One of the keys to living a healthy, happy life is to keep your hormones in balance. When they’re out of balance, you end up with a list of symptoms that can cause all types of problems in both men and women.
Hormonal imbalance is called hypogonadism, and results when the ovaries in women aren’t producing enough estrogen, or the testes in men aren’t producing enough testosterone. For women, this can result in decreased sex drive, loss of menstruation, hot flashes, osteoporosis, fatigue, depressed mood, headaches and more problems.
For men, it can results in similar symptoms, including lack of sex drive, erectile dysfunction, breast enlargement, fatigue, osteoporosis, loss of muscle mass and many other symptoms. When the problems occur in a person’s ovaries or testes, it’s called primary hypogonadism. On the other hand, if it is occurring in the brain, which isn’t sending signals to the body’s organs, it’s called secondary or central hypogonadism. Either way, it can affect your mood, health, and overall quality of life.
What causes hormonal imbalance?
Primary and secondary hypogonadism each has its own causes. Primary hypogonadism can be caused by factors that include autoimmune disorders, genetic problems, injury, post-operative problems, radiation or chemotherapy side effects, and others. Secondary hypogonadism can result from nutritional deficiencies, pituitary disorders, inflammatory diseases, medications, and other causes. Hormone imbalance can also be a result of the aging process, as hormone production declines as we grow older.
Treating hormone imbalance
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the most common method of treatment for hormone imbalance. For females, the treatment is estrogen therapy, and for men it’s testosterone replacement therapy. Both treatments help to reduce or eliminate symptoms, including low sex drive, mood swings, osteoporosis, fatigue and other issues. While doctors acknowledge that there are some risk factors with HRT, the overall consensus is that when properly medically monitored and administered hormone replacement therapy is safe.