The messengers of time: hormonal changes impact under the microscope
Men in their prime often overlook or, perhaps, just do not want acknowledge that mental and physical changes occur in the body and they collide with rapid exhaustion, irritation or nervousness more and more often. Their physical strength is reduced, body weight often increases, while muscle mass is drained. The appearance is also undergoing significant changes: dry and sagging skin, age spots and wrinkles appear; hair is getting thinner and starts falling out. Over time, men are increasingly feeling general weakness and lose confidence in their abilities. Rather than focusing on initiative and activity, they are now looking for privacy and tranquility. Such men lose their physical mobility and give up spiritual growth.
It has long been observed that in the age of 50+ occur and changes in the general condition of the nervous system: the process of learning becomes more complicated, while attention, memory and the ability to orient get reduced. Sleep disturbances in conjunction with growing inner restlessness and the feeling of inferiority, may even lead to severe depressions. It should also be noted that not only women during menopause suffer from hot flashes and sweating attacks. Males of this age group are observed similar symptoms.
Sexual function also falls under the pressure of age, causing frequent anxiety attacks. Not only the production of sperm and fertility is reduced – sexual desire and male potency got weakened. Gonads get considerably reduced in volume. Losing the interest in the delights of love belongs to the problems that men do not say out loud, or prefer not to deal with them directly, they are willing to hide behind heavy workload, stress or poor condition of health. Women – often erroneously – attribute this state of men with their loss of attractiveness or a new woman in the life of a husband. This is where ladies showing resentment and frustration should keep in mind that they are contributing to the further development of the male sense of inferiority, often provoking a depression. Switching from jealousy and accusations to a friendly and frank conversation, discussing a visit to a competent specialist is a way more effective direction to take.
Turning the crucial marks
Signs of aging are manifested in men gradually over a long period of time and in some cases may appear after reaching 30 years of age. The spectrum of these individual complaints ranging from relatively harmless to the serious manifestations of mental disorders and the function of vital organs. Most men tend to ignore these symptoms and associate them with an overload or stress. Later, they carry them to a series of inevitable manifestations of aging or just keep silent about them. However, statistically, discovering the disorders and initiating their correction many allows regaining physical health, emotional activity and effectiveness of male power.
It should be noted that the external signs of aging tend to indicate an imbalance between the various systems and poor condition of the whole body: increased blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the blood; heart and circulatory disorders with a significantly increasing risk of severe heart diseases; developing diabetes; reduced bone density, which leads to increased bone fragility and etc. With age decreases the formation of red blood cells, as a result, the supply of the cells with oxygen is violated, which in turn leads to loss of energy, fatigue, and reduced efficiency. In such males skin is likely to have pale color.
For many years, andrology (the science of men’s health) actually remained at an impasse. On the one hand it was known that men have complaints similar to those observed in the majority of women in menopause, on the other hand for a typical male sex hormone, testosterone, a reliable indicator of age-related decrease in its level in the blood remained unknown. Male hormones regulate the interaction of many organs and systems, and are a central element of our integrative body. In particular, in regulating metabolism, they are indispensable.
In contrast to the relatively fast (5 – 8 years) reduction of the level of sex hormones and the complete extinction of fertility in women aged at 45-55 years, the corresponding changes in men occur without a loss in reproductive function. However, due to the gradual and long-term changes in hormonal balance in men and the absence of a clear age limit of this phenomenon, the ability to confirm the relationship between hormonal disturbances and signs of aging is harder than in women.
For example, the level of active testosterone is reduced in males after 40 years on the average by 1.2% per year. Importantly, the possibility of expressing individual differences is great. Some stick to high physical and mental activity; in others, by contrast, even in fairly young age there the symptoms may manifest hormone deficiency.
The aging effect symptoms
A large group of males aged from 45 to 65 years is diagnosed a good number of above symptoms characterized by varying degrees of severity. Which of these changes have a direct consequence of the hormonal deficiency and which of them occur quite independently of hormonal level, can be found out due to a targeted medical examination. For example, in young males the symptoms mentioned above can be observed in congenital loss of hormone function (hypogonadism), or developed after surgery or hormone deficiency caused by an accident, and there they are easily subjected to hormonal correction.
The level of testosterone in the blood varies in different individuals of the same age and depends on many factors:
- Testosterone production in the gonads decreases as year pass. In addition, in the young men there are physiological fluctuations between the morning and evening performance of hormones in the blood; For example, in the morning testosterone level hits the highest marks, and the lowest are observed in the evenings. With age, many men circadian rhythm of testosterone secretion is erased or missing.
- The amount of biologically active testosterone is reduced because with age it binds strongly with globulin and becomes inactive.
- Obesity develops as a result of predominance of female sex hormone – estrogen
Many drugs act negatively on production of hormones in the body.
- Severe metabolic disorders and infectious diseases, and cardiovascular disease can also cause hormonal disturbances in men.
- Alcohol, nicotine and stress lead to a significant reduction in hormones activities.
It is known that the symptoms of aging in men depend not only on reducing the level of testosterone, but many other vital hormones. Decreases with age level of hormones like melatonin and growth hormone, or often called the fountain of youth – dehydroepiandrosterone. Female sex hormones (estrogens) in the body also play an important role in male’s body. They positively affect the state and function of blood vessels and fat metabolism. By the way an average healthy 35 year old man has about 1/3 the amount of estrogen in a woman the same age.
In fact, the reduction of the level of sex hormones is not the only factor to consider; thus, there’s a shift of equilibrium between the different types of hormones in the body that can cause the development of certain symptoms of aging in men. When combined with pronounced age-related decline in hormone levels to those described complaints we are talking today about the hormonal deficiency syndrome in men.
What does the modern medicine offer to men, who wish to extend the active period of life?
The concept of the role of hormones like biological multifunctional systems in humans prove their use in the fight against premature aging processes of women and men. The hormone referred to as biologically active substance affects the status and activities of the various organs and tissues in the body. Hormone replacement therapy or individual hormonal correction, aimed at restoring the natural hormonal balance in the body, allows us today to significantly alleviate many problems in middle-aged people.
To evaluate the presence and severity of typical clinical symptoms of hormonal imbalance in clinical practice specifically designed tables are used. An important step in the diagnosis of hormone deficiency in men is to determine the level of hormones in the blood plasma. Upon detection of a reduced level of testosterone, determination of levels of gonadotropins and prolactin may be required. Comparison of the results of laboratory examination of the history allows choosing individual schemes and the necessary preparations for the correction of the found changes in hormonal balance in the body. The first evaluation of the effectiveness of the correction is conducted on the dynamics of clinical manifestations after a month, the second one – after three months. By this time due to a decrease in hormonal levels in most cases, the symptoms disappear.
Performance indicators normalization of hormonal levels are: improved health, increased sexual desire, overall sexual satisfaction; reduction in severity or disappearance Vegetative-vascular and mental disorders; during prolonged correction (over 1 year) – increasing bone density, reducing the severity of obesity in the abdominal area, the growth of muscle mass. Men taking hormones must pass tests every 3 months to assess the effectiveness of the therapy and possible adjustments in dose.
Consistent clarification of action of hormones on many of the features of the male body has shown that hormonal correction of violations, coupled with a healthy lifestyle and proper nutrition, a reasonable work-rest cycle lead to the disappearance of symptoms and complaints, significantly improve the health and return mature men activity and sexual satisfaction for many years.