If you think women only have hormones, you're wrong. Men do too, just in different amounts. Hormones are vital messengers in the body, responsible for supporting critical bodily functions. If hormones naturally occur in the body, why would a man need to take hormones?
Hormones for men peak in adolescence and early adulthood and slowly taper off as men grow into middle age. While the process is natural, if levels of crucial hormones like testosterone and DHEA are too low, it can cause health concerns. When this happens, one treatment is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy or BHRT with testosterone and DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone).
Testosterone is a critical male sex hormone produced primarily in the testes. It's responsible for giving masculine features, such as facial hair, deeper voice, and muscle strength. Another essential role of testosterone is sperm production, making it a vital part of a man's fertility.
The hormone also helps increase sexual appetite, regulates mood, and helps red cell production. While testosterone is thought of as a "male" hormone, women do produce it, only in smaller amounts. (1)
A testosterone deficiency can lead to bodily dysfunction in areas it's responsible for regulating. Another term for low testosterone is hypogonadism. When testosterone levels are deficient, a person may have the following symptoms.
Testosterone helps regulate a man's sex drive. Low-T can result in less appetite for sexual activity. While a man's sexual desire decreases as he ages, a lower than average sex drive can harm relationships and lower a man's self-esteem.
The Mayo Clinic believes that about 15 million to 30 million men in the United States live with erectile dysfunction (ED). ED is the inability for a penis to be firm enough for sexual activity. (2) Testosterone helps stimulate an erection.
Testosterone helps produce sperm, so low levels cause fewer amounts when ejaculated during sex. One sign of infertility for men is a low sperm count.
Since testosterone helps build muscles, the loss of testosterone may reduce the amount. Studies show that testosterone affects muscle mass, but not necessarily muscle strength. (3)
Testosterone helps regulate mood. Some studies show that testosterone deficiency increases depression, causes mood changes, and lack of focus. (4)
It's natural for me to have some cognitive decline as they age, but some experts say there may be a link between low-T and memory decline. Higher levels of testosterone may increase mental performance. (5)
Boosting testosterone levels through changes in diet and getting regular activities may work for some men. For others, with abnormally low levels for their age or experiencing health problems, supplementing with testosterone may help.
Testosterone hormone therapy (THT) is replacing the missing hormones with natural ones. Low-T treatment comes in the form of gels, creams, and injections. Some doctors don't recommend THT, due to the possible adverse effects for some men. (6)
Another reason a man would need to take hormones is due to a DHEA deficiency. DHEA is a hormone produced mainly in the adrenal glands and a precursor for testosterone. As the hormone enters tissues in the liver and brain, for example, it converts to testosterone.
Like testosterone, DHEA levels lower naturally as a man ages. Women produce DHEA as well. (7) Even though science is still trying to figure out DHEA's exact role in certain bodily functions, research indicates that DHEA plays a vital role in the following:
The body stores reservoirs of DHEA and converts the hormone into other hormones when needed.
Lower levels of DHEA, like testosterone, are normal as men age. However, low levels may cause mild to severe side effects.
If you feel exhausted all the time, you may have a DHEA deficiency. A pilot study published by the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology showed that DHEA supplementation improved symptoms for those who have chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). (8)
Living with depression is more common than you think. In 2017, more than 18 million adults had depression for more than two weeks, at least once. (9) According to Harvard Medical School, DHEA supplementation helps ease sadness and melancholy associated with depression. (10)
There may be a connection between sexual desire and low DHEA levels. However, in the New England Journal of Medicine published a study of 24 women, showing that DHEA improved sex drive.
As a man ages, their immune system may decline, too. The exact connection between the immune system and DHEA is still unknown, but some studies show that supplementing with DHEA boosted immune function. (11)
Like low levels of testosterone, making changes in diet and lifestyle may boost levels naturally, Hower for those with abnormal levels BHRT may help.
DHEA hormone therapy mimics the missing hormones in the body. Yam and soy are the most common ingredients for DHEA. DHEA creams are simple and easy to apply. Research indicates that 7-Keto DHEA may be more effective than other DHEA creams or gels. As with THT, consult with your doctor before undergoing therapy.
The reason why a man needs to take hormones may be to improve testosterone and DHEA levels. Low levels of these critical hormones are connected to some serious health concerns. If you suspect you have a hormonal imbalance or low hormones, you can find relief with DHEA hormone creams.