Lipohypertrophy (LOH-puh-troh-frahst) is a rare condition where the body produces too much or excessive amounts of certain hormones. These excesses are known as ‘hyperandrogens’. Hyperandrogenism is usually seen in males between the ages of 15 and 40 years old. It affects both men and women equally, but it’s most common in females.
Hyperandrogenism is considered a genetic disorder, though there have been cases reported in individuals with no family history of hyperandrogenism. Some studies suggest that some women may even develop the condition due to environmental factors such as exposure to certain chemicals during pregnancy.
In women with hyperandrogenism, the condition is often associated with other medical conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, ovarian cysts, fibroadenomas and uterine cancer. Other possible causes include:
Excessive use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin or ibuprofen.
While the causes are still unknown, studies have shown that the condition can be passed on from parents to children. There are also some genetic factors that make certain people more likely to develop hyperandrogenism.
If you or someone in your family has been diagnosed with hyperandrogenism, you’re at higher risk of developing hyperandrogenism yourself.
Some of the medical conditions that can cause hyperandrogenism are:
Cushing’s disease (hypercortisolism)
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
Tumors in the adrenal glands, ovaries or testicles
Exposure to certain chemicals during pregnancy
Acromegaly (usually due to a pituitary adenoma)
How is hyperandrogenism treated?
If you have a hormonal disorder, your doctor or endocrinologist will work with you to find the right combination of medications to help manage your condition. This may include birth control pills which contain the hormone estrogen or even surgery in more severe cases.
If you have a benign tumor, your doctor will operate and remove the growth if possible.
How can I reduce the symptoms of hyperandrogenism?
The only real treatment for hyperandrogenism is a combination of medical and surgical procedures to reduce the negative effects of having too much testosterone in your body. If you suffer from excessive hair growth, for example, a combination of medications and laser treatments can be used to remove or slow down the excessive hair growth.
If you’re experiencing unwanted masculine features such as a deep voice or excessive facial hair, your doctor will work with you to schedule hormone therapy and possibly a surgical procedure to remove or reduce the size of these masculine features.
How to prevent hyperandrogenism?
There’s no sure way of preventing hyperandrogenism, though some people have had success in the past by changing their diet and losing weight. Some studies have shown that obese men and women are more likely to suffer from hyperandrogenism so losing weight can help reduce the condition.
The most effective way to prevent hyperandrogenism is by getting hormone treatment as soon as the condition is diagnosed. If you have an androgen-producing tumor, your doctor may operate to remove the growth.
Otherwise you’ll be given medication to reduce your testosterone levels. If your case is severe, you may be advised to have surgery to remove or reduce the size of masculine features.
Did you know?
Some women suffer from a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This can cause excessive hair growth and other symptoms that are similar to hyperandrogenism. If you have more than a few of the symptoms listed above, make an appointment with your doctor to be tested for PCOS. It’s important to get a proper diagnosis as the two conditions require different treatment.
Menopause and hyperandrogenism
Menopause is the name given to the time in a woman’s life when she stops being able to have children. Her monthly cycle also stops, and she enters a long period of not being able to get pregnant.
Menopause occurs naturally as part of the aging process in women.
Menopause typically starts at age 50 or 51, though it can start in the late 40s, or in rare cases, early 30s. In any case, it’s a natural phase of life that all women should expect to experience.
Menopause has been called “the change of life” by many. It’s a natural process, but it can cause many side effects and problems for women if they don’t adjust to life without a monthly cycle.
Menopause is often a distressing time for many women as their bodies start going through many changes. Here are some of the changes that might happen during menopause:
Hot flashes and night sweats are probably the most well known change during menopause. These are caused by a sudden rise in body temperature with a resulting increase in heart rate, blood pressure and skin flushing.
This can be extremely scary the first few times it happens, but most women get used to it after a while.
Vaginal dryness can cause discomfort for women during menopause. There are a number of treatments for this condition, including the use of vaginal moisturizers and hormones.
Decreased libido is another common problem during menopause. While some women report a loss of interest in sexual activity, others report an increase in libido.
