Bioidentical Hormones for Andropause (Male Menopause)
Many creaks and aches happen over the years and as time goes on impacts on the body from years ago still seem to wear on the old bones that have been through so much. The body does a wonderful job of constantly healing itself and pushing on through time, but over time things do wear on the body and an old nagging injury becomes more and more noticeable over time. How do you feel that your body has changed recently? Still feel some old injuries or pains that seem to come back more and more frequently with a much greater force? Things just feel out of wake a little bit even though you are expecting some sort of decline as growing older is going to take its toll? There are many ways that the body changes over time, but sometimes it may go through more changes much more rapidly than it is used to causing even more changes or issues. Some men start to feel these changes and it brings on a whole host of issues and problems that it can cause in men.
Some men feel a sudden urgency when some things start to go over others. A little ache there and maybe some loss of energy here is all good and comes with aging, but mess with a man’s reproductive organs and his ability to perform in the bedroom, and all heck could be breaking loose as he sprints for the panic button. Some things guys just do not like to mess with and when there are some problems down under he will most likely be sure to quickly seek out help as no man wants to lose the use of his favorite organ. Problems down there mixed with some hormonal imbalances and it could be a recipe for man-o-pause. Now notice that it is man-pause because we are not going to be talking about menopause, the women’s condition, we are talking about andropause symptoms, which is the male like version of the menopause. There are many andropause symptoms that we have gone over so far and they all can lead to some serious physical and physiological problems in the males.
There are many things that can bring on andropause in men, but some medical organizations do not recognize it, or menopause, as a medical condition. These are typically normal stages in the bodies life cycle that are something that happens and most people have to deal with. In women it causes more problems because it is a sudden end to their ovulation cycle and a drastic drop in hormones at that time. Andropause symptoms include a slowly declining level of testosterone in men over the years. This is something that is a normal process, but it can affect some men very very differently. Many do not even notice that there are changes, and if they do account them to growing older and the natural aging process, and go on with their daily lives. For others these changes can have grave psychological effects on them and cause all kinds of depression and loss of sleep. Hot flashes and sleep loss are other andropause symptoms that are common amongst men.
Symptoms experienced during Andropause or Male Menopause:
Decrease in Testosterone – Testosterone is the most significant hormone relating to men. A decrease usually occurs in men age 45-55 as a natural process of aging. This process is usually much more gradual than the process of menopause for women and may be harder to detect. An important distinction with the decreasing of testosterone relating to the testes is unique in that the testes don’t stop producing sperm. Women’s ovaries completely stop producing estrogen to produce eggs. In men the testosterone levels don’t completely run out or dry up, as sperm can be produced into the last years of one’s life. (To ensure the continuation of the species.)
Erectile Dysfunction – The inability to obtain and maintain an erection is known as impotence. Erectile dysfunctions also include prolonged length of time in achieving an erection, diminished force and volume of ejaculation, diminished rigidity of the erection and diminished pleasure. Most men who reach midlife will experience one or all of these to varying degrees. Most young men do not experience impotence. Sexual change can be the precursor or warning of other disease processes, such as coronary artery disease and diabetes.
Decreased Libido – the drive and urge towards sexual activity is reduced due to the drop in Testosterone which is the hormone most responsible for giving men their male characteristics. There are specific foods that could be added to help with enhancing the libido thus increasing the testosterone levels naturally some of which are: salmon, almonds, avocados, bananas, asparagus, eggs and raw oysters.
Infertility – the experience of not being capable of producing sperm. Testosterone is the hormone that initiates the production of sperm and provides men with the power to produce offspring. The sperm are produced in the testes and in order for the testes to produce sperm the pituitary gland must be stimulated.
Muscle Loss – is due to the decrease of Testosterone. Testosterone binds to muscle cells in order to help build muscle. This decrease in hormones causes a decrease in muscle mass and therefore it is easier to gain weight. In other words as testosterone decreases muscle mass decreases and fat mass increases. It is important to continue weight bearing exercises to continue to build lean muscle mass which will also help with preventing osteoporosis.
Fatigue – abnormally weary, tired or sluggishness is experienced and is a combination of a variety of factors where a drop is testosterone is responsible. Hot flashes, night sweats, sleep problems all can add to feeling fatigue simply because improper sleep. When the testosterone levels decrease the lean muscle mass also decreases which can result in weight gain and feelings of sluggishness. It is important to continue to exercise during this time to increase lean muscle mass and help improve energy levels. Make proper adjustments to your food and water intake to support the flux in hormones.
