What is Andropause or “Male Menopause”?
Andropause and Low T Treatment in Phoenix Arizona
Andropause, also referred to as Male Menopause or Androgen Deficiency in aging men, can be treated by Phoenix Andropause or Low T Specialists who will help you recover your health in a safe and regulated manner. Changes or declines in men’s hormone levels generally begin around the age of 40, though some men may experience them earlier.
Men are expected to lose 10% of their testosterone every decade or 1% a year, starting anytime between the ages of 40 and 55. Many physicians refer to this timeframe as the mid-life crisis phase, or a time when some men question the direction of their lives and the legacy they’re leaving behind. Some physicians assert that this period of crisis can be attributed to age-related medical, mental or emotional issues that inhibit the production of androgens like testosterone.
Andropause describes an emotional and physical change that many men experience as they age. Although the symptoms are generally related to aging, they are also associated with significant hormonal alterations, including testosterone levels declining. Andropause is a natural subtle decline in hormones that happens as men age.
Testosterone is very important to men due to the fact that it is the hormone produced by the testicles and is responsible for the proper development of the male sexual characteristics, maintaining muscle bulk, adequate levels of red blood cells, bone density, sense of well-being, and sexual and reproductive function.
The symptoms of andropause, sometimes referred to as hypogonadism (i.e., low levels of testosterone), are thought to be similar to the symptoms experienced by women during menopause, but to a much lesser extent.
Common Symptoms of Andropause
- 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.
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Chronic illnesses like high blood pressure, liver and kidney disease are illnesses that cause high levels of estrogen, leading to erectile dysfunction. Testosterone levels help achieve and maintain an erection and when levels are low, erectile dysfunction may be the result. Testosterone levels can be low due to an increase in the stress hormone cortisol, therefore, increasing the risk of erectile dysfunction. HRT can help cease these experiences by balancing hormone levels attributed to the problem.
- 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.
- Muscle Loss
- 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.
- Depression is commonly caused by deficient testosterone levels. Men with low levels of this testosterone are 400% more likely to be diagnosed with depression. Low thyroid levels or hypothyroidism may also contribute to depression. This is due to the low levels of the thyroid hormone T3 which decreases serotonin (i.e., the happy hormone), an essential neurotransmitter for moods and behavior.
- Hot Flashes
- Hot flashes 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.
- Irritability and Anxiety
- Irritability and anxiety are generally thought to be the result of high cortisol levels and low levels of testosterone, though high estrogen levels can also be the cause. High cortisol levels diminish the amount of free testosterone in the blood stream, leading to increased estrogen levels and irritability in men. Men who are irritable or anxious may appear angry, tense, frustrated, sad, demanding, hostile, impatient, defensive and antagonizing. Because these emotions or feelings are often seen as “women’s problems”, men tend to not seek help for problems that, many times, easily corrected.
- BPH or Urinary Problems
- These problems most often suffered by men over 60, BPH or benign prostatic hyperplasia is an enlargement of the prostate gland. The swelling of the prostate puts pressure on the urethra making urination difficult. The prostate gland is regulated by estrogen, testosterone and DHT (i.e., dihydrotestosterone) a derivative of testosterone, and when these levels are imbalanced, it causes many organs, like the prostate, to malfunction. Unresolved problems like BPH can become chronic illnesses without proper medical treatment. Having hormone levels checked and balanced can drastically reduce or cease BPH and other issues associated with high or low hormone levels.
This is just a short list and description of the most common symptoms men often experience through Andropause. To determine if you have andropause, a blood test reviewed by a Phoenix Andropause or Low Testosterone Specialist is necessary for measuring testosterone levels. While it’s true that decreased testosterone levels are a factor, other issues may weigh in.
There is no one “right” level of testosterone for all men. You and your Phoenix Andropause and Low T Doctor need to work together to establish the level that’s right for you. Then you can work together and decide on a course of treatment that will best help benefit YOU.