Hormone balance is a lot more important than many people think. When a person’s hormones are imbalanced, it can affect every aspect of life in both men and women. The three main hormones that should be kept in balance include estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone. If you have low levels of these important hormones, it can lead to a variety of different health concerns. Keeping balanced hormones can definitely play an important role in your overall health and wellness.
Take a look at the effects of menopause in women and andropause in men. Then, consider the ways that you can counteract the chances of hormonal imbalances due to these bodily changes that occur later in life. After all, menopause and adropause can have serious effects on the body. They can, in a sense, affect the overall health and well being of both men and women.
Menopause in Women
Upon the start of menopause, women are likely to experience hormone imbalances. This is due largely in part to the fact that women produce less estrogen during this period of their lives. Women most often experience menopause between the ages 45 and 55. When a woman’s hormone levels become imbalanced, it is likely that the body systems will be affected as well. During menopause, if a hormonal imbalance occurs, quite a few symptoms may come along with it.
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Decreased sex drive
- Intimate dryness
Menopause is almost always characterized by cessation of the menstrual cycle. Before many of the hormonal changes become apparent, the menstrual cycle may become irregular. This gives women the chance to recognize what is happening with their bodies. They are then able to make necessary lifestyle changes in an effort to combat hormonal imbalances that so often occur in women that are going through menopause, or are postmenopausal.
Now that we have looked at what happens to women later in life, what happens to men? Do they experience similar hormonal changes? How does this affect their overall health and well being?
Andropause in Men
Women experience menopause, and often men experience andropause. This is basically the male version of menopause. While menopause happens typically between ages 45 and 55, andropause happens typically between ages 40 and 55. Menopause is marked by the disappearance of the menstrual cycle, which makes it very easy to recognize. Andropause is much more difficult to recognize because there is no definite sign of it.
One thing that is common between both menopause and andropause is that they both cause hormone imbalances. In women, the affected hormone is estrogen. In men, the affected hormone is testosterone. These hormonal changes can have a variety of effects on men.
These effects include:
- Mood changes
- Decreased sex drive
- Lower energy levels
- Decreased physical agility
Testosterone is the hormone that helps to maintain a man’s bone density, fat distribution, muscle mass and strength, red blood cell count, libido, and sperm count. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Testosterone peaks during adolescence and early adulthood. As you get older, your testosterone level gradually declines—typically about one percent a year after age 30.”
With testosterone levels on a steady decline, it is very important to manage hormonal balance to ensure that there is not a deficiency or an imbalance. The best way to ensure testosterone balance is for a man to have his testosterone levels checked from time to time, and also focus on ways that he can naturally regulate his levels.
Balancing Your Hormones
The effects of hormone imbalances in both men and women are easy to recognize. If you are between the ages of 40 and 55 and recognize any of the signs of symptoms, you will want to make sure that you are aware of the things that can be done to balance your hormone levels. There are quite a few ways to balance these levels out.
One of the common treatments to balance out testosterone levels is testosterone therapy. The problem with testosterone therapy is that this testosterone is likely to be converted into estrogen. This conversion will make the hormone problems worse. Testosterone therapy can also lead to several health concerns.
- Sleep apnea
- Skin conditions
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia
- Enlarged breasts
- Limited sperm production
- Testicle shrinkage
Women undergoing menopause may also consider hormone therapy. When women undergo hormone replacement therapy, they take medications to replace the hormones that are not naturally created by their bodies anymore. These hormones help them to battle hot flashes and other symptoms that come along with menopause.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Use of hormone therapy changed abruptly when a large clinical trial found that the treatment actually posed more health risks than benefits for one type of hormone therapy, particularly when given to older postmenopausal women. As a concern about health hazards attributed to hormone therapy grew, doctors became less likely to prescribe it.”
These risks for women include:
- Heart disease
- Blood clots
- Breast cancer
These are some pretty serious concerns to be aware of, and it may lead you to look into natural options for achieving hormone imbalance.
The good news is that if you keep up a healthy way of life and a healthy diet, you will likely be able to avoid hormonal imbalances. Making dietary changes can really be of help. There are foods, beverages and products that contain chemicals that will interact with the way that your hormones are supposed to work. These foods are usually considered bad because they have added chemicals that can affect your hormones and initiate hormonal imbalances.
Other dietary measures that can be taken include adding omega-3 EFAs to your diet. These are very important, and they help to ensure that you are getting the most out of your diet. Another thing to consider is eating organic foods instead of genetically modified foods. Conventional foods often have pesticides, herbicides, and other harmful chemicals that can cause adverse effects on the ways that hormones function.
It’s a good idea is to get your hormones tested and measured. Laboratory testing can tell you if there is an imbalance in your hormones. There are different testing methods; some of the most commonly used include blood and saliva. Each of the various types of tests provides data to paint the entire hormone profile of the patient.
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