Men in Wisconsin Find Answers About Andropause AKA "Male Menopause"
The impact of decreasing androgens, specifically testosterone and DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is known as andropause, also called "male menopause" or PADAM - Partial Androgen Deficiency in the Aging Male. It is a normal part of aging, although, for some men it is accompanied by a gradual and undesired decline in their sexuality, mood and overall energy. Sometimes it can even expose men to more serious health risks. Unlike women, men do not have a clear-cut signpost such as the cessation of menstruation to mark this transition. A drop in hormone levels, however, distinguishes both. Typically, men have a slower and subtler hormonal decline compared to the rather sudden hormonal changes women experience at menopause. Attitude, psychological stress, alcohol, injuries or surgery, medications, obesity and infections can contribute to its onset. Over time however, similar symptoms are experienced including:
On average, a man's testosterone levels begin to decline at a rate of 1% per year after the age of 40. When hormones are replaced or restored back to physiologic levels, men may experience a dramatic reversal of many of the changes caused by aging.
Goals of hormone balancing in men
- Improvement in physiological well-being and mood
- Improvement in erectile dysfunction and libido
- Increased muscle mass, strength, and stature
- Preservation of bone mass
- Decrease in cardiovascular risk
What are bio-identical hormones?
Hormones conduct the language of cells. Our bodies have over 60 trillion cells with each needing to communicate with one another. Hormones are the chemical messengers that travel through our blood stream, enter cells by unlocking a door called a receptor, and flip the switches that govern growth, development, and mental and physical functioning. The exact chemical structure of the body's hormones is incredibly important, because in order for hormone therapy to fully replicate the normal functioning present in the human body it must match the original structure of that hormone exactly. Bio-identical hormones have the same chemical structure as the hormones made by the human body. Structural differences exist between bio-identical hormones and synthetic hormones (i.e. methyltestosterone). Synthetic hormones are not found in humans, and are not identical in structure or function to the bio-identical hormones they are intended to replace.
Saliva hormone testing
Saliva testing is preferred over blood or serum testing because the saliva measures bio-available, active hormone levels. Therefore saliva allows the measurement of hormones, which can be utilized by the cells. It gives the most accurate picture of what the body is able to utilize. Saliva testing is also painless - no needles involved, which is particularly important when testing for cortisol levels as the stress and pain of a needle stick can result in an increase in cortisol levels. Testing hormone levels is important because it correlates symptoms with exactly what is occurring hormonally. Once hormone therapy is initiated, follow-up testing tracks progress and allows for the adjustment of hormone therapy doses.
It's all about balance - a hormone consultation program
At MD Custom Rx, a hormone consultation program has been designed to help men become hormonally balanced much as it helps women utilizing bio-identical hormone therapy. We will sit down together and collect information about your health and provide a saliva test kit with instructions. Most importantly however, is that we meet again when the test results come back in order to discuss what the levels reveal, we answer all your questions, offer recommendations for therapy, and share your test results and customized recommendations with your physician.