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Endocrine diseases or disorders would be more of a proper term for hormonal imbalance. There are three broad categories of endocrine diseases; hypo-secretion (lack of), hypersecretion (too much), and tumors on the endocrine glands. But how does this affect men? Or women? What are some signs or symptoms of a hormonal imbalance? What is hormonal imbalance to me or you?
Sometimes, a hormonal imbalance can have similar signs as aging and therefore can be confused quite easily. Some of the signs can be memory loss, muscle loss or weakness, erectile dysfunction, hair loss, depression, and many others. Andropause (also known as male menopause or androgen decline) is a decline in testosterone. However, there is no defined period of time that a man might go through these changes. Symptoms may include weakness, depression, and fatigue. Andropause is still somewhat controversial in the medical community because it isn’t as well defined as menopause. Often times this imbalance can be treated with testosterone replacement therapy and that will also help with the symptoms but does come with risks. Make sure to ask questions about any symptoms you might be having and have an open, honest conversation with your doctor about it. There are many other hormonal imbalances a man might experience in his life, andropause is just an example.
Well, we talked about andropause so why not touch on menopause. Menopause, basically, is the sign that a woman is leaving her reproductive age and is the gradual discontinuation of estrogen. Symptoms include hot flashes, mood swings, and if you are undergoing premature menopause (many experts consider it premature menopause if you are experiencing it before the age of 40) you may have other physical and emotional hurdles coming your way.
To be honest, women can experience many hormonal imbalances. She can experience hormonal imbalances during and after pregnancy. She can also experience them while menstruating. It is often a case of an improper relationship with the hormones progesterone and estrogen. If a woman ignores any signs or symptoms of a hormonal imbalance it can lead to some serious health issues, so be sure to consult a health professional. Sometimes when women have hormonal imbalances they will grow facial hair or thicker hair on their extremities.
Can the same things affect both genders? The answer is yes. Things like environment, stress, and nutrition can affect men and women and cause hormonal imbalance. Hormones regulate the human body in many ways and need to work together to maintain homeostasis. Adrenal fatigue is being discussed more in the medical community and happens when people are in high stress situations for long periods of time. It happens when your glands are no longer able to maintain your needed levels of cortisol. Ingesting certain types of foods en mass can also cause imbalances in men and women. And too much pollution in anyone’s environment is bad.
This is just a brief overview of a couple examples of hormonal imbalance. If you suspect that you or a loved one might be experiencing an imbalance please seek medical advice and be sure to tell that professional as much information as you can to get an accurate diagnosis. Give us a call at (703) 379-7110. Or if you prefer, fill out our getting started form and we'll get in touch.
Board certified in Internal Medicine and Nephrology, Dr. Terlinsky has over 25 years of active clinical experience. »
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