An Ounce of Prevention

4 minutes reading time (845 words)

THE MALE MENOPAUSE – ANDROPAUSE

THE MALE MENOPAUSE – ANDROPAUSE

"We will either find a way, or make one."
Hannibal

The Andropause is the male counterpart to the female menopause. While it is not as rapid, as obvious or as extreme an event as the menopause, men do suffer from declining hormone levels as they age.

In the menopause, women’s sex hormones rapidly decline over several years, usually in their 50's. The sex hormones in men also decline as they age, starting earlier but much more gradually. As one doctor states, ‘women fall off a cliff. Men sort of roll down the hill.’

The Andropause is a condition in which level of the major male hormone testosterone slowly declines with age, and decreases a man’s ability to enjoy sex.  In addition to a lowering of sexual desire and erectile function, men with a low testosterone level may also notice changes in mood and emotions, a decrease in body mass and strength due to loss of muscle tissue, and an increase in body fat.

TESTOSTERONE the male hormone

Several hormones known as androgens create and support masculinity, but testosterone, produced by the testes is the major one and is also responsible for:

* Determining before birth a baby’s sexual development

* Influencing an individual’s sexual preference

* Regulating the sex drive in men and in women

* The development of male sexual characteristics including dominance, emotional and physical strength, body shape, hairiness, deep voice, and even body odor

* Governing the production and quality of sperm

Testosterone plays a role in the development of creativity, intellect, thought patterns, assertiveness and drive, as well as the ability to produce new ideas and successfully carry them through. It also affects general health and wellbeing  during childhood, adolescence and adulthood.

After the age of thirty, a man may lose up to two percent of the function of his testicles with each succeeding year. In fact up to fifty percent of otherwise healthy men over 50 have low levels of testosterone.

The following questionnaire is useful

ADAM – Androgen Deficiency in the Ageing Male Questionnaire

1

Do you have a decrease in libido (sex drive)?

Yes No

2

Do you have a lack of energy?

Yes No

3

Do you have a decrease in strength and/or endurance?

Yes No

4

Have you lost height?

Yes No

5

Have you noticed a decreased "enjoyment of life"

Yes No

6

Are you sad and/or grumpy?

Yes No

7

Are your erections weaker?

Yes No

8

Have you noticed a recent deterioration in your ability to play sports?

Yes No

9

Are you falling asleep after dinner?

Yes No

1

 Has there been a recent deterioration in your work performance?

Yes No

COMMON SIGNS and RISKS

The typical description of a man going through this process often sounds like this: ‘Over the years, he has grown more irritable, more depressed, heavier, more lethargic, and much less interested in sex.’

There are also additional health risks associated with low testosterone levels.  These include: Elevated cholesterol, heart disease, bone fractures and clinical depression

HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a powerful intervention in handling the andropause as it often products a significant and dramatic improvement in the symptoms and a reduction in the risks. HRT should be undertaken in a scientific manner following some basic principles:

Test first: Each individual should be medically evaluated including a simple blood test to measure the levels of testosterone and other hormones in the blood. I doing a male hormone panel test which includes your “free’ and ‘total’ testosterone, plus your female hormones.

Use bio-identical hormones

If hormone levels are low, correct them by administering the right dosages of the specific hormone that is deficient in the body, and not with a synthetic drug. This is called bio-identical hormone replacement therapy.

MONITOR

Periodically repeat the blood test and if necessary adjust the dosage of the hormone being given. If these guidelines are followed, then HRT is an extremely safe and effective anti-aging therapy.

ACTION PLAN

For the man who is concerned about the Andropause, here are some suggestions:

Have a medical examination done by your doctor and request a blood test for free testosterone, estrogen, DHEA and progesterone.

If the levels of free testosterone are low, consider having testosterone replacement with a testosterone skin cream. If DHEA (another hormone the body uses to make testosterone) is also low, then DHEA can be taken to help elevate testosterone levels. If the female hormones estrogen or progesterone are imbalanced this should also be corrected.

Make some lifestyle changes – a healthy diet with enough protein, exercise regularly and pay attention to effective stress management.

Add anti-oxidants and soy products to your diet.

Herbal supplements – the ginsengs, saw palmetto, pygeum africanum, St. John’s Wort, and pumpkin seed may also help to stimulate the body’s natural production of hormones.

Detoxify the body and avoid exposure to toxins and harmful chemicals.

As with menopause, the andropause does not have to be the beginning of the end, but rather the passage to the most passionate, purposeful and rewarding time of a man’s life.

Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia
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Monday, 14 October 2019

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