Hormone Imbalance Symptoms Male

When you hear hormones, you may think back to when you heard your parents call you “hormonal” during puberty, and they were right. Hormone production goes wild during puberty. However, hormones do not suddenly become less important or less present after pubescence ends. In fact, hormones are being produced and utilized by your body every day to carry out necessary and common bodily functions.

When your hormones are out of balance (much like during your pubescent years), you can expect a range of symptoms, ranging from mild irritability to more serious conditions like rapid weight gain or erectile dysfunction. Understanding hormones and how to recognize and handle a hormone imbalance is key to maintaining overall wellness and ensuring that your body can function optimally. 

The Importance and Function of Male Hormones

Your hormones are a product of your endocrine system, which includes glands like the pituitary gland, testicles, adrenal gland, thyroid, hypothalamus, and more. Your endocrine system and the hormones produced are responsible for regulating chemical reactions throughout your body, allowing certain chemicals to penetrate particular cells, and helping to regulate metabolic functions throughout the body.

Overall growth and development, including mental and physical development

There are quite a few hormones that are regularly produced by the male body. All of these, in their specific proportions, work to aid bodily functions and promote wellness. Your hormones are responsible for even some of your body’s most basic operations. Some of these functions include:

  • Overall growth and development, including mental and physical development.
  • Energy levels also referred to as your metabolism
  • Healthy reproduction and sex drive
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    Emotional and physical responses to all stimuli, like feeling pain, physical touch, or experiencing stress or emotions
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    Homeostasis, or your body’s natural balance, which allows it to function properly

There are many hormones in a male’s body, and each one is as important as the next because they all work together to help you function properly. Some of these abundant hormones that are specifically important to men include:

  • Testosterone: This hormone is produced in the gonads and aids in building and maintaining muscle mass, upkeeping a healthy libido, managing red blood cell count, and maintaining bone density. Testosterone plays many roles and is one of the most commonly deficient hormones in men. Too little testosterone can be serious, causing prostate problems like prostate enlargement or increasing your cholesterol.
  • Dihydrotestosterone (DHT): DHT is responsible for much of the sexual differentiation between males and females. It also plays a large role in the way a male’s body and reproductive system grows and matures, especially during puberty. DHT is formed when certain enzymes convert testosterone, and too much DHT commonly leads to permanent hair loss.
  • Progesterone: This hormone is one of the most abundant in the male body and helps to relax the nervous system. It is important especially for maintaining a healthy DHT balance. Excessive progesterone can lead to uncontrollable weight gain and other complications.

Some other hormones that are equally important in the male body include:

  • Androstenedione
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone
  • Estrone
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    Luteinising Hormone
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    Follicle Stimulating Hormone

Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance

To the untrained eye, without the benefit of proper medical tests, hormone imbalances can be hard to recognize. This is because some of the most common symptoms are mild and easy to brush off as unimportant or not dangerous. However, other symptoms of a hormone imbalance may be more severe.

Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance

Some symptoms that may indicate a hormone imbalance in men include:

  • Difficulty managing weight, usually weight gain or increased body fat
  • Abnormal hair growth on the body
  • Hair loss or male pattern baldness
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    Irritability or uncontrollable, sudden mood swings
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    Erectile dysfunction or a decrease in libido
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    Anxiety and/or depression
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    Gynecomastia, a condition where men experience development or enlargement of the “breast”
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    Loss of muscle tissue, which sometimes turns to fat
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    Memory loss
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    Trouble sleeping
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    Sudden, frequent hot flashes

While this list covers most of the common symptoms, it is important to note that some men do not experience noticeable symptoms or only experience mild symptoms that do not seem to be reason for concern. It is imperative to maintain good health by scheduling regular checkups so that your doctor will catch a hormone imbalance, even if you don’t.

What to Do If You Suspect A Hormone Imbalance

If you suspect that your hormones are out of whack or you are regularly experiencing any or a combination of these symptoms, you should contact your doctor. He or she will be able to perform certain tests (usually blood tests), to create a personal hormone panel for you. Then, you and your doctor will be able to see if your hormones are out of balance and work to determine what treatment or lifestyle changes, if any, you need to undergo.

Even if your symptoms are mild, you should understand that hormone imbalances can lead to serious ailments and issues, like prostate cancer, permanent hair loss, or neurological conditions.

Treating a Hormone Imbalance

For mild hormone imbalances that aren’t causing serious side effects, you may be able to see improvement after simple lifestyle changes. This may include things like including regular exercise (that stimulates the heart rate) at least three times a week, changing your diet to avoid high amounts of fatty foods, carbohydrates, and cholesterol and include the majority of necessary daily vitamins and nutrients from fruits and vegetables. Additionally, reducing any unnecessary stress, or quitting some unfavorable habits, like smoking or excessive drinking can also lead to more improvement.

Sometimes, these easy changes are not enough to balance your hormones. In this case, your doctor may suggest a medical approach, such as hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, which includes a series of injections, oral medications, or a daily topical gel. Your doctor will determine which hormones are deficient todetermine the best type of HRT for you.

You should know that most hormone treatments are for life. In some cases, the hormones may begin to balance themselves naturally once again, but often discontinuing treatment will result in the return of all of your previous symptoms or worsening of those symptoms. Always discuss lifestyle changes, new medications, or concerns about your hormones with your doctor. He or she will know best how to treat you and help you keep your hormones in check.