Endocrinology and the Aging Male

The study of hormones and the endocrine system is called “Endocrinology.” Metabolism is important to consider when discussing endocrinology. Metabolic function is highly influenced by the endocrine system and physicians and scientists have been studying the relationship between the two for a very long time.

The Endocrine System

The endocrine system within the human body includes numerous endocrine glands and organs that produce, release, and balance hormones. Hormones are chemical messengers that help the body function properly. Utilizing the circulatory system, these glands and organs release hormones into the blood stream to help control and regulate various bodily functions. There are many types of hormones that the endocrine system produces. These include testosterone, estrogen, adrenalin, progesterone, insulin, cortisol, and many more. There are three major types of hormones and they are protein hormones, steroid hormones, and amine hormones. While hormones regulate many types of systems in the body, such as the reproductive system and digestive system, the focus of this article is the metabolic process.

Metabolism and Endocrinology

The human body produces and releases over 50 different types of hormones. When it comes to metabolic processes, insulin is a critical hormone that endocrinologists focus on. Insulin helps to regulate blood sugar levels. Insulin is created in the pancreas and helps your body convert the food you eat into the energy needed to maintain your metabolic functions. Most of the time, your body manages this process without any problems. Other times, however, problems can arise when your body doesn’t maintain correct insulin function.

Insulin regulates glucose (blood sugar), lipid, and protein metabolism. When insulin production is disrupted, your body will respond in ways that can have adverse health effects. Obesity, diabetes, and other metabolic diseases can result when insulin production becomes disrupted. Endocrinologists that specialize in metabolic diseases focus on how the endocrine system affects health and well-being. 

The Aging Male

The National Library of Medicine published a study that focused on endocrinology and the aging male. It outlined the complex metabolism of men and how it relates to sexual decline many men experience as they age. This study looked at the decrease of sex hormones such as testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone and increases in luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and sex hormone-binding globulin.

The changes in these hormones cause wide ranging effects in male physiology. The importance of these changes is because of the role that these sex hormones have in the aging male. Be understanding how these changes in hormones affect men, endocrinologists can develop and implement effective treatments for men who are experiencing a decline in sexual performance as they age.

In another study by Science Direct, trends in metabolism and endocrinology are described. This study looks as endocrine regulation and the balance between catabolism and skeletal muscle anabolism. This is important because when we understand how testosterone, growth hormone, insulin, and other hormones in the male body regulate metabolism, we can also understand how they relate to muscle protein loss.

The Endocrinologist

Endocrinologists study and practice medicine in the field of endocrinology. Many of them specialize in specific areas of endocrinology, such as those that focus on metabolism. As such, diabetes is also a major focus of these specialized endocrinologists. Diabetes, obesity, and other metabolic disorders are often approached with a “prevention” strategy to help avoid these conditions in the first place. They will often help their patients develop and maintain healthy lifestyles that can delay the onset of these diseases in people who are genetically predisposed to the development of these types of diseases. They also diagnose and treat those who have developed these diseases.

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