MALE MENOPAUSE - ANDROPAUSE
At about ages 40-50, starting even as early as their 30’s, men go through a change. Their bodily changes are accompanied by changes in attitudes and moods. The entire pattern of these changes has led to the notion of the mid-life crisis. Male menopause and ANDROPAUSE are so named because these changes happen in a male at the same time declining levels of androgens are occurring.
During puberty, the androgens cause the masculine characteristics to develop – widening of the shoulders, deepening of the voice and facial hair growth. And as the male ages – beginning in the early 40’s – the levels of the androgens begin declining, particularly testosterone levels, resulting in low testosterone. Low testosterone is related to men going through Andropause. Androgens are the class of hormones that have masculizing effects in the human body and correct levels are crucial for good health in men. Testosterone is the most active of the androgens. Other androgens include dihydrotestosterone (DHT), androstenedione, androstenediol and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA).
Health research results show that a mid-life crisis is physical. It is a gradual and subtle shift in hormone production in the male body. Unlike a woman’s body, there is no medically defined marker, like a woman’s cessation of menstruation, which says a man is in male menopause – andropause. Science has known about andropause since the 1940’s, but only recently have there been accessible and easy to administer hormone tests. Now, more than ever, there is interest in men’s aging processes. Researchers are learning that letting this male hormone imbalance go untested and untreated can lead to some serious physical health risks. Emotional issues also occur with this imbalance that can add stress to a man’s health and well being.
Symptoms of Andropause:
Declining sex drive (libido)
Forgetfulness and declining ability to concentrate
Feelings of anger, anxiety, irritability and depression
Fatigue – not as much energy
Confusion, declining self-confidence and indecisiveness
Important male hormones that decline with age:
Blood serum testosterone levels of a 30 to 40 year old man range from 300 to 1200 ng/dl. For men and symptoms of male menopause, a frequent problem is that the testosterone level that is good for one man can be different than the necessary level for another man. If a man knows what his normal testosterone levels were in his 30’s, that information can be used in determining the appropriate testosterone treatment for low testosterone. If normal testosterone levels are not known for a man, treating low testosterone symptoms will likely begin at the lower end of the range, and male menopause symptom improvements will be monitored by you and your doctor. Before beginning testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), it is important to have a complete physical examination, medical history and appropriate blood testing including a PSA test to be sure prostate cancer cells are not present. Testosterone replacement therapy for male menopause symptoms requires that a physician be involved.
DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is a steroid hormone mostly produced in the adrenal glands. DHEA and its metabolite DHEA-sulfate (DHEA-S) are precursors (needed for production of) of testosterone and estrogen in the body of both men and women. DHEA also plays an active role in other critical functions – it is important for the immune system, it has a crucial role in the central nervous system and mood, and it is related to circulatory system health, for example. After age 30, DHEA production declines about 10% every five years. Clinical studies have found that the lower the DHEA-S levels, the greater the risk for Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes. The best time to take DHEA is in the morning which will coincide with how the body would be normally producing this critical hormone.
This hormone is a precursor of DHEA production in the body. Many studies have shown its effects on the body and brain. It boosts energy and supports memory, mental performance and mood. Pregnenolone supports ones ability to deal with stress. Pregnenolone helps strengthen the immune system, it supports skin health and quality of sleep.
Chrysin is a naturally occurring isoflavone. It is extracted by chemical means from the plant Passiflora coerulea. You can also find small amounts of chrysin in honeycombs. Studies have shown that flavones, in particular chrysin, have the ability to exert a large variety of beneficial and powerful effects upon the body. Specifically, European studies have shown that after consuming chrysin, levels of testosterone and blood serum increased by as much as 30%.
To understand how this happens, consider the following: There are two major hormones in men and women – these are testosterone and estrogen. Testosterone is the hormone dominant in males, with estrogen being dominant in females. Estrogen is the primary signal to the pituitary gland in the brain. Depending on your estrogen levels, the pituitary gland will dictate the levels of testosterone produced in the body. The higher the estrogen levels, the lower the amounts of testosterone that is produced.
This is how chrysin benefits you: By cutting down the conversion of testosterone to estrogen, chrysin reduces the levels of estrogen in your body and increases the levels of testosterone.
This important hormone is made in a male in the testes and adrenal glands. Progesterone in the body balances the effects of excess estrogen. Too much estrogen can suppress the male’s production of testosterone that leads to low testosterone levels and male menopause symptoms. Men can actually have “Estrogen Dominance” from the estrogen they are exposed to in their food and in the environment. Progesterone supplementation can reduce the size of an enlarged prostate in men with this condition. And increased sexual desire has been reported in men and women with natural progesterone supplementation. Progesterone also counteracts “Estrogen Dominance” in men and women. Progesterone supplementation is best accomplished by the use of a natural progesterone cream or gel. 10 mg – 12 mg a day would be the level that would provide the amount normally made by a healthy male not experiencing andropause symptoms.