Andropause: Male Hormone Imbalances

Andropause is a series male hormone imbalances kind of like menopause.  Yes, guys get that also and it doesn’t just happen to older guys.  The most dominate sex hormone in men is testosterone.  But men also have estrogen and progesterone.  Well in Andropause guys will get either low testosterone or high estrogen. Imbalances in either testosterone or estrogen can cause many negative health effects and symptoms. Testosterone has many important effects including:  heart, muscle, brain and stamina. Low testosterone can lead to heart problems in men.

Here are some of the common symptoms or Andropause:

Decreased libido

Decreased number of spontaneous morning erections

Decreased fullness of erections

Difficulty maintaining morning erections

Spells of mental fatigue

Inability to concentrate

Episodes of depression

Muscle soreness

Decreased physical stamina

Unexplained weight gain

Increase in fat distribution around chest and hips

Sweating attacks

More emotional than in the past

The brain and the pituitary control the levels of testosterone in the body. When the gets too low in testosterone, the hypothalamus in your brain tells the pituitary to secrete the hormone LH, which in turn tells the testicles to produce and release testosterone.  There are several causes of low testosterone. One is a decreased output or failure of the testicles to produce testosterone. This can be from inflammation (elevated inflammatory chemical messengers) or and auto immune attack on the testicles.  The other cause is that the pituitary stops sending out the LH or FSH to tell the testicles to make testosterone.  This can be caused by elevated inflammatory messengers, decreased serotonin or dopamine. 

The other big problem for men is elevated estrogen. This is caused by aromatization. Aromatization is caused by high blood sugar (pre-diabetes, insulin resistance and diabetes) and sometimes by low blood sugar, which causes insulin surges. These insulin surges trigger your body to convert testosterone to estrogen. This occurs mostly in fat.  Elevated estrogen is good for women, but not men.  It can lead to “feminization” i.e.: gynecomastia or enlarged breasts, low endurance, heart problems and depression. Maintaining proper adrenal function is also important to keep the ex hormones in balance.

Another problem for men is elevated dihydrotestosterone or DHT.  Some of the problems associated with high DHT are prostate enlargement, prostate cancer, balding and acne.

So you can see that there are number of variables to examine to assess male hormone balance. Fortunately, a combination of saliva hormone testing and function blood chemistry evaluation can help to get a clear picture of your situation so that a plan of action can be developed. Diagnos-Techs Labs is a great resoutce for sex hormone testing.

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