The human body works wonders each day that we don’t know about. One of those things is hormones. Our bodies have a tangled web of hormones that allow different parts of our bodies to talk with each other. It’s all set to happen seamlessly without us having to do anything, but as we age we can begin to experience more problems. Not only that, but men and women have different hormones that help our bodies function.
What are Hormones?
Hormones are chemical messengers within the body. As messengers, they travel through the bloodstream to tissues and organs to help them work properly. According to Hormone Health Network, hormones work slowly and can affect a number of different processes in the body. These other areas are:
- Growth and development
- Sexual function and reproduction
Men and women have the same hormones. However, each gender has varying hormone levels based on their needs. Due to this, men and women experience different problems when it comes to deficiencies.
Women’s Hormonal Health vs. Male’s Hormonal Health
The primary female sex hormones are estrogen and progesterone, which means men’s primary sex hormone is testosterone. However, women do produce small amounts of this as well. Similarly, men also produce small amounts of estrogen and progesterone.
Estrogen and Progesterone
Estrogen is the main female hormone, with most being produced from the ovaries, and small amounts from the adrenal glands and fat cells. Healthline explains that estrogen has a hand in reproductive and sexual development. Estrogen affects every life stage of women, which are:
Estrogen affects the brain, cardiovascular system, musculoskeletal system, urinary tract and even hair and skin. They also explain that the other main female hormone, progesterone, prepares the lining of the uterus for a fertilized egg, supports pregnancy, and suppresses estrogen production after ovulation.
Signs of Hormonal Changes in Women
When women approach the age of 50, they can begin to show signs of menopause. Menopause can affect each woman differently. Due to this, there can be a wide range of symptoms. However, most common signs of transitioning to menopause include:
- Mood swings
- Difficulty sleeping and night sweats
- Hot flashes
- Weight gain
- Changes in libido
- Vaginal dryness
- Brain fog
- Fatigue and muscle weakness
- Body aches
This is the most important male sex hormone. Testosterone is produced primarily in the testes, with minimal amounts coming from the adrenal glands. As a result, LiveScience explains that testosterone helps men with:
- Penis and testes size
- Facial and body hair
- Sex drive
- Sperm production
- Fat distribution
- Red cell production
- Maintenance of muscle strength and mass
Most men are aware that testosterone helps with their sex drive and development of sperm. However, it also plays a part on all organs within the body, including: the heart, brain, bones, liver, kidneys, skin and more. For instance, if men are low in testosterone, their symptoms can include:
- Decreased mood and energy
- Loss of muscle mass and strength
- Decreased facial and body hair
- Erectile dysfunction
- Loss of sex drive
Causes of testosterone deficiencies can be:
- Impaired testicular function: this is also known as primary hypogonadism or testicular failure. This is decreased production of hormones in the testes, which can be due to many different conditions. There could be nutritional deficiencies, reduced blood flow, trauma, infection, toxins, medication side effects, drugs or alcohol use, and more.
- Impaired pituitary or hypothalamic function: health care professionals call this secondary hypogonadism. This condition happens when the brain glands that regulate hormone production are not working properly.
Conditions that can be related to low testosterone levels are: obesity, erectile dysfunction, depression, chronic pain, osteoporosis, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, chronic inflammatory diseases, alcohol or opioid use, HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular disease, and prostate cancer.
It can also be caused by certain medications. These can be medications used to treat: blood pressure medication, cholesterol medication, narcotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, antidepressants, cigarettes, and acid blockers.
How Hormone Deficiencies are Diagnosed
We will work with you one-on-one to diagnose your hormone problems. For example, here is how our team at Balanced Well-Being Healthcare will look at your hormone levels.
We will obtain a physical and look at laboratories. We will look at:
- Thyroid hormones
- Sex hormones
- Adrenal function
- Total testosterone levels
- Prostate evaluation
- Adrenal function
Once results come back, we will develop a one-of-a-kind treatment plan that will best fit your body’s needs. Not everyone will need a hormone replacement, which is why it’s important to remember that there’s no “one size fits all” approach. For instance, your neighbor might need a hormone replacement, but that might not be what you need.
Make an Appointment
If you think you are having hormone problems, make an appointment with Balanced Well-Being Healthcare. Don’t suffer from uncomfortable symptoms. If you are, and believe your symptoms line up with what we mentioned above, call for an appointment: (970)-631-8286.