Just as women suffer from menopause, men deal with andropause. Andropause is often synonymous with low testosterone. As a man ages, his testosterone levels drastically decrease and lead to the condition also known as Low-T.
Men too experience a collection of symptoms related to middle age known as andropause and with it, the loss of a male hormone known as testosterone. Low testosterone in men causes fatigue, low sex drive, muscle loss, depression, joint pain, memory loss, and poor concentration.
As men get older, in their mid-40s and 50s, testosterone levels start to progressively decline. Symptoms occur insidiously and gradually. There are usually no drastic physical changes at first but men start complaining of:
Men start complaining of weight gain which is usually confirmed by an increase in percentage of body fat, usually in their mid-section. Later, some mood changes and memory loss might be part of the picture. Sleep disturbances are frequent and constitute one of the most potentially debilitating symptoms linked to andropause. This is of major importance when addressing the issue of low testosterone as this hormone is essentially produced at night and directly linked to the amount of night time sleep.
Higher levels of testosterone have been associated with healthier lifestyles. Men will be recommended to increase their exercise level, to reduce alcohol consumption, and to decrease carbohydrates in their diet to favor protein intake.
A full assessment of all hormones is necessary, including the testing of the female hormones estrogens. In some cases and for various reasons, a high estrogen level can be part of the low testosterone picture as this hormone is then flushed into estrogens by an enzyme in the liver that changes the chemical structure of a male hormone into a female hormone. It is necessary to block this enzyme with appropriate supplements or medication in order to reduce its activity and get full efficacy of any testosterone supplementation
Clinical studies show the benefit of testosterone therapy in healthy men with low-normal to mildly low testosterone levels. It increased lean body mass and decreased fat mass. Upper and lower body strength, functional performance, sexual functioning, and mood are improved. Improvement in cognitive functions are often reported in particular for working and verbal memory. Men that have even lower levels of testosterone are likely to experience improvement in calcium bone densitometry, self-perceived functional status, libido and erectile function.
Coastal Integrative Medicine
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