Male Menopause?!?

09.20.12 /



Author: Dr. Nicole Ortiz ND

As the baby boomer generation ages, this story is repeated time and again. Your husband starts acting moody, his sex drive plummets, and the next thing you know, he’s in the midst of a mid-life crisis and you’ve hired a divorce lawyer. People joke about men hitting middle age and simply not coming to terms with aging. So, of course men buy fancy new toys to make themselves feel better.  Did anyone tell them they may be in male menopause?
MALE menopause, or andropause, is a physical change that most men experience, but has been misdiagnosed by medical professionals, disregarded by men, and made more a topic of humor than anything else.  The decrease in testosterone initiates a long list of not so pleasant symptoms.  It is estimated that twenty-five percent of 40-year-old men and seventy percent at age 70 are going through andropause, but the decline can begin as early as a man’s 30s. 
Symptoms of Andropause:
  • Loss of drive and enthusiasm for life, depression
  • Increased belly fat
  • Loss of energy, stamina and strength
  • Lowered sex drive
  • Erectile dysfunction (impossible to achieve erections or no ejaculation)
  • Feeling tired all the time and fatigue
  • Irritability, moodiness, and bursts of anger
  • Trouble having an orgasm
  • Loss of hair in the bottom portion of the calves
  • Dissatisfaction or disconnect with life partner/spouse
  • Hot-flashes
  • “MID LIFE CRISIS”
Even more concerning is that low testosterone puts you at higher risk of dying.  Men with low testosterone were tracked over 18 years. The results found that they had a 40% higher death rate from all causes.  Low testosterone is linked to heart disease, depression, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cognitive disorders, cancer, and osteoporosis. 
Low testosterone has such an intimate connection with cardiovascular health, showing to affect all major cardiovascular lab markers.  One recent large scale study found that low testosterone men, were 1) more obese, 2) had lower HDL, 3) higher triglycerides, 4) higher blood pressure, and 5) higher blood sugar.  That is a deadly combination!  (J of Clinical Endocrin and Metabolism 2008). With so many men  experiencing a drop in testosterone at younger and younger ages, one may wonder what causes low testosterone in males. As you may guess, it usually isn’t just one factor. 
·          

Obesity

·         Eating a sugar and carb based low fat diet
·         Infectious diseases
·         Excess of blood iron
·         Inflammatory diseases
·         Natural process of aging
·         Chemo/radiation treatment
·         Performance boosting drugs
·         Prescription medications, especially cholesterol lowering drugs
There is good news about men suffering from low testosterone.  This condition is treatable and reversible.  The key is to ask for help.  Go to your physician and request to have your hormone levels checked.  If your doctor isn’t familiar with checking hormones or doesn’t “believe in male menopause” find one who does.  This isn’t a condition you need to suffer from.  After a simple blood test, your doctor can prescribe you a personalized amount of testosterone to supplement via a cream or injection.  It is also important to address the cause of low testosterone and of course eat a diet that promotes a healthy production of sex hormones.
For more information on getting tested for low testosterone call Live Well Clinic @ 760-771-5970 or email info@livewellclinic.org.  Dr. Nicole Ortiz is the co-founder of Live Well Clinic which has expanded to a new location at 78900 Avenue 47, Suite 102, La Quinta, CA.

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