Struggling with hair loss, acne and feeling unusually tired lately? These are all signs of a hormonal imbalance in men – let’s dive into a few of the causes and symptoms to look out for.
Hormones play a major role in regulating a number of bodily functions in men, from sexual development and metabolism to mood and skin health. Any disruption to the balance can cause a host of health issues and symptoms, some of which are more serious than others. There are a few reasons why these imbalances crop up:
- Andropause: Also known as male menopause, this age-related condition describes a change in the hormone levels that can affect anything from mood to muscle mass.
- Hypothyroidism: This condition involves an underactive thyroid, which can disrupt hormones and cause fatigue, weight gain or loss, muscle aches, depression or gut issues.
- Hyperthyroidism: This is an overactive thyroid, which can also cause hormonal symptoms like hair loss, weight loss, fatigue and mood swings.
Let’s take a look at a few of the symptoms that indicate something’s amiss.
Mood swings and irritability
Mood is one of the biggest functions affected by imbalanced hormones, and this is because the perfect balance is so important to the regulation of mood. More frequent high and lows are common in men with hormonal balances, along with an increased risk for mental health disorders like depression and anxiety. Testosterone has been proven to affect mood, so we know low levels of this in men are linked to poor mood and mood disorders.
Fatigue is a pretty common symptom across the board, so it’s no surprise that it crops up in hormonal imbalances – including those of men. Some men may even experience chronic fatigue, which can interfere with their lives. This is because hormones regulate energy levels, leading to feelings of lethargy and fatigue when things are out of whack.
Changes in libido
One of the most significant signs of hormonal imbalances in men is a change – usually a drop – in sex drive. This is because of fluctuating hormone levels like testosterone, which is the major hormone responsible for sexual development and the regulation of libido. When testosterone levels are too low or high, men may experience a significant decrease in sex drive and conditions like erectile dysfunction.
Hair loss is a major sign of a hormonal imbalance, and this is because testosterone plays a role in hair growth and maintenance. Imbalances can thereby lead to thinning or falling hair The stress hormone, cortisol, can also contribute to issues with hair loss. You might also notice skin issues like acne, which indicates something could be amiss with hormone production, particularly if it’s cropping up in adulthood.
Unexplained weight gain or loss
Hormonal imbalances can also lead to weight gain, particularly around the stomach, so if you’ve noticed you’ve stacked on a few kilos without a known cause, it might be worth checking in with your doctor. Imbalances in hormones like insulin and cortisol – both of which regulate metabolism – can result in the excess storage of abdominal fat, putting men at risk for heart disease and liver disease.
As a result of our increasingly hectic lifestyles, hormonal imbalance is growing more common. While certain hormones decline with age and others fluctuate as a result of stress, it’s always worth looking into your symptoms and making some changes. If your imbalances are lifestyle related, you’re in luck – it’s easy to take on a nutritious diet and healthy way of life in just a few steps. For starters, ditching inflammatory foods like added sugars will make the process a lot easier. But we know, it’s not easy to quit a sugar habit.
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