Signs of hormonal imbalance in men
As hormones play a crucial role in many bodily functions, there is a broad range of symptoms that could indicate a hormonal imbalance in men. These signs can vary depending on the hormones or glands that are affected. The following are signs of hormonal imbalances in men:
Gynecomastia, or enlargement of the breast tissue, is a sign of hormonal imbalance in men. While breast tissue may become larger due to age, diet, or lifestyle, a decrease in testosterone or an increase in estrogen can also lead to its growth.
It may not be physically harmful, but gynecomastia can have an impact on self-esteem. It may also be a sign that a hormonal imbalance may be affecting other functions as well.
Loss of libido
Another sign of low testosterone or high estrogen levels is a loss of libido, or sex drive. While these changes in libido can have many root causes, a hormonal imbalance could be a factor. A low sex drive can be a psychological challenge and can strain intimate relationships.
Hormonal imbalances can also interfere with sexual performance. This can lead to erectile dysfunction (ED), or difficulty having or maintaining an erection for sexual activity. Erectile dysfunction can be influenced by factors like age, depression, heart disease, stress, chronic illness, and insomnia.
Loss of muscle
While lifestyle changes can often account for losing muscle or gaining weight, changes in body composition can also be a result of a hormonal imbalance. Testosterone is responsible for building and maintaining muscle mass. If testosterone levels drop, you may notice muscle atrophy (a loss of mass) or weight gain.
Other hormones are also associated with weight changes. High levels of cortisol, your “fight-or-flight” hormone, can interfere with metabolism and suppress your body’s natural production of testosterone, leading to muscle loss. Thyroid disorders like hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) can also lower your metabolism and lead to weight gain.
In addition to physical symptoms, another sign of hormonal imbalance is a change in mood. Low testosterone levels may lead to decreased motivation, mood swings, irritability, anxiety, and depression. Thyroid disorders can also lead to mood changes.