Andropause and Testosterone
Andropause, commonly referred to as “male menopause,” is a condition that is characterized by changes in a man’s hormone levels. These changes are usually related to aging. The changes in hormone levels can also be described as androgen deficiency, late-onset hypogonadism, and testosterone deficiency.
Primarily, andropause is characterized by a drop in the testosterone levels, which occurs commonly in men who fall in the 50 or above age bracket. It is often linked to hypogonadism as well. Both conditions are characterized by reduced testosterone levels and display similar symptoms.
Andropause doesn’t affect all men, unlike female menopause. Also, it does not lead to a full shutdown of reproductive abilities. Mostly, it causes problems with regards to sexual functions.
What Is Testosterone?
Testosterone is a hormone produced in the testes. It plays a key role in fueling a man’s sex drive. Apart from that, it is responsible for the changes that occur during puberty, mental energy, physical energy, muscle mass maintenance, and flight/fight response regulation. There are other key evolutionary features that are regulated by testosterone as well.
Causes of Andropause
As stated earlier, low production of testosterone is one of the key factors when it comes to andropause. Apart from that, aging in men leads to an increase in a sex hormone called binding globulin, or SHBG. This hormone extracts testosterone from the blood and binds it. The leftover testosterone, which is not bound by the SHBG, is known as bioavailable testosterone and can be used by the body.
However, when the bioavailable testosterone level drops, the symptoms associated with andropause start to develop. Tissues in the body that require testosterone do not receive enough of it. This leads to various mental and physical changes, such as frequent mood swings and fatigue.
Other symptoms include depression, increased body fat, physical weakness, reduced muscle mass, reduced libido, gynecomastia, and erectile dysfunction.
If you suspect that you may have andropause, talk to your doctor for a proper diagnosis. There is no known method to boost the natural production of testosterone. However, the following options have been observed to make things better:
• Healthy Lifestyle Choices: Eating a healthy balanced diet and engaging in exercise on a daily basis are proven to help people develop muscle, stay physically strong, and have more energy. Regular exercise can also have a positive impact on mental health and sleep patterns.
• Seeking Help for Depression: Depression in men doesn’t always manifest itself as feelings of gloom or sorrow. It can manifest itself as irritability and aggression. This can lead to other destructive behaviors, such as alcohol abuse. Therefore, it is necessary to see a trained psychiatrist and heed their advice.
• Talking to the Doctor: Affected men must cooperate with their doctors to determine the cause of the problem and to treat it. 100% cooperation also means being honest with the doctor. Keeping secrets related to health can significantly slow down diagnosis and eventually the possibility of cure/treatment.
There is also the option of undergoing hormone replacement therapy. Talk to your doctor to learn more about this.
Schedule a Consultation
Dr. Kevin Light, an expert in bioidentical hormone therapy, nutrition, and fitness, is available to speak with you regarding andropause and its treatments. To set up your consultation, contact us today.