What is Andropause or Male Menopause?
Andropause is often referred to as the male menopause and is the term used to define the natural decline of the most important male sex hormone, testosterone.
Without testosterone, and other important hormones, the loss of vitality and vigor a man can experience has been shown to damage his health, appearance, performance, relationships and career.
It is estimated that nearly 50% of men over the age of 40 experience symptoms due to a hormone deficiency, and that 75% of men over the age of 45 are experiencing symptoms of andropause, sometimes referred to hypogonadism, or simply, Low T.
Symptoms of Andropause include:
- Fatigue – Feeling extreme fatigue or feeling tired all the time
- Memory Loss – Difficulty remembering, loss of mental acuity
- Muscle Loss – Loss of lean muscle, inability to gain muscle
- Erectile Dysfunction – Difficulty having or maintaining an erection
- Weight Gain – Increased body fat especially around the belly
- Low Sex Drive – Loss of sexual desire, lowered libido or intimacy
- Depression – Feeling depressed, anxious, nervous or moody
- Loss of Drive – Decreased enthusiasm for life or inability to cope
- Hair Loss – Thinning or loss of hair on the head and body
- Sleep Problems – Difficulty falling or staying asleep
- Irritability – Highly irritable, easily angered or upset
- Osteoporosis – Loss of bone mass and height
If you’re suffering from any of the above issues you may have andropause and should take steps to check your hormone levels and get treatment.
Andropause and Men’s Health
Men’s menopausal symptoms appear gradually, usually over the course of a decade or more, and it becomes a slow, gradual process that many men and their family doctors attribute to just “getting old”, the “midlife crisis” or becoming “burnt out”.
Beyond the adverse issues that affect quality of life in general, studies have shown that the decline of testosterone during andropause may put men at risk for cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, depression, brain function problems, prostate disease, and bone loss (osteoporosis).
Do I need Hormones?
Many men and women are living with sub-optimal hormone levels and do not even realize it. You may be one of them! Why? Because when we go to see our family doctor for a check-up, the doctor almost never orders the appropriate hormone panels when they order blood tests.
Your doctor may check your thyroid hormone levels at best, along with the regular health and wellness panels such as: cholesterol; liver enzymes; CBC; blood sugar level; etc. In many cases the doctor fails to check important hormones like testosterone, estrogen, DHEA, IGF1, IGF1-BP3, cortisol, progesterone, and others.
AAG Health has encountered thousands of men and women who have been under diagnosed and even miss-diagnosed by their own health care providers. That’s a lot of people who have seen a sharp decline in their general health and wellness because of poor health care and a health care system that does not emphasize preventative medicine.
Many of our patients have lived through their 40’s, 50’s and beyond with issues related to low hormones and after years of using ED meds, anti-depressants, ADD/ADHD medications, synthetic HRT (hormone replacement therapy) and other medications find no improvements to their health condition at all.
In many cases, problems get worse and side effects develop. You may be one of these people. Are you dissatisfied with your current health care provider’s actions? Are you left wondering why you are still feeling “under the weather” after doctor’s appointments and different medications that don’t really help your situation?
At AAG Health we believe that our treatment plans, combined with the concept of preventative medicine in the form of hormone medications, enable our patients to live a better life for a longer period of time.
Is Hormone Therapy Safe?
Yes. There are numerous studies that have come out over the past years that have attested to the safety of hormone replacement therapy using bio-identical hormones. Remember, all AAG Health’s hormone treatment programs are physician supervised and medically monitored to offer you absolute safety and efficacy.
We only prescribe therapeutic dosages required to optimize your hormonal levels and we use only high quality FDA approved bio-identical hormones as medically indicated. Natural hormones have been growing in popularity because they are highly effective and without the harsher side effects that can come with the use of synthetic or animal-derived hormones.
Our focus is to optimize hormone levels to address symptoms in a safe and effective manner.
Are there side effects with Hormone therapy?
As with any medical program there is always a chance of minor side effects depending on the dosage of hormone medications you are taking. Because our doctors only prescribe therapeutic dosages of natural-based, bio-identical hormones, the potential for side effects are minimized.
In fact, less than 5% of our patients prescribed bio identical hormone replacement medications experience minor side effects. We have found that many of those who experience side effects tend to make the wrong lifestyle choices whilst on a treatment plan. It’s important to eat healthy, minimize alcohol consumption and exercise often when on HRT.
The majority of side effects are reversible and go away by simply reducing the dose of the medication. All of our hormone treatment programs include follow up lab testing for monitoring along with consistent and timely reviews by your age management physician. This ensures your HGH supplements are safe and effective.
Testing your Hormone Levels
Whether you are testing for HGH, IGF-1, testosterone or estrogen, the current standard for hormone level testing is a blood test. There are saliva and urine tests available but most experts agree that a blood test is the most accurate and has the added advantage of being able to test for other important markers that saliva and urine simply can’t detect.
As men and women grow older, their hormone levels naturally decline and hormone testing, especially for critical sex hormones, becomes necessary. An endocrinologist, urologist or age management doctor specializing in hormone replacement therapy can test patients for hormonal imbalances, diagnose correctly and then design a hormone treatment plan to balance and ultimately optimize hormones.
Do You Think You Have Low Hormones? Get Tested
The first step in any hormone replacement program is to get a full panel of lab work before seeing the physician. AAG Health offers two types of detailed lab panels for assessing hormonal deficiencies and reviewing a host of health and wellness panels:
The Executive Lab Panel
The Executive Lab Panel covers every lab test the physician would like to see. The Executive assess your complete current health status and goes far beyond screening for just a hormone deficiency. This is for the discerning client who takes an intelligent approach to their health care and does not want to “leave no stone un-turned”. Included in this panel of tests is everything included in the Comprehensive plus: NMR LipoProfile (a detailed analysis of blood lipids), adrenal fatigue, advanced blood sugar, inflammation, cancer and cardiovascular health markers.
The Comprehensive Lab Panel includes the minimum amount of lab panels the AAG Health physician requires to provide an accurate diagnosis and then recommend the correct hormone replacement therapy. In addition to all major hormones the Comprehensive also checks for important health and wellness markers like PSA (for men), Liver and kidney profiles, lipid panel and more.
When choosing the right type of lab panel for your needs we recommend the Executive. It is our most expensive test available, but when it comes to an accurate assessment of your health and hormone level testing requirements it has no competition.