For a long time, the problems of hormonal failure were discussed in connection with changes in women's health, and rarely dealt with the problems of men. Recently, issues of the hormonal activity of the male body are increasingly discussed both in the professional environment of doctors and in the media. The full activity of the hormonal function is directly related to the issues of longevity, prevention of diseases of the cardiovascular , nervous, bone, urogenital systems in men. After the end of puberty (17–20 years), the hormones of a man stabilize, and, starting from 30 years, the level of the main sex hormone in men, testosterone, begins to decline annually by 1–1.5%.
Considering that by the end of puberty, the baseline level of testosterone in young men is different (since it is associated with the characteristics of the type of sexual constitution, general health, and concomitant diseases), in some men the onset of androgen deficiency occurs faster than in others.
Symptoms of hormonal failure
The most common symptoms of testosterone reduction can be:
- increased fatigue;
- irritability, malaise, reduced physical endurance (associated with a decrease in the production of red blood cells transporting oxygen to the cells of the body);
- the appearance of excess weight (especially in the abdomen - abdominal obesity);
- decrease in muscle bulk;
- dryness and flabbiness of the skin;
- thinning and brittle hair;
- the appearance of cardiovascular diseases;
- the development of diabetes;
- osteoporosis (decrease in bone density, and as a consequence of their increased fragility);
- violation of the reproductive system (prostate adenoma, sexual disorders).
Possible causes of hormonal failure
Mentioning the causes of hormonal failure, usually release hormonal disorders of a young age and the androgenic deficiency of older men.
Causes of testosterone deficiency at a young age are usually associated with:
- congenital or acquired pathology of the central and peripheral endocrine glands (testicles, pituitary, thyroid , adrenal glands);
- toxic effects (alcohol abuse, smoking, drug taking, occupational hazards, household chemicals);
- infectious processes, tumors, injuries of the genital glands.
In addition, the state of the liver and kidneys, which affect the exchange of sex hormones and their excretion from the body, is important. Recently, research data on the influence of external factors on the state of sex hormones in men are increasingly appearing. It became known that many household products (laundry detergents, shampoos, care products for dishes, furniture, etc.) that we use have a negative effect on testosterone production. Food and packaging for their storage also contain many harmful substances that inhibit and inhibit the work of the sex glands. Particular attention should be paid to such a product as beer. The phytoestrogens contained in it (analogues of female sex hormones) lead to a rather rapid inhibition of testosterone production and an increase in female sex hormones. Also known data on the negative impact on the level of testosterone chronic lack of sleep, stress, fatigue.
Androgen deficiency in older men is usually associated with a decrease in the production of androgens due to aging (diminished function) of the cells of the sex glands. At the same time, there is a redistribution of the concentration of sex hormones, with an increase in the proportion of female sex hormones. Obesity resulting from testosterone deficiency leads to an increased synthesis of the hormone leptin, which is produced in fatty tissue, which in turn inhibits testosterone production even more.
To diagnose hormonal failure in men, the condition of various organs and systems is assessed:
- Mental activity (ability to concentrate, memory, emotional background).
- Cardiovascular system (lipid profile, vascular ultrasound, ECG).
- Endocrine function (blood sugar, total testosterone, LH, SHBG, TSH, prolactin, estradiol, X-ray of the skull, CT scan, ultrasound of the adrenal glands, prostate, thyroid, kidney, liver).
- Musculoskeletal system (X-ray of bones, spine, CT).
Treatment of hormonal failure
The tactics of treatment of the deficiency of sex hormones in men will depend on the age, the causes of this deficiency, the presence of comorbidities, and is selected in each case individually.
At a young age, testosterone deficiency can be compensated by stimulating therapy aimed at enhancing the work of the sex glands ( using chorionic gonadotropin ), improving the activity of organs in which the exchange of sex hormones (liver, prostate gland) occurs, and include preparations of plant, synthetic origin, and vitamins. In other cases, treatment is aimed at normalizing the activity of other endocrine glands (pituitary, thyroid, adrenal glands). But there are certain genetic diseases that already from a young age require the use of hormone replacement therapy with testosterone drugs for life (see hormonal preparations for men ).
Androgenic deficiency in old age usually requires a lifetime prescription of testosterone drugs. But this does not need to be frightened, since the advantages of using hormonal drugs aimed at maintaining the required concentration of testosterone in the body of a man are obvious, compared to its deficiency.
After reaching the required concentration of testosterone, the activity improves:
- cardiovascular system (difficult to treat hypertension begins to recede, the risk of heart attacks and strokes is reduced);
- endocrine system (diabetes mellitus is milder, the risk of complications is reduced; obesity is gone);
- the musculoskeletal system (muscle tone improves, the bones become dense, the calcium stops leaching);
- cognitive function (memory, attention), improving overall well-being, tone, increased efficiency and mood.