Andropause: The Male Menopause
Testosterone Decline at Middle Age in Men
Andropause, the male menopause, low T—regardless of name, the condition is characterized by a number of uncomfortable symptoms, including hot flashes in men, erectile dysfunction, low libido, irritability, muscle loss, and fatigue that are the result of low levels of testosterone. For men, testosterone production gradually decreases across the lifespan.
According to a study published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice, nearly 40 percent of men over the age of 45 are affected by low testosterone. Declines in testosterone begin in a man’s late 20s and continue to recede, reaching noticeably low levels around middle age, when men begin to experience symptoms of andropause or low testosterone.
Symptoms of Low Testosterone
- Weight gain
- Muscle loss
- Low libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Hair loss
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Memory loss
- Low energy
- Gynecomastia (man boobs)
Andropause symptoms are typically mistaken for signs of aging and left untreated. However, adequate levels of testosterone are vital to a man’s health and wellbeing. In fact, in 2015, a number of studies confirmed that men who fail to treat low levels of testosterone are at greater risk of disease.
At the 2015 American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists conference, a panel of experts released a position statement citing testosterone therapy as a low risk, high reward treatment option. At the conference, the panel reviewed the mounting clinical evidence showing that low testosterone levels play a role in common co-morbidities, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes, among men in all age groups and that testosterone therapy is a viable solution. These statements later received further backing when the results of large, long-term Veteran Affairs Database study that analyzed data collected on more than 83,000 male veterans with low testosterone levels was published. The findings, released in August 2015, showed that men who restored testosterone to normal levels with testosterone therapy were at a reduced risk of heart attack or stroke. In comparison, men who failed to receive treatment for low T experienced a 56 percent increase in all-cause mortality.
On the heels of the VA Database study, the results of a meta-analysis including more than 59 trials and 5,000 male subjects was published. The research uncovered the benefits of testosterone therapy for improving body composition and glucose metabolism in men with low testosterone, including notable beneficial effects in subjects suffering from obesity and metabolic disorders.
Safe, Effective Treatment for Andropause
Testosterone therapy has reached new heights of safety and effectiveness over the years as advances in science have uncovered more accurate forms of testing hormone levels and administering testosterone.
Testosterone therapy is available in a variety of delivery methods including creams, gels, injections, and pellets. Pellet therapy has become the most sought-after delivery method of bioidentical testosterone replacement therapy, as it mimics the natural secretion process of endogenous testosterone. Testosterone pellet therapy delivers a steady dose of hormone over the course of three to four months, eliminating daily dosing hassles and reducing the risk of side effects.
The safety and effectiveness of any therapy is largely dependent on the care provided with the treatment plan. The lead researcher of the VA Database study pointed out, “Patients who failed to achieve the therapeutic range after testosterone replacement therapy did not see a reduction in [heart attack] or stroke and had significantly less benefit on mortality.“ A statement that underlines the importance of seeking expertise when considering testosterone therapy, including choosing expert practitioners that use sensitive lab testing and specialize in hormone therapy.
The practitioners of the BodyLogicMD network are the most highly-trained physicians in the nation specializing in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. Each practitioner spends at least an hour with each patient reviewing symptoms, lab results, medical history, and lifestyle factors to develop a tailored, comprehensive treatment plan. All plans are carefully monitored with routine follow-up appointments to ensure hormone levels are on target and each patient is progressing toward optimal health.