Thyroid Hormones and Androgens
Androgens are considered the “male hormones” but women have them as well. As with all hormones, there is a connection between androgen hormones (DHEA, Testosterone, Androstenedione, DHT, Androsterone, Etiocholanolone, Androstanediol) and thyroid hormone. Increased androgens are usually associated with increased thyroid physiology. Some believe having higher androgens may be protective against hypothyroidism. However, we often see cellular hypothyroidism and elevated androgens occurring at the same time. Elevated androgens can reduce Thyroid Binding Globulin allowing for higher free hormones available to get into cells.
When it comes to androgens (testosterone and its metabolites) the literature is a bit more vague on how androgens impact thyroid physiology directly. It would seem that since estrogen and testosterone often have opposite effects, that when testosterone is low, estrogen levels will be relatively higher, and you may see signs and symptoms similar to those of elevated estrogen.
Hypothyroidism will often cause low estrogen and androgen production. During times of cellular stress and limited cellular energy, estrogen and androgen production are less critical to fight or flight and their production is often down-regulated.
In general, when men have chronic cell stress and chronic inflammation they have a tendency to increase conversion of androgens to estrogens and the opposite for women. Elevated androgens can reduce Thyroid Binding Globulin allowing for higher free hormones available to get into the cells.
If you are a male a hormone imbalance may exhibit the following signs and symptoms:
- Urination difficulty or dribbling
- Frequent urination
- Pain inside of legs or heels
- Feeling of incomplete bowel emptying
- Leg twitching at night
- Decreased libido
- Decreased number of spontaneous morning erections
- Decreased fullness of erections
- Difficulty maintaining morning erections
- Spells of mental fatigue
- Inability to concentrate
- Episodes of depression
- Muscle soreness
- Decreased physical stamina
- Unexplained weight gain
- Increase in fat distribution around chest and hips
- Sweating attacks
- More emotional than in the past