Andropause -Male Menopause
Are you among the millions of men who are losing vitality as you age - also called andropause (the male version of menopause) - the lowering of "androgen" (male-type) hormone levels, DHEA, androstenedione and particularly, testosterone?
Andropause is often missed by both patients and physicians; it is usually much more gradual than its female counterpart, menopause.
Andropause is less known and accepted as a medical reality; socially, it is more acceptable for women to talk about their menopausal symptoms; for men, the exact opposite is true.
In addition to, or because of this, men seek medical help far less than women.
A few statistics below bears witness to this:
- Men visit doctors 150% less than women.
- A March 2000 survey by the Commonwealth Fund titled, "Out of Touch: American Men and the Health Care System," found that 24 percent of men did not see a physician in the year prior to the survey -- three times the rate found for women (8 percent)
What are androgens? Androgens are substances producing or stimulating masculine characteristics. They are involved in immune function, development and maintenance of muscle and bone, and erythropoiesis, i.e. bone marrow-making RBCs. Low serum testosterone correlates with depression, accelerated arteriosclerosis and diabetes.
Some signs and symptoms of lowered androgen levels and function are:
- Body fat increase, especially abdominal
- Concentration difficulty
- Erectile dysfunction and decreased libido
- Ambition and work performance decreases
- Memory loss
- Mood disturbances, including depression, fatigue, irritability and loss of stress tolerance
- Muscle size and strength decrease, and endurance decreases
- Blood glucose elevation and insulin resistance
- Restlessness and sleep difficulties
- Lack of energy
- Declining physical coordination and agility
- Cognitive decline (memory and concentration)
- Loss of self-esteem and altered states of well-being
- Skin changes (loose skin/wrinkles)
Testosterone peaks in early to mid 20s, then begins a slow average annual decline of: total testosterone by 1.6%, free testosterone by 2%, and bioavailable testosterone by 2.5%. Sex hormone-binding globulin rises roughly 1.6% per year. After age 50, 50% of men are considered hypogonadal - based on levels of bioavailable testosterone.
About 98% of T is bound to plasma proteins & is unavailable. About 2% of T is free, and represents almost all of its biologic activity. Of the bound testosterone, 40% is tightly bound to SHBG; the remainder is weakly bound to albumin. Bioavailable is free testosterone plus that which is bound to albumin. Aging increases the amount of testosterone that binds to SHBG. As testosterone levels fall, the liver is stimulated to increase SHBG, estrogens will also increase SHBG, increasing total serum testosterone to normal range, but in actuality, a relative deficiency of bioavailable testosterone often occurs.
Testosterone is further metabolized to: DHT or Estradiol.
Higher estrogen levels may, at times, be beneficial for menopausal women, but excess in andropausal men may be disastrous. Common causes of elevated estrogen in men are: stress and psychological factors, abdominal obesity, pharmaceutical drugs, alcohol consumption, increasing insulin resistance, impaired liver function, and zinc deficiency.
Dr. Dennis Godby, Doctor of Naturopathy, Sutter Medical Foundation.
He may be reached online or at his Sacramento Office (916) 446-2591.
Placer County News HeadlinesRocklin Christmas Tree Lighting: Now and ThenRocklin Kiwanis and the City of Rocklin will kick off Rocklin's annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony on Saturday, December 5, at 4 pm in Heritage Park
Rocklin Crime Report Digest Update (11-30-15)Rocklin, CA- Rocklin's latest crime report update digest for the period covering November 16- 22, 2015.
Roseville Police Join Search to Capture Suspect Following CrashRoseville, CA- After an extensive search involving officers from the Roseville Police Department, Placer County Sheriff's Office, and the California Highway Patrol, Caleb Bodine, 23, from Sacramento was arrested.
Honda Accord: Benchmark for family sedansRoseville, CA- For overall value, nothing has essentially changed with the 2016 Honda Accord. It still delivers reliability, performance, comfort
Deadliest Catch Producer in Auburn December 11thAuburn, CA- The Rooster Tails Fishing Club is kicking-off the forthcoming holiday season with a special Sunday-style Brunch & Awards Breakfast at the Auburn Elks Lodge on December 11.
Roseville Public Libraries to Benefit from Book SaleRoseville, CA- The Friends of the Roseville Public Library will host its final secondhand book sale of 2015 on Saturday, Dec. 5, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
NY Reader Has Life Beyond MS A column I wrote weeks ago about the Service Dog Project (and its Great Danes) prompted responses from two Niagara-Wheatfield (NY) Tribune readers
Roseville Flash Crime Report (11.25.15)Roseville, CA- Crime flash report for Roseville, November 25, 2015.
Water Savings Fall Short AgainRoseville, CA. - Customers in San Juan Water District's retail service area reduced their October water use by 26 percent, which is 10 percent less
Chapa-De Indian Health Website for PatientsAUBURN, CA - Chapa-De Indian Health is proud to announce the launch of its newly updated website will also allow patients to learn about the comprehensive healthcare services
Blindness EtiquetteRoseville, CA - If you are meeting a person who is blind or visually impaired for the first time, do you offer your hand for him to shake?
Toyota RAV4 remains reliable compact SUVRoseville, CA- There is obviously a lot to like regarding the RAV4, starting with a sticker price that ranges from $23,680 to $29,850.