy for women as well as men. If you have concerns about hormonal imbalance and how to navigate your health, Dr. Clark can help you choose a hormone regimen that is right for you. Call Dr. Clark at (919) 960-2720 to schedule an appointment.