AndropauseThe condition of Male Menopause or Andropause, is the result of a decline of some hormones and a relative increase in others as a man ages. This imbalance in hormones has many profound effects that touch every aspect of a man's life from strength, energy, sex drive, weight gain, wrinkling, hair loss, erectile dysfunction, depression, sleep and others.
Andropause research is being discussed in a growing body of literature which supports the view that men suffer from hormonal problems just like women but with a slower, more gradual onset which often goes undiagnosed. As men age, they suffer from the dual effect of too little testosterone and too much estrogen. In our office we approach problems by looking for the root cause of these problems through laboratory testing, full medical history, and a physical exam. If hormone replacement therapy is indicated, we use only Bio-identical or natural hormones. These are safe and easy to use without any injections, and little to no side effects.
We must remember and emphasize that proper diet and exercise are a key to health and happiness. At The Men's Center, we also offer a comprehensive weight loss program and self improvement training.
Our treatments are intended to:
Q: What are the symptoms?
A: Andropause has many faces and none are pleasant. Symptoms range from decreased energy, lack of interest in sex, poor concentration, weight gain, loss of strength, irritability, insomnia or hypersomnilance and diminished sense of well-being.
Q: Who is affected?
A: Studies show that a man's testosterone production decreases by 1-2% each year after the age of 30. That's a 10-12% decrease in testosterone every decade. Unlike women who have a sudden onset of symptoms, men experience an insidious or gradual decline in hormone levels. The symptoms become more obvious as a man approaches mid-life. Approximately 4-5 million men in the US have decreased testosterone levels, while only 5-10% will seek treatment. Many men feel uncomfortable reporting these symptoms, feeling like it makes them "less manly", when in actuality, it is due to the natural process of aging. The best way to determine if an individual is affected by andropause is to perform specific diagnostic blood tests and by taking an extensive medical history.
Q: What Treatments are Available?
A: After a full panel of blood work is evaluated our physicians will determine if a course of bio-identical hormones or hormone blockers is needed to obtain an optimum hormonal balance for you. We work closely with our your pharmacy to develop a treatment regime that is ideal for your body, fits into your lifestyle, improves your quality of life, and enhances your overall health and well-being.
Q: What are the benefits?
A: It has long been established that hormonal imbalances can led to a poor quality of life (ask anyone with thyroid problems). Also think of any menopausal woman you have encountered whose hormones are out of balance. The benefit from a properly balanced body of hormones in a man is no less significant. Besides just feeling like your normal, strong, vibrant self, correct hormone balance has been proven to decrease a man's risk of bone fracture, heart attack, obesity and related health problems, improve depression and insomnia, improve concentration, increase energy, decrease fatigue and not to mention the sexual benefits.
Q: What is the Risk?
A: Bio- identical hormone replacement DOES NOT cause prostate cancer! Biopsy proven prostate cancer is a contraindication to testosterone replacement of any type. Testosterone can worsen some BPH symptoms but with close follow-up testing when we start replacement this can be avoided. Extremely high levels of testosterone can worsen BPH but properly balanced hormones will most likely improve prostate health as we see PSA levels drop and symptoms resolve in many patients. Hepatotoxicity is not associated with the bio-identical hormones we use. Of note there is actually a cardio-protective effect with bio-identical testosterone replacement. According to many studies, Polycythemia ( increase in RBS, Hemoglobin, Hematocrit ) but is easily treated with dose adjustment or having the patient donate blood.
Q: Tell me about Bio-identical Hormones
A: These are hormones, as the name implies, that are biologically (or chemically) identical to what your body has made all of your life. All of the bad press that you may have read has all been about synthetically made hormones. It stands to reason that if you were to supplement (or put back) something that your body was already making then the risk should be no more than if it came from your body to begin with. In fact this is exactly what research has shown.
People often confuse Bio-identical or natural hormones with the anabolic steroids that pro athletes and bodybuilders took in the past. THEY ARE NOT THE SAME!! Our medication is by prescription only, it is chemically like the hormones in your body, and all of the long term data is very favorable, unlike those other drugs. Remember that Bio-identical hormones have never been linked to ANY cancers. On our program, patients are followed by a certified and experienced physician. We strive to get men back to their normal physiologic levels and put them back at the top of their game whether that is on the field, golf course, gym, boardroom or bedroom. We do build better lives for men.
**Acknowledgement: As our lead physician Dr. Stephen W. Duncan has many years experience in treating patients with bio-identical or natural hormones. He is also a member of The Androgen Society of America and has been supervising weight loss programs across the U.S. with phenomenal success. With his expertise and experience in this field, we feel confident that Dr. Duncan and his staff can help all males to B-MEN!