Hypogonadism (Total Testosterone < 400) is a term medical professionals and endocrinologists use for the condition of low testosterone in men
and is often overlooked because the onset of men’s menopause is gradual.
Women go through menopause when their production of female hormones drops off dramatically over a short period of time.
Usually during middle age men go through Andropause when their production of the primary male sex hormone, Testosterone, begins to decline gradually over the coming decades.
Andropause (Male Menopause) are symptoms caused by declining hormones in men. Like the menopause in women, it is caused by a decline in hormones – primarily testosterone, growth hormone (HGH) and DHEA. Replacing these hormones to optimal levels can and will reverse the effects of Andropause.
Hormones start to decline in mid to late twenties and that is when the aging process sets in. We maintain fairly healthy hormone levels until age 35 to 40 and that is about how long we could be expected to live until about 100 years ago. The effects of declining hormones have only been a problem since we started living longer. Declining hormones, coupled with poor lifestyle, diet, exercise and high stress are largely responsible for health problems and frailties of later years.
It seems that men, after forty-five, often have a hard time rising to the occasion, getting or maintaining an erection (ED – Erectile Dysfunction) and dealing with the challenge of daily stresses. Sometimes a lack of desire and sex drive can take a toll on a man’s relationship. This is what is known as Andropause or Male Menopause. So why do most men not know anything about Andropause, the male form of menopause?
It has only been recently that Andropause has received attention and recognition, but why the holdup? There are many reasons behind the
stifling of its discovery along with many frames of mind that are still hindering its cure.
Testosterone is a principal androgen, or male sex hormone. Even though testosterone is a “male sex hormone” and one of the group of compounds known as anabolic steroids, testosterone is secreted by the testes but is also synthesized in small quantities in the ovaries, cortices of the adrenal glands, and placenta, usually from cholesterol.
Testosterone begins to decline in men at about age 30 – 40. Low testosterone has a number of negative effects on mental, sexual and physical health. The most common type of treatment for testosterone deficiency is known as TRT – Testosterone Replacement Therapy and it is prescribed to treat symptoms and problems associated with Hypogonadism – the medical term for low levels of natural testosterone. Also known as Andropause, this hormonal condition in men results in the steady reduction of the hormone testosterone or ‘Low T’ –> less than normal levels of natural testosterone in a man’s body.
After been evaluated by a doctor, lab work is required to assess levels of free and total testosterone as well as other labs. In a man older than 40 years old or family history of prostate cancer, a rectal exam is recommended before starting the therapy. The progress of the therapy is evaluated by resolution of symptoms and blood workup every 3 to 6 months.
There is currently a heated debate about the theoretical association between TRT and the initiation, progression, and aggressiveness of prostate cancer; however, this link has not been uniformly studied, and any results have been contradictory and nonconclusive. Although no clear evidence links TRT to prostate cancer, the possibility of increasing the risk of a clinical manifestation of a latent pre-existing malignancy can influence the decision about TRT use. Current recommendations are to exclude prostate cancer before initiating TRT in men over age 40 and to closely monitor men in the first year of testosterone replacement, followed by observation in subsequent years.
Physicians and endocrinologists are witnessing an explosion of interest in testosterone and testosterone therapy as a result of our growing realization that testosterone levels decline with age and that many men suffer serious consequences to their physical and mental health as a result of an androgen deficiency.
In women, it is expressed as Menopause, whereas, in men, it is expressed as Andropause or Male Menopause. Many of these symptoms of low T and the disease processes that we come to accept as normal aging are processes that are actually secondary to low testosterone levels and are easily correctable with testosterone replacement in the form of injections, creams, gels or patches.
Testosterone can be given by injections, pellets, creams or gel. Each route has advantages and disadvantages that your anti-aging physician will discuss with you.