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Andropause - BHRT for Men



Andropause, also known as male androgen deficiency syndrome, is the male equivalent of female menopause.  It results from diminished levels of testosterone in the body along with a relative increase in estrogen, and exhibits a similar symptom complex to female menopause.  The enzyme system called aromatase (found mainly in fat cells) converts a portion of testosterone into estrogen.  Because the drop in testosterone is more gradual, the symptoms of andropause appear over a longer period of time as compared to the female menopause.  Symptoms present slowly, with a loss of overall energy, thinning bones and muscles, increased body fat, depression, and impaired sexual function.

According to recent estimates, more than 14 million men in the U.S. have significant testosterone deficiency, even more have testosterone insufficiency, but very few are receiving treatment. The impact of low testosterone has been forced to the forefront of medical and mainstream news because people are more educated. They are living longer and want to maintain their quality of life with the feeling of youth. Declining hormone levels causing symptoms can no longer be thought of as ‘normal’, which has been the traditional medical approach.  With the plethora of medical studies linking low testosterone to numerous medical problems and increased medical risks, newer doctors who are up to date with current literature are more informed than their peers.

Andropause, the male menopause, is a medically recognized condition which had been traditionally neglected because its a slow process of hormone decline over many years, unlike menopause for women. During Andropause, men experience a gradual decline in testosterone and other critical hormones.

Males experience a decline in multiple hormones, including: Testosterone, DHEA, Growth Hormone, Melatonin, and Pregnenolone and an increase in harmful hormones, such as estrogen and cortisol. These hormone changes directly contribute to the symptoms of aging (Top 10 signs of Andropause). Testosterone is responsible for male growth and development. It is responsible for all secondary male sex characteristics, maintaining muscle mass, bone mass, sexual desire, sexual development, fat distribution, energy & mood, hair patterns, heart health and chemical attraction.

Through medically supervised hormone replacement in deficient patients, men will see decreasing bodyfat, increasing muscle and tone, improved libido & sexual performance, increased strength & endurance, improved exercise tolerance, improved mental function, greater energy & mood, improved drive & motivation and a renewed overall zest for life and love.

Free (active) testosterone level declines nearly 2% per year beyond age 35. In some males the decline is more rapid. By age 60, males can lose up to half of their testosterone.

The Hypogonadism in Males study demonstrated that 38.7% of patients aged 45 & older visiting their primary care doctor had clinically measurable low testosterone. (Int J Clin Pract. 2006 July 1; 60(7): 762–769). Most studies define a low level as outside a very wide testosterone range, which was set by measuring levels of both healthy and sick men of all ages. If we consider the upper third of the testosterone reference range to be optimal, the number of people who could benefit from testosterone replacement is higher than reported in most studies.

According to a report in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism and The Endocrine Society, Men’s testosterone levels are decreasing faster than previous decades. Testosterone levels declined over time beyond what would be expected with age. The study’s author states “In 1988, men who were 50 years old had higher serum testosterone concentrations than did comparable 50-year-old men in 1996,” (Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, Oct. 2, 2006; The Endocrine Society.)

Numerous studies have established a strong link between lower testosterone levels and an increase risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, depression, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance and greater overall mortality.

Though testosterone has received the most focus recently, patients should be screened for all important hormones. It is important to balance all hormones for optimal benefit.

Top 10 signs of Andropause
    Increase in Abdominal fat
    Declining libido and/or sexual performance
    Lower energy levels
    Sleep disturbance
    Poorer erection quality/consistency
    Less drive and competitiveness
    Loss of lean muscle mass
    Slower recovery from exercise & injury
    Thinning or graying hair  
    Gradual slowing of mental function & memory