Hormones have a vital role to play in your body. Hormones achieve the regulation of most body functions. For example, serotonin is a hormone that regulates appetite, while the human growth hormone regulates growth. Similarly, hormones like testosterone and estrogen are responsible for the regulation of reproduction. Testosterone regulates reproduction in males, while estrogen regulates reproduction in females.
Like all hormones, the hormones testosterone and estrogen need to be within a specific range for the proper functioning of reproduction. When the levels drop below the normal, you may experience problems with reproduction, such as erectile dysfunction in men and irregular menstrual cycles in women. When the levels of these hormones are too low, they can cause infertility.
Higher levels of estrogen or testosterone also have a consequence. For example, high estrogen levels can predispose you to pulmonary embolism. Pulmonary embolism is a fatal condition where a foreign object, which in most cases is a blood clot, gets trapped in your lungs. Estrogen increases the risk of development of blood clots leading to pulmonary embolism. The embolism causes difficulty in breathing, cough, and pain in your chest. This is one reason why hormone testing is important.
As the name suggests, hormone testing refers to the testing of the levels of hormones in your body. Hormone testing is usually recommended when you present with symptoms of hormonal imbalance. Hormonal imbalance refers to a condition in which the levels of your hormone are outside the normal range. The levels could either be too high or low. However, hormonal imbalance is usually used to refer to low levels of hormones in the body.
Hormonal imbalance can present in different ways, depending on the hormone affected. For example, menopause is the most common type of hormonal imbalance in women. It occurs in women above the age of 45 due to low levels of estrogen and progesterone. It presents as hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes, vaginal dryness, et cetera.
Similar to women, men also have a menopausal phase. The levels of testosterone in men decrease gradually once they reach the age of 40. Some of the signs of low testosterone include reduced libido, hair loss, fatigue, erectile dysfunction, decreased muscle mass, depression, irritability, and mood changes. Once you present with such symptoms, you should visit your doctor or an endocrinologist on the way forward. The first thing that your doctor will recommend is a hormone test to check the levels of your testosterone. This can be done using a blood test. Similarly, estrogen levels in women can be determined using a blood test.
Blood tests are not the only type of test that doctors use to determine hormone levels in your body. Other tests such as ultrasound, sperm count, thyroid scan, and biopsy can be used to determine the levels of different types of hormones. However, blood tests are more suitable in determining the levels of testosterone or estrogen in your body.
Who can do hormonal testing?
An endocrinologist is the best for doing hormone testing. An endocrinologist is a doctor who is specialized in hormone treatment and management. Some people refer to endocrinologists as hormone doctors because of their specialty. A hormone doctor could be either male or female. Therefore, a male doctor can determine whether your testosterone levels are low or estrogen levels are high. The gender does not make the doctor less qualified in his or her work in determining the levels of your reproductive hormones. They are both equally trained in the field.
After doing the necessary blood tests, your male hormone doctor can give you the exact value of your hormone levels and tell you whether the levels are high or low. He will then advise you on the right approach to treating your testosterone or estrogen levels to bring them to the normal range. The treatment is generally referred to as hormone therapy. The therapy usually encompasses medications and diet to raise or lower the levels of the hormone.
If you live within the Birmingham, Alabama area and have been battling low or high levels of reproductive hormones such as testosterone and estrogen, we can help. Our clinic in Birmingham is dedicated to ensuring you live a healthy and quality life by providing hormone treatment services. For a more holistic approach, we will advise you on the dietary changes you need to make while taking the hormone therapy medications to ensure the therapy is effective. If you are ready to start your therapy, call our clinic today on (205) 352-9141, our customer line is open 24 hours to tend to your needs.