You’ve heard of menopause, but that’s just for women, right? WRONG-O BUCKO. Men can and usually do experience some sort of hormonal disturbance or imbalance as they age, typically around 40-50 years of age. Although men do not experience a dramatic drop in sex hormones like women do, or the loss of their fertility, they do experience a significant, steady decline in testosterone, mainly. Unfortunately, low testosterone can negatively affect a man’s overall health.
It’s All Downhill After the Age of 40
Just like women experience perimenopause and a drop in fertility around the age of 40, men start to experience their own sort of “menopause” around the same time frame. On average, a man’s testosterone levels decline by about 1% per year after age 40. Most men will still have testosterone levels within the normal range, but if you are someone who has been living a sedentary lifestyle, with minimal exercise, high-stress job and a poor diet, it’s more than likely that you are in the group that has lower than average testosterone levels.
The medical term for low testosterone is hypogonadism, a term that also applies to women when their sex hormones are not being produced adequately. We know that decreased hormone production is a normal and natural part of aging, but poor lifestyle, high stress, autoimmune and genetic disorders, as well as kidney/liver disease can also cause low-T. Unfortunately, this decline in sex hormones is not as well understood as it is in women.
Testosterone is Essential for Male Health
Testosterone is the “male hormone” that is necessary for men to become MEN. It is what pushes boys to go through puberty. Once a boy reaches adulthood and beyond, testosterone is still just as important for his health. The Cleveland Clinic states that testosterone maintains sexual and reproductive function, muscle mass, red blood cell counts and bone density.
Testosterone is synthesized by the body from cholesterol and levels are controlled by the pituitary gland in the brain. Not only does testosterone participate in important physiological reactions in the body, but it also affects human behavior, in both men and women. For example, it can make men more aggressive, more prone to risk-taking behavior and/or engage in social risk, such as “going against the grain.”
Symptoms of Male Menopause
There are many symptoms relating to male menopause, or low testosterone, although you may not experience all of them at once, or ever. These symptoms include low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, cognitive/memory issues, fatigue, depression, moodiness and low muscle mass/reduced strength.
Less common symptoms include mild anemia, decreased body hair, increased body fat, breast development, osteoporosis and infertility. It’s possible for a man to rid himself of these symptoms and boost testosterone levels via natural means, such as eating a better diet, including more healthy fats, increased exercise, such as resistance training and weight lifting, as well as stress control. However, many men who have been abusing their health and bodies for years or decades may need to start directly on a testosterone replacement therapy program.
How Can Testosterone Replacement Therapy Help?
First off, to get started on testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), you first need to get a comprehensive blood panel done to determine your baseline total testosterone and free testosterone levels. This must be prescribed by a licensed endocrinologist or physician. Yes, you can try to get illegal testosterone via the black market, but this is risky, both legally and in regards to your health. You never know what you are really getting.
In addition, injecting hormones is not a simple process in that, the proper dosage needs to be administered. This can be hard to determine if you are not a hormone expert. If the dose is too high, too many adverse side effects may result. If the dose is too low, you will not see the results that you want. This is why it is best for you to contact a knowledgeable and competent physician, such as the ones at our clinic. Contact us today to get started!
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