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 HeadlinesA Taste of Excellence in Rocklin on May 2The Board of Directors of the Sierra College Foundation is pleased to announce the 11th Annual A Taste of Excellence, the organization's largest fundraising effort
Mazda CX-5 SUV is a WinnerMazda definitely made a wise move several years ago, introducing the CX-5 in hopes that it would fare better
The Fire Fee Shell Game: You Lose!Democrats in the California Legislature seem to be facing the reality that the fire tax they passed with the Governor's help in 2011 is unfair
Bipolar Disorder: Man Has Success (ATOU Cares)Sixty-seven year-old John Martin has bipolar disorder 1, a form of the disorder in which the manic state dominates.
Sutter Roseville Medical Center Opens New ChapelSutter Roseville Medical Center (SRMC) dedicated its new chapel this week, highlighting the beautiful space available to patients, visitors and staff
Deputy Secretary of Commerce Kicks Off Cap-To-CapOver 320 regional business, civic and elected officials travel to Washington, D.C. this week to meet with federal representatives to advocate on behalf of the six-county Sacramento region.
Miss Placer County Pageant Accepting ApplicationsMiss Placer County Pageant accepting applications for the June 27th pageant at the Placer County Fair.
Rocklin Crime Report Digest Update (4-17-15)Rocklin crime summary and digest update report for the period of April 6- 12, 2015.
Roseville Crime Report Digest Update (4.17.15)Weekly crime report digest update for Roseville, April 17, 2015
Roseville Vendor Workshop April 30thThe Roseville Chamber of Commerce is working in partnership with the City of Roseville on a commitment to educate our members on the City's bidding process
Sports Complex in Roseville Expected to Boost EconomyPlacer Valley Tourism and The City of Roseville are moving forward on plans to build a regional park with eight to twelve multi-use fields to strengthen Placer County's
Playing to Win at Studio Movie Grill in Rocklin May 9thPlaying to Win: A Relentless Pursuit to Save a Team to premiere at Rocklin's Studio Movie Grill beginning May 9th