As we age, our hormone levels gradually shift. For many men, this naturally occurring phenomenon results in androgen deficiency, more commonly referred to as male hormonal decline. Androgenic hormones — the most well-known of these is testosterone — not only function to give men their “male” characteristics, but they also work to regulate several other important functions, including sleep, mood, libido, and body composition maintenance, among others.
But recognizing a male hormonal imbalance isn’t always straightforward. This is due in large part to the fact that hormonal issues are often inconsistently symptomatic. Or, worse, too mild to illicit glaringly obvious symptoms.
At Arijai Aesthetics, we deeply understand the symptoms and complications that can occur as a result of male testosterone deficiency. It’s our goal to educate our patients on the bioidentical hormone therapy options available to them, so they can make the best choice for their needs and lifestyle. To help you better understand whether you may be suffering from a testosterone imbalance, we explain six of the most telltale signs below.
Testosterone plays a primary role in male sex drive. While many men experience a gradual decline in sex drive as they age, a testosterone deficiency can dramatically lessen a man’s desire to have sex. Because testosterone deficiency can occur at any age, men can experience a drop in their sex drive as early as their 20s or 30s rather than later in life.
If you’ve experienced an unexplainable shift in your libido, whether gradual or relatively sudden, hormone testing can help you determine whether low T is the culprit.
Aside from its role in stimulating libido, testosterone also helps the male body achieve and maintain an erection by stimulating receptors in the brain to synthesize a molecule known as nitric oxide.
This molecule triggers a series of reactions that cause the smooth muscles in the penis to relax and the blood vessels to dilate. This phenomenon allows for the increased blood flow necessary for the tissues to swell and an erection to occur.
While a decrease in testosterone is a common culprit behind ED, several other health issues, including thyroid problems, high blood pressure, and diabetes, can also contribute to the problem. If you’re dealing with ED and aren’t sure why, hormone testing can give you some insight, and if your test levels are low, bioidentical hormone therapy can help rebalance them.
Like women, men often experience mood fluctuations when their hormones become unbalanced. Beyond the physical symptoms of a testosterone deficiency, men may also experience emotional symptoms, which typically include:
● Mood swings
● Lack of motivation
However, the above emotional changes are not always indicative of a testosterone imbalance and may also be associated with fluctuations in thyroid rather than androgenic hormones. Getting a hormone panel can help identify whether such symptoms actually stem from hormonal imbalance or are potentially the result of another health condition.
Unexplained Changes in Body Composition
While many men blame changes in body composition on lack of exercise or a poor diet, lifestyle habits are not always the culprits behind a decrease in muscle mass and an increase in body fat. Because testosterone plays a central role in not only building lean tissue but also maintaining that muscle mass, when testosterone levels drop, muscle tissue atrophies far more quickly.
But low T is not the only hormonal fluctuation that can cause a negative shift in body composition. High cortisol (stress hormone) levels can also downregulate metabolism and suppress testosterone production, thereby eliciting fat gain and muscle loss. Thyroid disorders, too, often produce a similar outcome.
If you’ve experienced a change in body composition without altering your diet or exercise routine, it may be time to request a hormone panel to determine whether bioidentical hormone therapy can help restore your normal hormone levels.
More commonly referred to as male breast enlargement, gynecomastia is often an indicator of male hormonal imbalance. While many men may experience an increase in male breast tissue due to poor dietary habits or a sedentary lifestyle, gynecomastia is different.
If you’ve developed a disproportionately large amount of male breast tissue with no alterations to your exercise routine or diet, that may indicate your ratio of estrogen to testosterone is out of balance. If a hormone panel confirms that you indeed suffer from a hormonal imbalance, bioidentical hormone therapy can help bring your hormones back into their proper ranges.
Many men think of balding as an unavoidable byproduct of the aging process, but that’s not necessarily true. While some men are genetically predisposed to hair loss (male pattern balding) and can only address the issue with transplants, PRP injections, minoxidil, or scalp micropigmentation, other men have hair loss issues caused by low testosterone.
Because testosterone plays a crucial role in hair production, when a man’s test levels drop, hair volume inevitably decreases too. Hair loss related to low T can occur on the head, as well as the face and body, but there’s no way to tell whether a hair loss problem has a hormonal component without hormone testing.
If low test levels do play a role in hair loss, bioidentical hormone therapy can slow down the rate of loss or even prevent further hair loss altogether.
Curious about hormone therapy? Think you might need it? Check out our Bioidentical Hormone Therapy FAQs to learn more about what you can expect with treatment.
Is Bioidentical Hormone Therapy Right for You? Find Out at Arijai Aesthetics
If you’ve been suffering from unexplained symptoms that you believe may be related to low testosterone levels, at Arijai Aesthetics, we’re here to help. We specialize in administering the BioTe® method of hormonal pellet therapy, which has helped thousands of men and women optimize their hormones and feel and perform their best.
To learn more about bioidentical hormone therapy and whether it’s the right treatment approach for your needs and lifestyle, feel free to contact our Burnsville, MN office today at (952) 435-0605. You can also request a consultation or send us a message with any questions, and we’ll be in touch promptly.