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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

Rocklin Unified Violated Law with Employee RetaliationA recent ruling by Administrative Law Judge Robin W. Wesley has found that the Rocklin Unified School District broke the law by retaliating against four employees and violated Educational Employment Relations Act

Severe Drought Spurs Additional Water Saving MeasuresDrought Watch: As the lingering effects of a multi-year drought continue to cast their parched shadow on much of California, Placer County continues to take steps to reduce water use and eliminate water waste.

PCWA Limits Outdoor Watering to Two Days Per WeekDrought Watch: Directors of the Placer County Water Agency on Thursday (July 31) adopted new drought emergency regulations as mandated by the State Water Resources Control Board.

California Drought Brings Emergency RegulationsDrought Watch: An emergency regulation to increase conservation practices for all Californians is now in effect.

Placer United Soccer Claims San Diego Surf CupThe Placer United 97B Red soccer team claimed the San Diego Surf Cup with a 3-1 victory over Marin FC 97 Blue in the Men’s U18 Super bracket

California State Parks: Sweeping Changes On The Way?The Parks Forward Commission, an independent panel of experts charged by the Legislature and Governor to review the future of the state's park system, issued its draft plan

Autism and Fragile X Participants sought for Memory StudyThe UC Davis MIND Institute is seeking participants for a study examining the benefits of a computer-based, game-oriented training program for enhancing working memory in children and adolescents with autism and fragile X syndrome.

Concerns Addressed Over Truckee River Rafting Trash With the commercial rafting operations on the Truckee River over for the year, Placer County is working with partners to provide cleanup of the trash and debris along the river.

Roseville Financial Advisor Sentenced for Ripping Off ClientsMichelle Lee Kern, 36, who worked as a licensed financial advisor at Ameriprise Financial Services Inc. in Roseville has been sentenced to 46 months in prison.

Roseville, Rocklin among California's Best Cities for Home OwnershipIn a recent Nerd Wallet report, Rocklin, Folsom, and Roseville, rank 11th through 13th (respectively) among California's Best Cities for Homeownership.

Hidden Falls Regional Park Receives GrantPlacer County's "gem of the foothills," Hidden Falls Regional Park, is the recipient of a grant that will fund innovative projects protecting long-term ecological values and economic viability

Roseville Developer Begins Senior Community in Elk GroveUSA Properties Fund will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for Arbor Creek Senior Apartments at 10:30 a.m., Aug. 4, at the project site located at Elk Grove-Florin and Calvine roads


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