When people talk about hormonal disorders, they often mean women. Although in men they do happen, and quite often. One of the saddest consequences of such failures is the inability to have heirs. Fortunately, with timely diagnosis and treatment, hormonal imbalances can be reversed.
Hormonal imbalance may not be noticeable at first, but over time, it prevents a man from living a full life. Endocrine disease can sometimes be difficult to recognize. Therefore, men with disorders in the production of hormones, before getting an appointment with an endocrinologist, often go to a variety of doctors, trying to find the source of the problem, and – alas! – start the disease.
What to fear
There are many reasons for hormonal disorders. Some of them may be congenital, others acquired during life. Toxins at work and at home (contact with pesticides, varnishes, paints) and the use of anabolic steroids can lead to hormonal imbalances. The production of testosterone can be disrupted by aggressive types of treatment (chemotherapy and radiation therapy), as well as some diseases (for example, diabetes mellitus and viral infections such as mumps, measles).
But most often the cause of premature depletion of androgen production is such commonplace, but common reasons as obesity, physical inactivity, smoking and alcohol abuse (even beer) and, of course, stress.
To the endocrinologist!
Changes in hormonal levels lead to the development of genitourinary disorders, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular pathologies (including severe heart attacks and strokes), as well as osteoporosis. In addition, against the background of androgen deficiency in men, memory deteriorates, irritability and nervousness increase, insomnia, increased fatigue occur, cholesterol and glucose increase, and the content of adipose tissue increases (especially in the abdomen). But the worst threats associated with hormonal imbalances for most men are not all of this, but a decrease in libido and a decrease in sexual performance (erectile dysfunction), as well as infertility.
With these problems, first of all, you need to contact not an urologist-andrologist, but an endocrinologist. The initial stage of treatment should be a study of the hormonal profile.
Analyzes – in a complex
To assess the hormonal background of a man, it is not enough to simply measure his testosterone level. You need to get complex data. For this there is a special set of laboratory tests – “Hormonal profile for men.” The main test is a blood test for total testosterone. If it turns out to be within the normal range or is slightly reduced, but at the same time, the man will have symptoms of hypogonadism in the form of a decrease in sexual activity and other signs of a disorder of sexual function, clarifying tests will be required. It will be necessary to determine the level of SHBG (globulin that binds sex hormones) and free testosterone (including the calculation of the index of free androgens).
In addition, you will also need to donate blood for the level of FSH and LH – hormones that regulate spermatogenesis and testosterone production. The level of the thyroid hormone TSH is also determined, since possible disruptions in the work of this important organ of the endocrine system can disrupt the ability to conceive. The optimal time for taking the test is in the morning from 8 to 11.
The complex for the study of hormonal levels also includes a blood test for prolactin. Its high level can be one of the causes of infertility and sexual dysfunction. The maximum values of prolactin are determined during sleep and immediately after waking up. Ideally, the test should be taken 3-4 hours after waking up. On the eve of the test, it is better to refrain from intimate contacts, taking hormonal and some psychotropic drugs.