Traditionally, age-related male hormone changes were not considered problematic because fertility in men persists until an advanced age. In contrast, women undergo ovarian function failure and require hormonal modification and regulation. More careful evaluation in males shows progressive age-related changes including:
- Decreased muscle mass & strength
- Decreased vigor, low energy
- Decreased libido
- Nervousness & Depression
- Hair loss
These changes usually begin in the fourth and fifth decades and point towards hormone imbalances and deficiencies which may be considered the male equivalent of menopause, i.e. the Andropause.
What you can do about male hormone imbalance optimal health is dependent on the balance of hormones, and not just a single hormone. Currently, men with low androgen hormones can benefit from holistic hormone regulation therapy. Also, men with imbalances in their androgen to estrogen and progesterone can also be hormone regulated to achieve balance.
Testosterone production in males is mainly a testicular function. Pituitary sex hormones (FSH & LH) stimulate and regulate this function. Specifically, LH (Luteinizing hormone) stimulates testosterone production in the testicles. This process is under negative feedback, meaning that testosterone levels regulate LH secretion. FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) and testosterone stimulate sperm production.
Why measure male hormones? Measurements of hormones can be used in two general ways.
- To estimate the body’s own production-baseline test
- To measure levels of hormones after supplementation-therapeutic monitoring
Baseline measurements will show normal and abnormal levels of six distinct hormones shown in boxes. If levels are too low, too high or hormone ratios are outside of expected limits, an objective treatment plan can be developed for the individual. Symptoms are not a substitute for measuring hormone levels because many symptoms may involve non-hormonal factors.
The roles of the six hormones we test are highlighted below:
- DHEA – Is the precursor for both male and female hormones. Also, it is an anti-stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands. Unmonitored intake can easily alter the delicate balance between male to female hormones.
- Androstenedione – Is a weak male hormone (androgen) and a precursor of both male & female hormones. Unmonitored intake in men can cause excessive female hormone production with minimal male hormone production. In women, unmonitored intake usually causes excess male hormone production with body & facial hair stimulation.
- Testosterone – Is the main testicular androgen and is a precursor to the highly potent dihydrotestosterone (DHT) male hormone.