The symptoms of hormonal imbalance in men populate quite an impressive list, ranging from loss of sex drive to the disquieting maturity of male breasts. And while there are numerous hormones present in the male body, the hormones we’ll be discussing here are mostly of the sexual variety: testosterone and estrogen. Yes, believe it or not, men do have some of the female hormones in their bodies, just like how women’s bodies manufacture a little testosterone. Men often experience a hormonal imbalance with age, and around the time they hit 40 years, testosterone starts to dwindle a little at a time, almost imperceptibly. As the years go by, guys may start to detect they have less and less of the vigor they had in their youth and are beginning to turn into old men.
Imbalance in one’s hormone levels can cause all sorts of unpleasant issues; below is just a small sampling of potential hormonal imbalance indicators in a man (most of them resulting from too much estrogen).
- Sexual dysfunction. In the throes of a hormone imbalance, you may either not be in the mood, or just can’t get your trouser snake to stand at attention. This alone can make most guys want to end it all.
- Hot flashes and night sweats. And you probably thought only women get hot flashes. Sorry, but you are not exempt from this in your state of ebbing hormones either.
- Sleep problems. Vague, but this encompasses a wide range of concerns, such as insomnia and sleep apnea often caused by night sweats. Over time, this will incorporate the inception of unshakeable fatigue.
- Depression and irritability. Gender-essential hormone scarcity mixed with an boost in estrogen will lead to the equivalent of male PMS..
- Infertility. This one’s kind of a given—if you can’t get horny or can’t get hard, then you won’t be able to impregnate anyone.
- Water retention. Estrogen dominance is notorious for causing water to settle in the body, resulting in weight gain. So guys who are experiencing an imbalance might go on to lose weight, but are simply losing some water.
- Heightened risk of stroke. Testosterone has been found to lower the threat of strokes in men, so when that hormone becomes more equivalent to or overpowered by estrogen, you may find yourself in greater danger of stroking out.
- Prostate issues (including cancer). Yeah, this is one of the worse symptoms; testosterone keeps you’re a-spot in check, so less of it could generate prostate problems.
- Osteoporosis. Paltry testosterone alone can cause this painful porous bone condition, meaning your bones can break a lot easier. All the calcium in the world won’t aid you if you’re losing bone mass due to hormone crises.
- Breast growth. Ladies who use hormone-based contraception sometimes experience a little increase in their womanly endowments. That might be nice for the women, but most men do not want boobs.
A lot of these symptoms sound comparable to how some ladies act when they’re on birth control. You see, as a man matures and testosterone levels decline, his estrogen levels may stay the same or even swell. The hormonal imbalance lots of men face is basically as follows: a very pathetic testosterone level and the prevailing occurrence of estrogen can cause the exact same symptoms a lady would feel if her estrogen levels were off the charts (or nonexistent). This is known medically as andropause—menopause for men.
Feeling as though one is morphing chemically into a woman can feel extraordinarily emasculating to a man, but there are some ways to delay this imbalance. There is hormone replacement therapy available for men, but the side effects are quite alarming (such as liver problems, heart disease, and hypertension); another far safer alternative is natural hormone replacement, which works kind of like hypothyroid treatment in that you get drugs with specific dosages and go get them checked now and then to ensure the dose is adequate.
In short, all we can say is to relax. Hormones aren’t what being a man is all about, and take solace in knowing an imbalance of testosterone will happen to all men—not just you.