Although hormones only make up a tiny percentage of your body’s composition, they affect almost every function of day-to-day health and well-being. When your hormones become unbalanced, the effects can be immediate (such as low energy) or they may cause long-term health consequences (like muscle loss). There are four main types of hormone imbalance in men: adrenal fatigue, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and andropause. The later will be our focus in this article as we dissect the causes, symptoms, and treatment for low testosterone.
What is Andropause?
Similar to female menopause, andropause occurs when the body has low levels of sex hormones, specifically testosterone deficiency (levels below the optimal range for an aging male). Many factors can cause andropause, including medication, poor diet and obesity, excessive alcohol consumption, illness, lack of sleep, stress, surgery, or aging. If andropause is a natural part of aging, then why should you care? Well, declining hormones actually increase the risk of more serious medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis.
What Are the Symptoms?
Unlike the female body going through menopause, testosterone decline in men is a gradual process with symptoms appearing in the mid 40’s to 50’s. Testosterone production drops about 10% every decade starting around age 30. By age 50, 30% of men have testosterone levels low enough to cause symptoms and put them at risk for degenerative disease. We are even seeing younger males with low testosterone from increased stress and nutritional deficiencies. Symptoms of andropause include:
- Performance Problems—gradual decrease in sexuality, mood, hair production, and overall energy.
- Degenerative Diseases—increase risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis.
- Low Sense of Well-Being—questioning of values, accomplishments, and direction in life; depression and irritability.
What Are the Risks?
Scientific research shows that low testosterone is associated with inflammation, coronary artery disease, increased cholesterol, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and reduced blood flow to the heart and brain. As you can see, andropause is more than just a performance problem — it’s a serious health risk that deserves medical attention. If you are genetically prone to any of these degenerative diseases, andropause can only speed up your health problems. Make an appointment with a holistic health provider today to discuss the options outlined below.
What Are my Options?
You could obviously accept the natural decline of testosterone as you age, or you could explore all your options to optimize your quality of life. Any strategy to reduce the symptoms and risks of andropause should be based on lifestyle approaches, such as optimal diet, regular exercise, nutritional replacement, stress management, and the reduction of tobacco, alcohol, and electromagnetic fields. We suggest using the five-point restorative model to address your unique andropause conditions.
Measure and optimize hormones. Testosterone levels between 250 to 1100 are considered “normal,” but studies show that men feel their best with levels above 700. Talk to your holistic health provider about hormone replacement therapy for men.
Measure and optimize nutrition. The most common nutritional deficiencies that affects testosterone levels include magnesium, zinc, and B12. Meet with your doctor to measure your exact nutritional status and discuss supplement options for boosting testosterone.
Reduce exposure to toxins. To aid in your hormone replacement and nutritional supplements, detox the body to rid yourself of preservatives, plastics, heavy metals, and GMOs. Make sure to support your bowel, liver, and gallbladder functions.
Balance the mind. Reduce stress, which can cause a drop in testosterone, by simplifying your life and renewing your energy. Try going 12 weeks with minimal commitments.
Balance the body. Integrate exercise into your daily activities and focus on restorative physical moves with yoga and breathing routines.
Women are not the only ones who suffer the effects of changing hormones; many doctors today are recognizing the need to address testosterone decline in males during andropause. It’s important to discuss your options for optimizing your well being as you age to prevent degenerative diseases due to hormone imbalance. The team at the SaJune Institute for Restorative and Regenerative Medicine is ready to answer any questions or concerns you have about restoring your testosterone levels.Request an appointment today to make a huge impact in your health tomorrow.