By Dr. Michele Couri, MD, FACOG, ABIHM
It is a common misconception that women are the only ones who need hormone replacement therapy as they age. Many men are often led to believe by their physicians that feeling constantly tired, having the inability to gain muscle mass and lose fat, decreased libido and foggy thinking are all a part of growing older. Accepting these symptoms as a part of aging can negatively impact men’s ability to perform at work, relationships with friends and family and most importantly, how they enjoy life.
It is amazing the impact that hormones and hormone replacement therapy for men has on their overall well-being. And when hormones are out of balance, this negatively affects so many aspects of their quality of life.
Every man experiences a gradual decline in hormone production as he gets older. Beginning at age 30, his body starts to manufacture less and less testosterone, losing roughly one to three percent per year. Then, sometime between age 40 and 55, testosterone levels drop dramatically and signal the onset of andropause or “low testosterone”, the medical term for the male equivalent of menopause. After this happens, a man finds himself deficient in sexual desire, gaining weight, losing muscle mass and feeling unmotivated, depressed and moody. Most men who don’t have hormone replacement therapy believe they have to live with these symptoms as part of “normal aging”. Nothing could be further from the truth! SottoPelle® hormone replacement therapy can bring back vitality.
The symptoms of andropause, if not treated with hormone replacement therapy, are very much like those of menopause. Men frequently experience anxiety, depression, mood swings, loss of eagerness and enthusiasm for daily life, decreased mental quickness and sharpness. With hormonal imbalance they also suffer from loss of libido, decreased sexual function and/or sensitivity, loss of mental focus, sleep disturbances, chronic fatigue, decreased energy, strength and endurance, prolonged recovery from exercise, no improvement with exercise, less desire for activity and exercise. Without pellet hormone therapy even more dangerous issues like an increase in body fat, weight gain, osteoporosis, loss of cardiac protection, lower good cholesterol and higher bad cholesterol can arise.
Each man’s symptoms vary, as does the age at which those symptoms for hormone replacement therapy occur. Physicians are becoming more and more aware of andropause and beginning to scientifically diagnose it instead of simply offering a prescription that doesn’t address the basic problem.
Low T: What Is Low Testosterone (or Low T) in Men?
Medically speaking, low testosterone in men (hypogonadism) is the decreased production of hormone by the testes. This normally happens as a man ages. Andropause occurs when testosterone levels take a dramatic dip. This usually takes place somewhere between the ages of 40 and 55.
Researchers estimate that 1 in 4 men past the age of 30 have low testosterone. That amounts to millions of men. Even so, not every man shows symptoms of deficiency. In fact, low testosterone is perhaps one of the most under-diagnosed conditions in men.
Testosterone: A Man’s Most Important Hormone
Testosterone is indeed a man’s most vital hormone. Take it away and his well-being goes with it. It defines him as a man, just as estrogen defines a woman. Testosterone is also central to good health. It provides the foundation for many of important body functions. At healthy levels, among other things, testosterone supports:
- Sex drive & function
- Muscle mass and strength
- Fat distribution
- Production of red blood cells
- Normal lipid profile
- Sperm production
- Bone mass
- Cardiovascular health
- Prostate health
- Cognitive function
- Mood stability
- Energy levels
- Motivation & drive
- Skin vascularity
- Metabolism of salts
- Fluid balance
How Do I Know If I Have Low Testosterone?
Everyone goes through physical, mental and emotional changes as they age. Sometimes these changes mean you are hormone deficient. They often happen so gradually, many men don’t really notice. There may be issues with sleep patterns, increased body fat, sexual changes, depression, irritability or a general lack of motivation or interest in life. Many men summarize these symptoms as the loss of their vitality. These can all be signs of testosterone deficiency.
However, there could also be other underlying issues. The only way to know for sure is through proper testing and analysis. For this, you need a physician who looks at all of the possibilities. This should be someone who likewise understands the importance of maintaining health hormone levels into old age.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit us at http://www.couricenter.com/sottopelle-hormone-therapy-women-men/