Historically, age-related male hormone changes have not been considered problematic, because fertility in men persists until an advanced age. In contrast, women undergo ovarian function failure and may require multiple hormone replacements. More careful evaluation in males, however, shows progressive age-related changes, including:

  • Decreased muscle mass and strength.
  • Decreased vigor or low energy
  • Decreased libido
  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness and depression
  • Hair loss

These changes usually begin in a man’s forties and fifties and point towards hormone imbalances and deficiencies which may be considered the male equivalent of menopause, otherwise known as andropause.

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Male Hormone Panel: Patient Overview

What You Can Do About Male Hormone Imbalance

Optimal health is dependent on a balance of hormones, not just a single hormone. Currently, men with low androgen hormones may benefit from hormone replacement therapy. Men with imbalances in their levels of androgen to estrogen and progesterone can also benefit from natural hormone replacement and therapeutic nutritional supplementation.

Supplemental hormones can be given by mouth, injection, skin patch or implant. Androgen supplementation, in states of deficiency, improves alertness and produces a feeling of well-being, with a reduction in abdominal fat and enhanced lean body mass.

Testosterone production in males is mainly a testicular function. The pituitary hormones luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) stimulate and regulate this function. Specifically, LH stimulates testosterone production in the testicles. This process is under negative feedback, meaning that testosterone levels regulate LH secretion. FSH and testosterone stimulate sperm production.

Why Measure Male Hormones?

Measurements of hormones can be used in two general ways:

  • To estimate the body’s own production as a baseline test
  • To measure levels after hormone supplementation for therapeutic monitoring

The Male Hormone Panel includes seven distinct hormones, shown in blue in the diagram below:

Male Hormone Panel

If hormone levels are too low, too high, or hormone ratios are outside of expected limits, an objective and personalized treatment plan can be developed. Symptoms are not a substitute for measuring hormone levels, because many symptoms may involve non-hormonal factors.

Using appropriate tests for monitoring hormone therapy is crucial in establishing the appropriate dosing regimen. This reduces the chance of undesirable side effects and maximizes beneficial effects. For example, excessive use of androgens (testosterone, androstenedione, DHEA, and testosterone derivatives) can activate subclinical prostate tumors which are androgen-dependent. Monitoring is especially important in older males. By the age of 70, at least 50% of men have subclinical prostate cancer. These men are especially susceptible to prostate growth stimulation by androgens.

The roles of the seven tested hormones are highlighted below:

DHEA – Is a hormone produced in the adrenal glands as a precursor to testosterone and estrogens. Unmonitored intake can easily alter the delicate balance between male and female hormones.

Androstenedione – Is a weak (androgen) and a precursor to both male and female hormones. Unmonitored intake in men can lead to excessive conversion to estrogens with minimal male hormone production. In women, unmonitored intake usually causes excess male hormone production with body and facial hair growth.

Testosterone – Is the main testicular androgen and is a precursor to the highly potent dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Testosterone helps to preserve lean body mass, bone density, cognitive function, red blood ell count, and libido. Excessive amounts of testosterone promote hardening of the blood vessels, aggression, prostate problems, and an increase in total cholesterol.

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) – Is made from testosterone in certain tissues. DHT levels typically increase with age. Excess DHT causes prostate enlargement and thinning of scalp hair.

Progesterone – Is a hormone important to both men and women. It is a natural calming agent to the nervous system. It also keeps in check excessive DHT production and counterbalances the effects of excessive estrone. Unmonitored intake can lead to breast enlargement, depression and weight gain.

Estrone – Is an estrogen that both men and women produce in the fat cells. The more fat, the more estrone, which in turn promotes fat deposits. It is produced from androstenedione. Excess levels of estrone can cause breast enlargement and contribute to prostate enlargement.

Estradiol – Is another estrogen that is much more powerful than estrone. It is partially formed in the testes but mostly in the other body tissues from both the testicular and adrenal androgens. High estradiol levels have been associated with breast enlargement, fat redistribution, and obesity.

Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) – Is a hormone that stimulates sperm production. It is released from the pituitary gland in the brain.

Luteinizing hormone (LH) – Is another pituitary hormone that stimulates testosterone production by the testes.

What We Test and What It Tells You

Using a saliva sample, the regular MHP panel measures seven hormones: DHEA, androstenedione, testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, estrone, estradiol and progesterone, the expanded panel (eMHP) measures these seven hormones plus FSH and LH.

The hormone levels in saliva reflect the active tissue concentrations, while blood contains mostly protein- bound hormones, whose active levels can only be estimated at best. Urine contains both the active hormones and numerous metabolites and can only provide a gross estimate of hormone production over time. Active fraction measurements from saliva are superior to blood and urine for use in diagnosis and treatment.

This Test is For You if You Are:

Middle-aged and experiencing any of these conditions:

  • Impaired libido
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Baldness and/or hair thinning
  • Fat accumulation around the waist
  • Urinary problems such as pain, frequency or urgency— or interrupted stream
  • Changes in sleeping habits
  • Lack of enthusiasm for life
  • Increase in bad cholesterol—decrease in good cholesterol
  • Bone loss, osteopenia, or osteoporosis

Young and experiencing any of these conditions:

  • Impaired libido
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Early baldness
  • Inability to lose weight

How Do You Benefit?

There are five distinct ways that you can benefit from using the saliva tests in the Male Hormone Panel:

  1. They are affordable and less expensive than blood or urine tests.
  2. The collection procedure spares you from the pain of a blood draw.
  3. Results are more clinically reflective of your hormone status and needs.
  4. Results can lead to an individualized and customized treatment plan using natural hormones.
  5. You will minimize overdosing and underdosing. This will ensure that you use only the proper hormones in appropriate amounts. With salivary hormone testing, guesswork is minimized.

Use the Male Hormone Panel to help restore well-being, vitality and passion for life.

Taking hormones without an evaluation of the actual need for specific hormones entails risks that are both serious and unnecessary. With two additional tests for LH and FSH, our expanded Male Hormone Panel can accurately identify the origin of the most common male hormone problems.