Understanding How Your Hormones May Change as You Age
By Emma Sturgis
Aging is a phenomenon that affects most organisms, cells and structures. With the aging of the body, numerous subtle and rapid changes take place in our bodies. One such change is hormonal changes. The extensive network of glands generates hormones that must be used to control metabolism, sexual function, growth, mood and more.
Endocrine system and hormonal change
An endocrine system is a group of organs that control and regulate various functions of the body through hormone formation and secretion. Hormones influence the multiple actions of parts of our bodies. They act as messengers and control and coordinate behaviors in the body.
Many hormone levels decline with age, but some hormones stay at younger adult normal levels, and some even increase. Even if the levels of hormones do not decrease, the endocrine role typically decreases when the receptors become less receptive. Some hormones that do not change or slightly change while aging include:
- Thyroid hormones;
- Hormones that increase with age include:
- Follicle-stimulating hormone;
- Luteinizing hormone;
- Epinephrine, in the very old;
- Parathyroid hormone;
- Hormones that decreases include:
- Oestrogen in women;
- Testosterone in men;
- Melatonin; and
- Growth hormone.
Understanding male and female hormones
The rates of testosterone differ widely among men. Older men typically have lower levels of testosterone than younger men. During adulthood, testosterone levels gradually decline – around one percent a year after age 30, on average. For women, the production of estrogen hormone reduces as they age, marking the onset of the menopause period.
Low testosterone identification and ED Care
Low testosterone levels may include identifiable symptoms, such as:
- Shifts in sexual function: This includes reduced sexual desire and erectile dysfunction. Sleep habits shift; even sleep disorders such as insomnia or elevated sleepiness is caused by low testosterone.
- Physical changes: There are likely to be different physical changes, such as an increase in body fat, decrease in strength and gynecomastia.
- Emotional changes: Low testosterone may reduce self-confidence or motivation. You may feel depressed or nervous or hard to focus or remember things.
- Erectile dysfunction: Men with a low level of testosterone hormone experience Erectile Dysfunction problems.
The only way to treat low or high testosterone is by a blood test. Many people have low levels of testosterone, with no symptoms or signs. For men with ED, they can opt for bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. There are options for treatment and ED care. Some of these symptoms can be caused by factors other than low testosterone, such as medication's side effects, thyroid problems, depression and excessive use of alcohol. Testosterone typically returns to normal after these conditions are detected and treated.
Overall, the drop in females' estrogen levels contributes to menopause. Men usually suffer from a gradual decline in testosterone levels. Lower growth hormone levels can lead to lower muscle weight and strength. Reduced melatonin levels may be essential for the aging of the regular cycles of sleep (circadian rhythms). Because of the many effects that can result from a change in body hormones when aging, seeking medical attention is critical.