Some women also report an increase in sexual fantasies during menopause. These symptoms are believed to be caused by a drop in estrogen levels.
Mood swings are typical during menopause. Sometimes women feel sad or depressed for no reason while at other times they may feel overly happy or “edgy.” These mood swings are often related to hormone fluctuations in the body.
Insomnia or trouble sleeping is another symptom that commonly occurs during menopause. Some women experience live sleep while others have trouble getting to sleep.
Urinary symptoms such as frequent or urgent urination and a sense of “not getting rid of everything” also often accompany menopause. This is caused by changes in the urinary tract during menopause.
Decreased bone density is another common problem that occurs during menopause. This can cause problems later in life for women suffering from decreased bone density, especially in old age.
Menopause can be a stressful and difficult time for many women, but it is only a temporary condition as menstruation will not return. Menopause should not be confused with anemia, which causes similar symptoms.
Transition to Menopause
Menopause is a natural and inevitable part of a woman’s life. It marks the time when a female ends her reproductive capabilities and stops having her monthly period.
The average age for menopause is 51, though some women enter it in their early forties while others don’t experience it until their late fifties. It is a time of great changes both inside and outside of a woman’s body. Most women experience physical changes that are quite noticeable, and often uncomfortable or annoying, including hot flashes and mood swings. There are also significant emotional changes that take place during menopause.
While menopause should not be confused with the change of life, there are many similarities between the two. The change of life refers to a time when a woman’s reproductive organs deteriorate and no longer allow her to become pregnant.
This process begins much earlier in life, usually when a female enters her thirties. Menopause is when a female’s ovaries stop producing the hormones that cause menstruation and enable pregnancy.
Menopause can occur in a woman of any age. In fact, it has been documented in girls as young as eight years old.
Most commonly, however, menopause begins for most women during their forties. There is no way to reverse or halt the process of menopause once it begins. The best way to deal with this natural process is through acceptance and choosing to look at the bright side of things. In many ways, menopause is like a second adolescence during which time a woman can become more in touch with her inner self and enjoy a new-found sense of freedom.
The average age for menopause varies from person to person. It is rare for menopause to occur before the age of twenty or after the age of fifty.
There are several different theories as to why menopause occurs. Some researchers believe that menopause occurs naturally so that a woman’s body can focus its energies on the issues of aging and not be divided in its taskmaster approach.
Other theories suggest that it has to do with basic genetics, while still others believe it is nature’s way of limited a woman’s life span so that reproduction does not go on for too long and the species is not jeopardized.
Menstrual cycles do not always stop immediately when menopause begins. A woman may continue to have periods for several months or even a few years after menopause has begun.
Menopause can be a difficult process for many women to go through, but most manage to come out of it in one piece and on the other side much happier than they were before. Some women, however, suffer greatly with the burdens that menopause can bring and feel extreme depression or even become suicidal.
This can be especially true for women who are unprepared for or unwilling to go through menopause.
While there is no sure way of stopping menopause from occurring, some medical treatments exist that can somewhat alleviate the physical symptoms. There is no cure for the emotional effects, but counseling and therapy can be very helpful during this time.
Menopause occurs in all mammals, including humans. In fact, the phenomenon is often used as an example of mammals sharing a common ancestor.
Sources & references used in this article:
Diabetic lipohypertrophy delays insulin absorption by RJ Young, WJ Hannan, BM Frier, JM Steel… – Diabetes …, 1984 – Am Diabetes Assoc
Prevalence of lipohypertrophy in insulin-treated diabetic patients and predisposing factors by H Hauner, B Stockamp… – Experimental and clinical …, 1996 – thieme-connect.com
Incidence of lipohypertrophy in diabetic patients and a study of influencing factors by B Vardar, S Kızılcı – Diabetes research and clinical practice, 2007 – Elsevier
Prevalence and risk factors of lipohypertrophy in insulin-injecting patients with diabetes by M Blanco, MT Hernández, KW Strauss, M Amaya – Diabetes & metabolism, 2013 – Elsevier
Poor glycaemic control caused by insulin induced lipohypertrophy by TA Chowdhury, V Escudier – Bmj, 2003 – bmj.com