What You Need to Know About Andropause & Low Testosterone
Men go through a period of hormone decline around middle age just as women do. Testosterone, which is the primary male sex hormone, starts decreasing in production in the early 30s. This hormone allows men to develop typical masculine characteristics such as a deep voice, facial hair and well-defined muscles. It also produces sperm and prompts the penis and testes to develop fully.
Testosterone Decline Affects Other Hormones
As testosterone continues to decline in the 30s and 40s, men may develop a condition called andropause. Some people also refer to it as male menopause or hypogonadism. Men can develop a number of physical and emotional symptoms due to andropause, such as low libido, lack of ambition, irritability, depression, muscle atrophy, weight gain and insomnia.
Because the body’s hormones are interdependent on one another, the decline in testosterone causes other hormones to become unbalanced as well. When men seek hormone replacement therapy, doctors are primarily concerned with balancing testosterone, cortisol, DHEA and melatonin.
Understanding Male Hormones
Since hormone decline causes such widespread symptoms, it’s important to understand the role of individual hormones. Men who are experiencing imbalance of any of these hormones can find fast symptom relief and improved quality of life with Male Hormone Replacement in Charlotte, North Carolina.
- As mentioned above, testosterone is the primary male sex hormone manufactured by the testes. When testosterone starts to decline during andropause, the adrenal glands attempt to take over its production. However, a number of factors can inhibit the adrenal glands from doing their job. These include unrelenting stress, poor nutrition, illness, depression and psychological trauma. Because the body requires testosterone to function properly, the lack of it can cause all of the symptoms described above as well as increase the risk of high blood pressure and cholesterol.
- The adrenal glands make and release cortisol to help men deal with stress. Andropause symptoms may worsen when there is too much cortisol in relation to testosterone. When the imbalance isn’t treated, men can experience a weakened immune system, inflammation, more allergy symptoms, hypothyroidism, digestive disorders, low blood sugar, low blood pressure, slow healing from wounds and a low sex drive.
- The adrenal glands produce DHEA, which in turn helps to produce testosterone. The hormone is most prevalent when men are in their 20s, but the typical man only has one-quarter of the DHEA he once had by age 70. In addition to aging, DHEA can decline due to smoking, stress, and prolonged illness. An imbalance of this hormone can lead to fatigue, joint pain, loss of muscle mass, weight gain, irritability, decreased immunity and inability to deal with stress.
- Having balanced levels of melatonin is essential for developing a normal sleep cycle. When the body produces too little melatonin, it also affects the functioning of human growth hormone and testosterone. The most common problems caused by an imbalance of melatonin include insomnia, sleep apnea, anxiety, depression, and accelerated aging.
Have more questions or want to find out if Male Hormone Replacement Therapy may be right for you? Contact a local Charlotte, North Carolina Male Hormone Specialist on the Charlotte BHRT Locator® today to schedule your consultation now.
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