Many men and women associate hormonal changes and Hormone Replacement Therapy with being in their 50s or even older. However, hormonal changes often begin much earlier. For this reason, it is important for both men and women to pay close attention to their bodies and begin considering Hormone Replacement Therapy at a younger age if symptoms occur or if they want to prevent degeneration of their body.
What Age Should Men Consider Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Hormonal Changes in Men Other Than Testosterone
Men may experience changes in other key hormones other than testosterone. Beginning as young as a man’s late 20s or 30s, the hormones that they typically want high (testosterone, thyroid, DHEA, etc.) begin to fall and the hormones they want low (insulin, cortisol, etc.) begin to rise. This is when men can begin to see and feel the effects of aging: skin changes, weight gain (especially around the midsection), fatigue, loss of sex drive or erectile function, loss of muscle tone, and more. If you are a man experiencing any of these symptoms, it may be due to hormonal imbalance.
Andropause is generally defined as the decrease in testosterone in men that comes with aging. The primary sex hormone for men is testosterone. This hormone is produced in the adrenal glands and the testes, and it is responsible for a wide variety of important biological functions. Some of the functions of testosterone for men include regulating sex drive, mood, managing fertility, increased muscle mass and decreased body fat, improved cardiovascular health, and more.
Unfortunately, as a man ages, his testosterone levels typically decline. Studies have shown that this decline is beginning earlier and earlier for men, with testosterone levels falling by about 15% for each of the past two generations. Although low testosterone was once considered a problem that was reserved for men beginning in their late 30s or 40s, men in their late 20s are now exhibiting the symptoms.
Some of the symptoms of low testosterone may include:
- Sleep disturbances
- Changes in mood
- Loss of bone mass
- Decrease in muscle mass
- Increase in body fat
- Low energy levels
- Hair loss
- Decreased semen volume
- Sexual dysfunction
- Decreased sex drive
If you are noticing any of these symptoms, it may be time to have your testosterone levels and other key hormones checked. And if your regular doctor tells you your levels are “normal” but you are still experiencing symptoms, don’t stop there. Seek care from an experienced Age Management physician who will evaluate you more thoroughly. Andropause is defined by more than just a number from a blood test. Replacing testosterone and other key hormones can often improve your symptoms and help restore your health….even if you were told your numbers were “normal.”
What Age Should Women Consider Hormone Replacement Therapy?
On average, women in the United States go through menopause around the age of 51, but hormones typically begin to change many years before menopause is complete. In fact, many women begin to experience symptoms related to hormonal changes as early as their 30s or 40s. Because these changes are commonly associated with older women, younger women experiencing symptoms often feel strange or worry that something is wrong with them. However, these early symptoms are actually common.
Hormonal Changes Even Before Perimenopause
Years before perimenopause, women may experience changes in key hormones other than estrogen. Beginning as young as a women’s late 20s and early 30s, the hormones that they typically want high (testosterone, progesterone, thyroid, DHEA, etc.) begin to fall and the hormones they want low (insulin, cortisol, etc.) begin to rise. This is when women can begin to see and feel the effects of aging: skin changes, weight gain (especially around the hips and thighs), fatigue, loss of sex drive and sense of sexual pleasure, loss of muscle tone. If you are a woman experiencing any of these symptoms, it may be due to hormonal imbalance.
“Perimenopause” is the term used to describe the period of hormonal changes that occurs before actual menopause. During this time, the amount of estrogen in your body rises and falls unpredictably. Because estrogen is the primary female reproductive hormone produced by the ovaries, this fluctuation can lead to a variety of changes and uncomfortable symptoms.
The hormonal changes occurring during perimenopause may cause the following symptoms:
- Changes to cholesterol levels
- Bone loss
- Changes in sexual desire or pleasure
- Lower fertility
- Trouble with bladder control
- Mood swings
- Sleep disturbances
- Hot flashes
- Irregular menstrual cycles
When a woman begins noticing some or all of these symptoms, it is likely that the hormonal changes leading up to menopause have already begun and will continue to get worse. However, you may be able to alleviate your symptoms with the appropriate hormone replacement therapy. And it’s usually more than just estrogen and progesterone that need to be addressed: thyroid, DHEA, testosterone, and human growth hormone (HGH) often play a part.
When Should I Make an Appointment?
Hormone replacement is not reserved for the over-50 crowd and can be beneficial to younger people as well. Although you may feel like changes in hormone levels shouldn’t be noticeable until you are at least 40 or 50, symptoms begin much earlier for both men and women. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of a hormonal imbalance, you should start thinking about hormone replacement therapy, even if you are in your late 20s or early 30s.
Pay attention to your body. If you believe your hormone levels may be off balance, make an appointment with who specializes in Age Management & Hormone Replacement Therapy specialist to discuss these issues and have your levels tested.
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.