When we think of hormone problems, menopause is often the first thing that comes to mind. Hot flashes, mood swings, insomnia, dry skin, and fatigue are just a few of the symptoms that occur when middle age women experience the natural decline of estrogen and progesterone.
But hormone imbalances can affect men, too. And they can strike at any age.
Studies have found that 25% of men over 30 and 10% of women over 20 already suffer hormone deficiencies.1 2
Hormones are the master controllers of your body. They are chemical messengers that tell your organs and glands what to do. When you have a shortage or imbalance, your body no longer functions efficiently.
Most women know the classic signs of menopause. And men know that “low T” can cause fatigue, ED, and other problems. But there are other symptoms that fly under the radar.
Your doctor may not even realize that these conditions can be caused by hormones.
7 Surprising Hormone-Related Symptoms
- Blurred vision. A hormone imbalance can cause vision problems. Hormones regulate body functions that affect eye health. Low testosterone in men is particularly linked to blurry vision.3
- Fat between shoulders. High levels of the stress hormone cortisol can cause fat to accumulate on the back of the neck and upper shoulders. Sometimes referred to as a “buffalo hump,” this is serious. It is a hallmark of Cushing’s syndrome. It can be fatal. It strikes both men and women. Check with your doctor immediately if you notice it.4
- Unusual and long-lasting acne. If you are well past puberty and you suddenly break out in pimples, a hormone imbalance is the most likely culprit. An excess of androgens in both men and women can cause oil glands to overwork.5
- Digestive problems. Your gut lining contains cells that respond to estrogen and progesterone. This is true for men as well as women. When these levels are low, nausea, bloating, frequent bowel movements, or diarrhea can occur. High levels of cortisol can lead to irritable bowel syndrome.6
- Brain fog. In women, low levels of estrogen and progesterone could be the cause. But for both men and women, it could be elevated level of cortisol. Chronically elevated cortisol levels are linked to dementia.7
- Getting sick all the time. Frequent colds, infections, or other signs of low immunity can be caused by low thyroid hormones.8
- Sugar cravings. Sugar cravings are a notorious PMS symptom. But men aren’t immune. Testosterone deficiency can increase a man’s urge for sugary foods.9
If you are experiencing one or more of these problems, talk to your doctor. Most hormones can be checked with a simple blood test.
If you do have a hormone imbalance, see a specialist. Most general practitioners don’t have the expertise you need. You’re better off with an endocrinologist or another physician who specializes in hormone issues.