What is Andropause?
The ‘male menopause,’ or andropause, is usually caused by lifestyle factors or the age-related decline in male hormones such as testosterone and DHEA. Testosterone deficiency, androgen deficiency, low T, and late-onset hypogonadism are all similar terms for what is now commonly known as andropause.
Andropause begins from around 40 onwards when a man’s testicles begin to slow testosterone production and is often associated with a condition called hypogonadism. Much like with menopause in women, when the body produces lower levels of androgen hormones such as testosterone and estrogen, many men and women experience unwanted symptoms.
The main difference between andropause and menopause is that andropause is more gradual and doesn’t involve a complete shutdown of androgen production. Although the medical profession is starting to accept andropause, many mainstream doctors still don’t have the training to understand the implications of reduced testosterone on long-term health.
With the correct treatment, andropause can be stopped in its track by optimizing hormone levels. Healthy hormone levels not only help you feel and look better but when maintained using bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), optimized hormones help protect your body from age-related diseases.
What Causes Andropause?
For most of human history, the average lifespan was considerably less than 50 years. With advances in medical care, improved sanitation, access to clean water, and abundant food supplies, men commonly now live into their 80’s and 90’s. However, our bodies are not designed to live this long. Men would reach their peak, reproduce, and pass away usually before they reached 50.
As men age and reach about 35 – 40, their testosterone production naturally begins to slow. Because we now live longer, without supplementation, our bodies have to cope with reduced protective hormones as we age. This decline in hormone levels is gradual, about 1-2 % each year. However, the effects it has on the body can be significant.
Added to this, men’s testosterone levels are lower than in previous generations. Physical factors such as obesity, poor diet, lack of exercise, and an environment full of endocrine disruptors like those found in plastics, processed foods, and personal care products, are gradually reducing testosterone levels even in young adult men.
Many other factors can cause hormone levels to drop, including:
• Radiation treatment or chemotherapy for cancer
• Pituitary gland tumors
• Metabolic disorders such as hemochromatosis (where too much iron builds in your system)
• Underactive Thyroid
• Damage to the testicles or other testicular issues
• Myotonic dystrophy
• Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD
• Alcohol/Drug abuse
• Suppressed immune system (HIV/AIDS)
• Chronic kidney failure
• Certain medications such as (not exclusively) Ketoconazole (Extina, Nizoral, Ketoderm), Cimetidine(Tagamet), Opioids, and Spironolactone(Aldactone).
• Uncontrolled type 2 diabetes
What are the Symptoms of Andropause?
The symptoms of low testosterone are far-reaching; however, every man is different. Some of the most common complaints are low energy levels and middle-aged spread, which many men associate as a normal sign of aging. The reality of the situation is that this does not have to be normal, and with the right treatments, a healthy diet, and regular exercise, men can regain their youthful vigor and excel again.
Common symptoms of low testosterone levels:
• Weight gain, especially visceral fat
• Muscle loss, difficulty gaining lean muscle, and overall weakness
• Decreased energy, motivation, initiative, and self-confidence
• Depression, lack of drive, and diminished work performance
• Fatigue and memory loss
• Reduced libido, erectile dysfunction, and fewer spontaneous erections
• Depression, lack of drive, and diminished work performance
How to Diagnose Andropause?
Many clinics tout expensive blood tests and complicated blood works as the only way to test for low testosterone. While blood work is important, an experienced practitioner who understands hormone replacement can most likely read your symptoms and quickly assess any hormone imbalance. Therefore, at Male Excel, we initially look closely at your symptoms before ordering any blood test. The fact also remains that every man over the age of 40 should consider hormone replacement to optimize hormone levels as a preventative measure to ward of the common age-related conditions and diseases such as:
• Obesity (Visceral fat)
• Metabolic syndrome
• Type 2 diabetes
• Alzheimer’s disease
• Cardiovascular disease
• High cholesterol
How to Treat Andropause?
Treatment of andropause involves a 3-pronged attack, takes commitment, and investment in your future self. Hormone therapy alone will help improve mood, metabolism, and energy levels, but it is crucial to look at lifestyle to make the most of your treatment. This 3-pronged attack is what we call the hormone diet.
The Hormone Diet
Hormones, exercise, and a healthy diet all contribute to your overall health. Take any of these out of the equation, and your body will not perform at its best, and you will likely suffer from adverse effects in the future. By optimizing your testosterone and thyroid hormones, you give your body the best fighting chance to battle the many ailments associated with old age. Add to this a healthy diet and regular exercise, and you will launch your health gains into new realms of possibility.
Our approach is simple.
• Optimize your key hormone levels, including testosterone, thyroid hormone, and Vitamin D3. Male Excel only uses bioidentical hormone replacement (BHRT), the latest, safest, and most advanced hormones available.
• Eat well and avoid processed foods, sugar, trans fats, and too much alcohol. Eat whole grains, lots of green leafy vegetables, and fruit. Consider intermittent fasting or time-controlled eating.
• Exercise, get out and get fit for at least 30 mins a day (or at least five days a week).
Andropause does not have to happen. BHRT maintains hormone levels giving you back your energy, motivation, and lust for life. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is the ideal preventative medicine which all men over 40 should consider. The benefits speak for themselves.
• Improved libido and sexual satisfaction
• Reduced bad cholesterol (LDL)
• Increased metabolism
• Improved cardiovascular health
• Increased lean muscle mass and strength
• Decreased body fat (dangerous visceral fat)
• Increased confidence, positivity, memory, and brain function
• Reduced feelings of depression
• Increased energy levels
• Improved sleep
• More equipped to deal with stress
• Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and relief from insulin resistance
Lokeshwar SD, Patel P, Fantus RJ, Halpern J, Chang C, Kargi AY, Ramasamy R. Decline in Serum Testosterone Levels Among Adolescent and Young Adult Men in the USA. Eur Urol Focus. 2020 Feb 18:S2405-4569(20)30062-6. doi: 10.1016/j.euf.2020.02.006. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32081788.