How Aging Affects Hormones

Happy Elderly Couple on a Beach

While aging is a natural - and often beautiful - process, it can impact the body’s ability to function at an optimal level. Aging affects numerous bodily functions, but in this blog, we will focus on how aging impacts hormone levels.

An indirect relationship

Aging affects hormones indirectly. The endocrine system, the body system responsible for regulating and producing hormones, is directly impacted by age. Hormone levels are merely a byproduct of an aging endocrine system. Within this system, there are three key structures that impact hormone levels: the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, and the thyroid gland. 

An aging endocrine system impacts hormone levels

The hypothalamus is a region of the brain that produces hormones that control the functionality of important glands in the body such as the pituitary gland and the thyroid gland. As the hypothalamus ages, it loses neural stem cells, resulting in impared ability to send signals to the pituitary gland and the thyroid gland. Essentially, when the hypothalamus starts to age, so do the thyroid and the pituitary gland.

The pituitary gland regulates sex hormones estrogen and testosterone. As we age, the pituitary gland often produces lower levels of estrogen and testosterone, which may cause symptoms such as low sex drive, stress, and memory loss. 

The pituitary gland also secretes hormones called Thyroid Stimulating Hormones (TSH), which as the name suggests, stimulate the thyroid so that it starts to produce hormones. Once triggered, the thyroid produces hormones to regulate metabolism. In a domino-affect fashion, the thyroid then produces less-than-optimal levels of hormones, often resulting in weight gain

Hormonal health and the status quo

While aging is a natural part of the human experience, it does not have to be the “end all, be all” when it comes to health. Often enough, middle-aged adults and senior adults live with symptoms simply because the status quo tells them to. Such a lifestyle can significantly - albeit unnecessarily - impact overall quality of life.  

In reality, there are many things that adults can do to remedy hormonal imbalance. If you are experiencing symptoms such as weight gain, fatigue, memory loss, and/or low sex drive, you may be suffering from a hormonal imbalance that can be easily treated. 

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151 Adams Lane #18
Mt. Juliet, TN 37122
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