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Andropause, Male Menopause

             A time in a man's life, identified by a decline in
             androgenic hormones Testosterone and DHEA

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                    The hormonal imbalance of andropause is present in aging men.  
                    Recognizing the signs of Andropause and finding effective
                    treatments for male menopause symptoms using natural
                    bioidentical hormones for men, testosterone and DHEA.

The first medical reference to andropause was made in the 1940's. Andropause also labeled as "male menopause" is a health condition characterized by a decline of androgenic hormones in men. Androgenic hormones (androgens first discovered in 1936) are also steroid hormones (anabolic steroids) and encompass testosterone (produced by Leydig cells of the testes) and DHEA dehydroepiandrosterone (secreted by the adrenal cortex) among others. These androgenic hormones are responsible for the development of male sex organs as well as secondary male sex characteristics. Androgens may be metabolized into female sex hormones, estrogens. The levels of testosterone and DHEA in men can start declining as early as 25 years of age. However a more noticeable decline occurs at about age 50 (the time of andropause) and that is when the symptoms of low testosterone (male menopause symptoms) can be felt.

Many hormonal imbalances can manifest themselves during andropause. These hormonal imbalances may be due to a reduced production of the male hormones testosterone and DHEA. Some men, while going through andropause may also have a simultaneous increase of the female hormone estrogen, specifically estardiol.

  What is andropause or male menopause?

Andropause, male menopause, is a condition in aging men that has some similarities to menopause in women. The symptoms of andropause or male menopause develop due to a decrease in the levels of testosterone, while during female menopause, the symptoms are caused by a decrease of the predominantly female hormones estrogen and progesterone.

During andropause the levels of the female hormone estradiol can increase in man's body. This increase of estradiol during andropause - male menopause may have feminizing effects on a man that include the augmentation of breast tissue and a high pitched voice. Symptoms of andropause, male menopause, were very rarely addressed by the medical community until recently. A majority of men were reluctant to acknowledge that they were experiencing "male menopause" and did not want to discuss these symptoms of andropause - male menopause with their medical doctors. Another contributing factor that caused andropause to remain unaddressed for so long was the fact that andropause progresses very gradually. From age 30 and onward, testosterone levels in adult men decline at a rate of 1 to 2 percent per year. This slow decline of the hormone testosterone and gradual progression of related male menopause symptoms may often go unnoticed. However, over time, significant testosterone exhaustion can occur. Severe testosterone depletion in men is defined as hypogonadism and is commonly experienced by those going through andropause. Some describe the condition of andropause or male menopause and its related symptoms as a syndrome of "androgen deficiency in the aging male" (ADAM) or partial androgen deficiency in the aging male (PADAM).


 Is it really Andropause or Male Menopause?

A number of experts believe that the term andropause or male menopause is misleading in the way it explains the decline of male hormones testosterone and DHEA. The root word "pause" in andropause and male menopause means to stop. So in this sense andropause or male menopause describe a loss or cessation of a particular function by a body organ or system. However, men do not completely lose "stop" their reproductive function during andropause or male menopause. A man's reproductive function can continue even into old age. Therefore it is believed that the terminology of andropause or male menopause is incorrect. In relation to a woman's body, during menopause women lose their reproductive function and in this scenario the term menopause has an appropriate meaning.

Menopause is presently recognized as a treatable medical condition and has an assigned medical code classification by the health insurance industry. However andropause "male menopause" is not currently recognized by the health care industry as a medical condition warranting medical intervention.

  Decline of the male hormone testosterone during andropause

Due to the fact that testosterone production diminishes gradually over a period of many years, the symptoms of andropause or male menopause may be attributed to totally different conditions and treated symptomatically.
A man who experiences mood instability as a result of andropause or male menopause may be treated for depression and prescribed anti-depressants by his doctor. It has to be mentioned that anti-depressant medications may negatively affect libido and can possibly make erectile dysfunction ED symptoms even worse. For a man going through andropause, the overall quality of life decreases, even when the symptoms of low testosterone levels are not obviously detectable.

Many doctors who do not have experience in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy have a tendency to disregard the symptoms of andropause or male menopause. The symptoms of andropause - male menopause, are usually attributed to aging. Often men with low testosterone levels are advised by their doctors that low testosterone levels are an inevitable effect of "normal aging". This being one of the reasons that andropause is habitually left untreated. Therefore, finding a knowledgeable doctor who specializes in bioidentical hormones, male hormonal disorders, and can effectively address and treat the condition of andropause along with its symptoms, can be a deciding factor in successful androapuse therapy.

  Causes of andropause, male menopause symptoms

Andropause is directly related to aging. Male menopause symptoms materialize as the body of an aging man progresses into the state of andropause. Aging can impair the ability of the testes to naturally produce the hormone testosterone.

Aging also predisposes men to metabolic changes. The metabolic change that occurs in men during andropause and results in an increase of testosterone transformation to estrogen is known as aromatization. The enzyme aromatase (abundant in fat tissue), is a key player in the process of aromatization of testosterone to estradiol. Therefore obese men who go through andropause have a higher level of aromatase then slimmer men. This high concentration of aromatase decreases testosterone levels while increasing estradiol making the symptoms of andropause - male menopause symptoms even worse.

  How to diagnose andropause, defining male menopause symptoms

Andropause, male menopause is diagnosed based on the following:

  1. Symptoms or complaints present as expressed by a man that may hint as to the condition of the individual's hormonal health and imply changes attributable to andropause.
  2. Physical and emotional signs of low testosterone levels in men that can possibly be a direct result of andropause.
  3. Laboratory testing to establish current testosterone levels and DHEA levels in men to determine whether the individual has progressed into the state of andropause.

  How to treat andropause, male menopause?

The best way to treat andropause or male menopause is through natural testosterone replacement therapy that implements bioidentical testosterone. Bioidentical testosterone is derived from the natural extracts of plants that are then transformed in a laboratory to identically resemble the molecular structure of natural hormones found in the body of a healthy young man. This bioidentical testosterone can then be prescribed by a bioidentical hormones doctor who specializes in natural testosterone replacement therapy for men. Testosterone replacement therapy is usually most effective when applied in the form of testosterone cream and massaged into a lean area of the body.

The indication of successful testosterone replacement therapy will be alleviation of the symptoms of male menopause and signs of andropause as well as an improvement in hormonal values (testosterone and DHEA levels) as measured by laboratory testing.

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