Sleep Problems – Insomnia or sleep apnea is characterized by an interruption in the normal sleep patterns preventing one from awakening feeling rested. During Andropause men do experience this symptom due to the decrease in testosterone, which influences the cortisol levels. The greater amounts of cortisol the greater amount of stress on the body and drain on the adrenals. The inability to fall asleep can be a vicious cycle. Maintaining a healthy and balanced level of hormones is very important to restore proper sleep patterns.
Hot Flashes – do occur in men who have a very low level of Testosterone. Testosterone sends messages to the hypothalamus, which helps regulate temperature in the body. When the levels of testosterone drop the hypothalamus gets the message that the body is overheating and acts accordingly causing flashes of heat in order to cool itself down, which is an improper signal from a low level of testosterone.
Night Sweats – are related to the hot flashes that occur during the day. Except they can be more severe at night. The cortisol levels are high, which is a stress hormone and sweating is a natural “fight or flight” response. As the testosterone levels drop the hypothalamus receives messages that the body is overheating and in response the blood vessels dilate and the body attempts to push the heat out of the body and cool itself down. During andropause night sweats are characterized by awakening soaked in sweat and then countered by cold chills.
Irritability – is caused from a hormonal imbalance of Estrogen and Testosterone. With the drop in Testosterone the Estrogen levels are more prominent this can lead to mood swings which are similar to those in women during menopause or their menstrual flow. Men who are more stressed have a greater amount of cortisol, the stress hormone, which lowers testosterone, and are more susceptible to fluctuating moods and irritability. If you find yourself feeling a little out of sorts, either being more demanding, angry, defensive, withdrawn, anxious or sad it is time to take a look at your hormone levels and get them balanced out.
Memory Loss – Testosterone helps regulate cortisol levels in the brain. When the testosterone levels decrease the cortisol levels fluctuate and create confusion and foggy thinking due to the malfunction of the neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters are not working properly due to the irregular levels of hormones required to do their job correctly. Ensuring the steady and balanced levels of testosterone in the body can create a stronger memory.
Depression – Hypogonadism, is characterized by very low levels of testosterone and contributes to a feeling of great unease. The hormone T3 drains the brain of serotonin the chemical responsible for feelings of happiness. Hypothyroidism and low levels of the thyroid hormone can also contribute to feelings of depression.
Hair Loss – thinning of hair or baldness are common symptoms during andropause. As the testosterone levels decrease the ability for hair follicles to regenerate weakens. DHT is what causes hair follicles to die when testosterone decreases. These two chemicals work closely together. When men have a poor diet and are stressed during andropause these factors can inhibit the ability of hair follicles to grow healthily.
Urinary Problems – urination can become difficult when the prostate enlarges due to the change in hormones. The prostate gland is regulated by hormones and when it enlarges it squeezes on the urethra preventing the release of a regular flow of urine. The hormones responsible for maintaining a healthy prostate are Estrogen, DHT and Testosterone. It is important that these hormones maintain a balanced level. If the hormones get so out of balance kidney stones can develop. Among the urinary problems that can occur are; urinary incontinence, which is a leaking of urine and the inability to control the bladder. And Painful Bladder Syndrome where one experiences inflammation in the bladder and frequent urination occurs.
Additional symptoms men experience when suffering from Andropause (Male Menopause):
- Aches & Pains
- Sweating & Flushing
- Bladder Weakness
- Blood Sugar Imbalance
- Breast Enlargement
- Cholesterol Imbalance
- Digestive Problems
- Dryness of Skin, Eyes
- Excessive Sweating
- Eye Problems
- Loss of Energy, Vitality
- Prostate Enlargement
Growing older is hard enough for men without having to needlessly suffer from declines in testosterone hormone levels. Recent medical research shows that replenishing low testosterone deficiencies provided significant improvement in sexual function and libido, mood, increased energy and general well being for men.
The treatment for Andropause (male menopause) is typically diagnosed by a physician who specializes in Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy. Your physician will evaluate the body’s hormone levels, which are typically obtained b through blood tests preformed by a lab. After reviewing your lab results the physician’s recommendations for the treatment of andropause usually will include hormone replacement therapy using bioidentical hormones and testosterone. Testosterone Replacement therapy is a treatment for men with low testosterone who want to boost their health and overall well-being.