Human body works optimally when all the hormones present in it are produced in specific quantities and their level is maintained. When the ratio of these hormones is disrupted, it gives rise to many health related problems which may have a lasting impact.
The Ratio between the Levels of Testosterone and Estrogen is disturbed, giving rise to Symptoms of Hormone ImbalanceOf all the hormones produced in the male body, three are most important, namely testosterone, estrogen and prolactin. At the time of puberty, there is a release of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) from the hypothalamus, a region in the brain. The GnRH stimulates the pituitary gland to release follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and the luteinizing hormone (LH). FSH is responsible for sperm production whereas LH is responsible for testosterone production.
- Low sex drive: A low level of testosterone coupled with a high level of prolactin may give rise to a low sex drive in men.
- Erectile dysfunction: Low levels of testosterone, high levels of prolactin and an imbalance of thyroid hormones may all lead to erectile dysfunction in men. They are unable to attain an erection or are unable to maintain it.
- Gynecomastia: Gynecomastia is a condition wherein the breasts of a male are enlarged. It is a result of imbalance between testosterone and estrogen levels. Excessive estrogen gives rise to deposition of fat in the breasts leading to their enlargement.
- Milk production from the breasts: An imbalance between the levels of prolactin and testosterone can give rise to this condition, wherein men start lactating. The condition is also called as galactorrhea.
- Infertility: It is the inability to have children even after trying to conceive for more than a year. Infertility results because of a low sperm count or when the sperms produced are of a poor quality. Conditions affecting the production of LH or the thyroid hormones generally give rise to infertility in men.
- Osteoporosis: It is a thinning of bones because of hormonal imbalance. While testosterone and estrogen are responsible for the maintenance of the bone density, cortisol is responsible for its thinning. High levels of cortisol coupled with low levels of testosterone may lead to osteoporosis.
- Poor memory: Testosterone receptors present in the brain are inadequately stimulated by low levels of circulating testosterone giving rise to some degree of memory loss.
- Depression: It is still not very clear whether low level of testosterone is directly responsible for depression or it is a result of frustration resulting from other symptoms of hormonal imbalance.
- Prostate enlargement: Benign prostatic enlargement, a condition often seen after the age of 60 is often blamed on low levels of testosterone.
- Obesity: Rise in the levels of cortisol is said to be indirectly responsible for weight gain because of its effect on blood sugar levels.
Treatment of Hormonal Imbalance in Men
The treatment of hormonal imbalance depends upon an accurate analysis of the levels of circulating hormones in the blood. Once, deficiency of a particular enzyme is identified, steps are taken to correct its level in the blood.