If you are a middle aged male patient who is feeling tired, depressed, or experiencing erectile dysfunction or difficulty with sexual arousal, you may be going through Andropause, an emotional and physical change-much like Menopause in women-that many men experience as they age. Although Andropause can result naturally from the process of aging, it is also associated with hormonal decline and imbalance. This decline and imbalance is more common as you get older, as research has long shown that the production of hormones by the testes slowly decreases as men age.
How common is Andropause?
Although menopause occurs universally and usually happens dramatically in women, Andropause is not experienced by all men and symptoms may emerge subtly and gradually over time. By the time the average male reaches his mid 40s, testosterone levels are down about 40%, which often leads to unwanted symptoms associated with Andropause.
What are the symptoms?
Men do not always suffer from symptoms of Andropause, but it can be characterized by the following signs and symptoms:
- Decreased libido or erectile quality
- Mood changes
- Decreases in intellectual activity, fatigue, depression, anger and poor spatial orientation
- A decrease in lean body mass, along with decreases in muscle mass and strength
- A decrease in body hair
- A decrease in bone density resulting in osteoporosis
- An increase in fat surrounding the internal organs
How is Andropause diagnosed?
Andropause can be diagnosed with blood tests to measure levels of testosterone and other hormones. After the age of 50, the average testosterone level decreases at a rate of approximately 1% per year. There may also be an increased level of sex hormone-binding globulin that binds the testosterone and makes less of it available to the tissues. Also, as men get older, there is less of a daily rhythm to the secretion of the testosterone. Younger men have higher testosterone levels in the morning, which then decreases later in the day. Older men tend to have steady low levels of testosterone throughout a 24-hour period.
What is the treatment?
The main way to treat Andropause is through testosterone replacement, which can be achieved with bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). The goals of treatment include restoration of sexual functioning, increased libido, increased sense of well-being, and prevention of osteoporosis by optimizing bone density, restoration of muscle strength and improved mental functioning.
Call for an appointment!
If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of Andropause or decreased levels of Testosterone, call us today at (732) 366-1000 and schedule an appointment. Upon doing a full hormone evaluation, our doctor will create a customized treatment plan just for you to get you feeling younger, healthier and more energized than you’ve been in years!