If you’re like most men, you don’t even know how much hormonal decline may be affecting your life. Or if you do, you are frustrated with the problems it brings. Here are the top ten questions and answers men have about hormone decline.
1. What’s a hormone and why do they decline in males?
Hormones are the chemical messengers that affect the vast multitude of processes occurring in your body. They help control functions as simple as hunger and body temperature. They profoundly affect sexual function, sleep, muscular growth, and heart function. They even affect more complex body systems like mood and emotions and brain function.
As we age, hormone levels typically decline (some key hormones tend to rise…but unfortunately they’re usually the ones we want to remain low). And hormonal decline can begin at quite a young age – melatonin, for example, the “sleep” hormone, begins to decline at about 18 or 19 years old and continues to fall for the rest of our lives.
The reason you should care about hormones declining is that hormonal decline may be the most important contributor to the aging process. We see and feel the effects of aging as our hormones decline: skin changes, sex drive, and sexual function declines, energy declines, we tend to gain weight in our midsection, become forgetful. Basically so many of the things we just call “getting old” is a result of hormone decline.
Another reason you should care is that as your hormone levels decline, your risk of almost every chronic degenerative disease increases, including heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, cancer, and osteoporosis.
2. Why would my hormones decline?
As we age, the cells in your body which produce hormones begin to die off. It’s called age-related hormonal decline. Some may say it’s a “natural” part of the aging process, but regardless, its effects on the body are profound.
Other factors, like poor nutrition or lack of (or excessive) exercise, can speed this process up.
Other factors can hasten the decline as well. These include injury or infection, chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer, chronic illness, stress, alcoholism, and obesity. Your drop in hormones may also be due to the use of certain medications, especially corticosteroid drugs and hormone medications used in the treatment of prostate cancer.
3. What are the most common symptoms of hormone decline?
Symptoms vary, depending on the man and his hormone levels. The most common symptoms of hormone decline include:
- Diminished sex drive
- Difficulty achieving and maintaining an erection
- Hair loss
- Loss of muscle mass
- Decreased bone mass
- Low semen volume
- Increased body fat
- Mood changes
4. When do symptoms of hormone decline in men usually start?
Decades ago, men used to start noticing symptoms of hormone decline typically when they were in their late 30s or early 40s. Now men are beginning to experience these symptoms as early as their late 20s. Researchers are still working to determine why men are experiencing hormone decline earlier than ever before.
5. Men typically think of testosterone when they think male hormones. Is it just low testosterone?
The human body relies on a complex blend of hormones that work in conjunction to keep your body running in top condition. This means it will take more than a mere testosterone replacement to correct hormone decline. Thyroid, DHEA, HGH, Pregnenolone, Cortisone, Vitamin D, are all key players and work in conjunction with one another. Testosterone is just one instrument in a symphony of hormones that result in a complex symphony of instruments that optimize health.
6. Is there a treatment for male hormone decline?
Hormone replacement therapy can restore hormones to therapeutic levels, reduce the annoying symptoms of male hormone decline. Treatments can include skin patches, gels, tablets that dissolve in your mouth, pellets inserted under the surface of the skin, and injections.
7. When should I get started?
The best time to start hormone replacement therapy for men is when you notice symptoms – before the symptoms become a big problem. If you are feeling symptoms, the problem may have existed for a while and your hormone levels may already be low. Immediate treatment helps you feel better faster.
8. Will I need HRT for life?
You will only need HRT for as long as you want to maintain the benefits of the therapy.
9. Can I ramp up my HRT dosage as needed?
Not necessarily – more is not necessarily better in the world of hormones. Your healthcare provider will monitor your hormone levels and adjust your HRT dosage accordingly. You might be surprised to learn that the therapeutic range of your hormones is often not the “normal” range you might see listed on your lab report. Only an Age Management and Hormone Optimization specialist, who has received special training after medical school and residency in order to practice in this field, can prescribe and adjust your HRT dosage.
10. Who should I talk to for more information?
For more information about hormone decline and hormone replacement therapy for men, talk with a doctor who is an Age Management and Hormone Optimization specialist. An appointment does not take very long, and you should have your key hormone levels tested. The more you know about hormone decline in males, the better you will feel and the more you will improve your quality of life and look and feel the best you possibly can.
Free Quiz: Are You At Risk For Hormone Decline?
Want to find out if you’re at risk for hormone decline? First, take our scientifically based hormone decline risk assessment – completely free (takes no more than 5 minutes).
After completing it, you will find out your risk level for hormone decline and, most importantly, how to proceed with beating your symptoms. Click here to take the male version, and click here to take the female version.
Then, if you’re interested in learning more about our comprehensive Age Management & Hormone Optimization program, contact us through this form to schedule your free consultation, or call us at 323-874-9355.