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Andropause -Male Menopause

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

         Osteoporosis

         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.

Next mont:h: Steps to regaining your vitality!


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 Headlines

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3 Teens Arrested in Burglary and Vandalism of Country ClubA Placer County Sheriff's detective apprehended three juveniles Thursday in connection with recent burglaries and acts of vandalism at the Auburn Valley Country Club.

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Genderally Speaking LGBTQ Exhibition in RocklinRocklin, CA--The Ridley Gallery presents "Genderally Speaking", photography by Ron Williams in conjunction with Sierra College Pride Days (November 4-6).

Rocklin History Series Presents Julia Morgan's GoldThe Rocklin History Series continues on November 16, 2014 with a live presentation by Julia Morgan Historian Karen McNeill Ph.D. at 2 pm at the beautiful Old Saint Mary's Chapel

Free Identity Theft Prevention Class in AuburnThe Placer County Sheriff's Office is offering a free identity theft prevention class on Monday, October 27, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Auburn Justice Center.

Loomis Students to Learn About Pediatric Iron Lung for World Polio DayIn recognition of World Polio Day, Rotary Club of Sunset Loomis will bring a pediatric iron lung to Loomis Grammar School and Loomis Basin Charter School


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