The Importance of Balanced Hormones
Optimal male health is not just dedicated to a single hormone. Much like how a varied diet rich in nutrients contributes to optimal functioning, the right amount and balance of male hormones can contribute to a sense of alertness, leaner body mass and a feeling of well-being.
While many men believe that lower testosterone is the root of their hormonal imbalance, they may also need progesterone and even estrogen balancing. Hormone testing for men can be an essential aspect of identifying potential problems and rectifying them to achieve peak functioning.
Why Should I Measure My Hormone Levels?
Obtaining your hormone levels can accomplish two distinct purposes. First, it gives your health care team a baseline from which they can identify the need for improvement. Second, it allows them to measure your levels after supplementation or replacement therapy to see how it’s working.
Using appropriate testing methods in both establishing a baseline and monitoring results is essential in creating the right doses of each hormone. Having accurate levels reduces the chance of side effects and increases your hormone replacement therapy’s efficacy. This holds true across all age groups, but is especially important for older men.
What Gets Assessed in Male Hormone Panel Testing?
Male hormone testing levels all have an established range. Based on your results, your health care team can develop a customized replacement or supplementation plan.
To create a baseline, your provider will likely order a hormone testing panel, which assesses the following:
DHEA is a hormone that is a precursor to testosterone and progesterone. It’s produced in the adrenal glands. Levels that are too low or too high can disrupt the balance between male and female hormones in the body, which can lead to a range of unpleasant symptoms.
Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
This hormone is released from the pituitary gland, and is responsible for stimulating sperm production. Low levels can contribute to infertility.
This is another precursor to both male and female hormones, but it’s also a weak androgen. Failing to monitor this hormone during supplementation can lead to minimal male hormone production, with excess estrogen conversion, which creates the opposite of the intended effects of male hormone replacement therapy.
Testosterone is one of the most significant androgens for males and is produced in the testes. It’s the precursor to DHT, which is a highly potent hormone.
Testosterone serves a number of important purposes, such as
- Preserving bone density
- Boosting cognitive function, libido and red blood cell count
- Contributing to lean body mass
There can be too much of a good thing, however, as excess testosterone levels have shown links to:
- Hardening of the blood vessels
- Increase in cholesterol
- Prostate problems
This potent hormone is derived from testosterone, and your levels of DHT rise naturally with age. Levels that are too high can result in thinning hair and prostate enlargement.
This hormone plays an important role in both male and female bodies. For men, it serves as an important check to DHT and counterbalances other hormones.
Taking too much in a hormone replacement therapy regimen, however, can lead to:
- Weight gain
- Gynecomastia (enlargement of the breast tissue)
Some men are surprised to discover that they produce some, albeit small, levels of estrogen as part of a normal hormone balance. Estriadol is a strong estrogen that males naturally form, but excess levels can lead to obesity, redistribution of fatty tissues, and gynecomastia.
Finally, estrone is a weaker estrogen that both men and women produce in their fat cells. The more fat a man has, the more estrone he will produce. This can lead to breast and prostate enlargement.
These hormones work symbiotically to preserve beneficial effects such as lean muscle mass, hair growth, alertness and cognition, while decreasing negative side effects such as breast enlargement, obesity and fatigue.
Our hormone levels may fall out of balance in response to age, disease or other factors. Identifying levels that are too low or two high can help explain and even rectify a number of symptoms that some men may dismiss as a natural consequence of aging.
The Benefits of Male Hormone Replacement Therapy
Male hormone replacement or supplementation can help you achieve your best level of health, no matter your age. In combination with a healthy diet and exercise, you can experience benefits such as:
- Weight loss
- Preserved bone density and red blood cell count
- Overall sense of well-being
The first step is obtaining a hormone level testing panel. After your provider completes a male hormone level testing panel, team up with Compounding Pharmacy of America. We offer a range of male hormone replacement therapies and products in a wide range of compositions, all to help you achieve your perfect balance of hormones.
Chief Operating Officer, The Compounding Pharmacy of America
Matthew Poteet, Pharm.D. graduated with Honors from Lee University with a Bachelors of Science in Biological Science. After his undergraduate training, he completed the Doctor of Pharmacy program at Mercer University Southern School of Pharmacy, graduating in 2004. Dr. Poteet has spent much of his pharmacy career on staff at two of the most prestigious academic teaching hospitals in the Southeast; Emory University in Atlanta and Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. At these institutions he received extensive experience and training in sterile products compounding.
He returned home to East Tennessee in 2010, where he has held the position of Pharmacy Director at two sterile products pharmacies in Knoxville. Matthew lives in Knoxville with his wife, Chris. Dr. Poteet is Tennessee’s first Board Certified Anti-Aging Pharmacist by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine.