Male Hormones: A General Overview
As a male, you have a completely different set of hormones than females, which help you and your male reproductive system function correctly every day. Hormone levels may naturally change with age, but often, when hormones change due to medical conditions or lifestyle factors, they can become off balance.
Hormone imbalances can cause many illnesses and additional issues, most of which are frustrating at best and some of which are dangerous at worst. It is important to understand which hormones help your body function every day, how to care for your body to promote a healthy hormone balance, and how to treat a hormone imbalance if it ever happens to you.
A List of Male Hormones
In order for your body to function optimally, it relies on a combination of specific hormones. Although many hormones are shared across both men and women, the specific balance of these hormones is completely different for each. No hormone is more important than the other, because they all work together to aid and regulate overall hormone production and overall health and wellness.
There are many major hormones required in specific proportions for the male body to be at its best. This list includes nine of the most heavily concentrated hormones in the male body. These hormones include:
- 1Testosterone: This hormone is the poster child for male hormones, and for good reason. It is the main testicular hormone, meaning it is produced in the testicles, and it is partially responsible for things like growing and maintaining muscle mass, maintaining bone density, regulating red blood cell count, and regulating libido. Too much testosterone can lead to prostate conditions and high cholesterol, while a testosterone deficiency can lead to fatigue, muscle loss, and improper body functions.
- 2Androstenedione: This hormone is seen in both males and females. Too much of this hormone can lead to an excess in the conversion of estrogen, while leaving the conversion of other male hormones, like testosterone, behind. While estrogen is still important to the male body’s development and function, less estrogen is needed than testosterone.
- 3Dihydrotestosterone (DHT): DHT gets a bad rap for causing hair loss in men, and while DHT is necessary for a male’s healthy functions, excess amounts can definitely be a leading cause in male pattern baldness.
- 4Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA): Produced in the adrenal glands, testicles, and the brain, this hormone mediates the balance between the male and female steroid hormones.
- 5Estrone: Estrone is a type of estrogen that is made by fat cells in both sexes. More estrone equates to more fat deposits, meaning that too much estrone can lead to being overweight and increase the chance of muscle being replaced by fat.
- 6Progesterone: This hormone is seen in both men and women and plays a major role in nurturing the nervous system and promoting relaxation. Progesterone helps to maintain a healthy balance of DHT and can counteract some of the negative effects of an excess amount of estrone. Too much progesterone, though, can lead to excessive weight gain and other negative side effects.
- 7Estradiol: This is another form of estrogen that is formed in both the testicles and in other tissue. Like estrone, too much can lead to being overweight of difficulty losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight.
- 8Luteinising Hormone (LH): This hormone, produced in the pituitary gland, is key in aiding the production of testosterone.
- 9Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH): This hormone is formed in the brain inside the pituitary gland and helps to promote healthy sperm production and maintain sperm count.
Hormone Imbalance and Related Complications
Your body carries a smorgasbord of hormones that are required for almost all regular and healthy bodily functions. These hormones function correctly in relatively specific proportions,and sometimes the smallest misalignment can tip the scale. Because there are so many different hormones with different roles, hormone imbalances can be the cause of a slew of different complications.
Some of these are as simple as a bit of excessive hair growth, while other imbalances can lead to more serious ailments like random mood swings and an increased chance of prostate cancer. Some symptoms of a hormone imbalance are so “normal” they are easily overlooked, while others stick out like a sore thumb.
These symptoms may include:
If you have begun to notice any or a combination of these symptoms, your hormones may not be balanced properly. If you suspect a hormone imbalance, you should talk to your doctor. There are many tests available to check your hormone levels to help you find what is out of whack, as well as many treatments available to help you get everything back in balance.
Treatment for Hormone Imbalance
There are several options, both medical and natural, for treating your hormone imbalances. However, effective treatments for hormone imbalances will be different for each person. It is important that you do not treat a hormone imbalance without the diagnosis and guidance of a physician. Hormone imbalances can often be diagnosed with a few simple blood tests but are often difficult to see with the naked eye.
Sometimes, symptoms that seem like a hormone imbalance are actually related to other health conditions. Falsely treating a hormone imbalance when your hormones are well balanced can, in turn, cause an imbalance and therefore many serious complications.
If you and your doctor determine that you have a hormone imbalance, he or she may discuss some of the following options with you:
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), often with the use of Bioidentical Hormones: Hormone replacement therapy is exactly as it sounds: increasing the amount of certain hormones via hormone injections, topical gels, or oral medications. Bioidentical hormones are similar copies of your body’s natural hormones that are derived from plants. Your doctor will determine which hormones your body is lacking and work with you to prescribe an HRT dosage that helps balance your hormones.