Luteinizing Hormone in Males – Everything You Need to Know
Hormones are in charge of regulating the reproductive system. Testosterone is the main hormone that is attributed to puberty, physical features, and semen production. It may not be known to most that the human body contains several different hormones that all work together to keep the body balanced and regulated. After testosterone, the luteinizing hormone is one of the most crucial hormones in the system.
Testosterone cannot be produced without luteinizing telling the Leydig cells in the testes to do so. If luteinizing is unbalanced then sperm production, muscle mass, and a man’s overall sexual health are negatively impacted.
What are Luteinizing Hormones?
Luteinizing hormones (LH) are produced by gonadotropic cells located in the anterior pituitary gland. These hormones are vital for the regulation of the testes, which produces testosterone. This supports the production of sperm, leading to a healthy reproductive system. It also aids in deepening the voice and supporting the growth of facial hair. The luteinizing hormones are essential in the reproductive system.
What Happens When Luteinizing Hormones are Imbalanced?
It is easy for men to overlook the signs of a hormonal imbalance as they are common symptoms of many other issues, such as aging or depression. Some signs of a hormonal imbalance in men include low libido, loss of muscle mass, and failure to conceive. An imbalance of hormones in young boys can delay puberty and stunt growth.
When the luteinizing hormones are imbalanced,it typically means other hormones, such as testosterone, are imbalanced as well. When the body experiences a spike or drop in testosterone levels, the brain tells the pituitary gland to produce more or less TH in order to compensate. When LH levels are imbalanced, it throws other hormones out of balance as well.
Testing for Luteinizing Levels
The best way to determine luteinizing hormone levels is with a blood test. Doctors will test for various hormone levels because they work in conjunction with one another. Testosterone, follicle stimulating hormone (aids in stimulating sperm production), estradiol (aids in normal erectile function, regulating libido, and the formation of sperm cells), and prolactin (helps stimulate testes function and testosterone production) are all hormones that will provide insight into your overall hormonal health. Since LH levels directly tie into testosterone levels, it is important for doctors to see the whole hormonal profile to understand what is happening in the endocrine system.
Causes of High Luteinizing Levels
When levels of the luteinizing hormone are high, it is typical to see lower testosterone levels. When testosterone is low, the pituitary gland will overcompensate by producing more luteinizing hormones. The body does this hoping it will kickstart the testes into producing more testosterone, although the outcome is too much LH.
What caused testosterone to drop in the first place? High levels of LH are typically seen when there is something wrong with the testes, causing a decrease in function. This can be due to physical damage to the testes, genetic disorders that cause abnormal chromosomes leading to infertility, radiation exposure, cancer, and viral infections.
If levels are only slightly elevated,it may be caused by an undiagnosed autoimmune disorder or certain medications. Men who have Celiac’s disease often have higher levels of luteinizing as well until they treat their Celica’s with a diet change.
Causes of Low Luteinizing Levels
Low levels of the luteinizing hormone are usually an indicator of issues with the pituitary gland or hypothalamus gland. The hypothalamus gland is a crucial gland in the endocrine system. It is located at the base of the brain, near the pituitary gland. The hypothalamus helps the body maintain homeostasis and is in charge of releasing hormones, controlling appetite, regulating everyday physiological cycles, regulating sexual behavior, maintaining a normal body temperature, and more. The hypothalamus also signals to the pituitary when it needs to release hormones into the body. When this gland is malfunctioning it can cause a variety of rare disorders.
There are a few reasons why the pituitary and hypothalamus gland may malfunction, leading to lower LH levels. Head trauma, tumors (both cancerous and benign), certain medications, genetic conditions like Kallmann Syndrome or Prader-Willi Syndrome, and some autoimmune disorders. Slightly lowered luteinizing levels can also be caused by diabetes, overtraining (exercise), being underweight or overweight, chronic stress, and high alcohol consumption.
External Influences on Hormone Levels
It may come as a surprise to discover that men do experience hormonal cycles, kind of like women do. Everyday testosterone and luteinizing hormones will range from a high and low level. It is typical for testosterone to be at its highest level during the first half of the day, so a doctor may recommend taking a blood sample then. This will accurately show if there is too much or too little luteinizing in the bloodstream.
To obtain an accurate outlook on hormone levels, it is important to disclose any drug use and all medications being taken to the doctor. Recent marijuana use can impact results because it can temporarily lower TH levels as well as other hormones. If you had a recent medical test that involved a radioactive tester, then it is likely that thetest results will not be accurate when showing an increase in hormone levels.
Substances that have a huge impact on hormone levels are steroids. Testosterone supplements, anabolic steroids, and other performance enhancers are often abused and can have serious physical and psychological effects. Increasing your testosterone without a prescription from your primary doctor, especially without a current hormonal issue, can actually destroy the Leydig cells that produce testosterone. Long-term use can lead to infertility, liver tumors, heart disease, aggression, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and more.
A poor lifestyle is also a considerable factor in hormonal imbalances. A poor diet, lack of exercise, illicit drug use, and high consumption of alcohol affects overall health. Too much sugar and carbs negatively impacts insulin levels which in turn affects testosterone levels. Sleep deprivation is also a factor in throwing off hormones. The body needs rest to regulate all systems.