Hormone Replacement Therapy for Men
Andropause is the condition and symptoms in men that result from a decrease in serum testosterone. After age 30, testosterone decreases by approximately 1% per year in men. While hormone replacement therapy for women has long been the standard of care for the treatment of menopausal symptoms, it is now widely recognized that hormone deficiency in aging men affects their quality of life and hormone replacement therapy is a viable solution.
This stage of life is commonly referred to andropause. Fortunately for men, this decline in hormone levels is not as drastic or sudden as what is experienced by women during menopause. As the levels of testosterone gradually start to decline, small changes in energy levels, stamina, and an inconsistent short-term memory are usually overlooked by most men. It is usually not until major symptoms or conditions present themselves that men begin to consider looking for a way to feel normal again.
There are several signs and symptoms of andropause, including:
- Weight gain
- Mood Swings
- Muscle loss
- Low libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Hair loss
- Memory Loss
- Loss of mental focus
If you feel as though you suffer from any of the above health symptoms, it may be due to a decrease in your male hormone levels. Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy for men can help balance your hormones and make you feel like the man you were before entering male andropause. Monica Valenzuela, D.O. is an Upland California Andropause Doctor with years of experience treating patients through bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. Read on to learn more about symptoms of andropause and how BHRT can help.
Symptoms of Male Hormone Decline (Andropause) can include:
Low Libido: Many men experience low libido and sexual function. This can cause concern and anxiety in men which may only exacerbate the problem. Symptoms can include erectile dysfunction, lack of sexual desire and even impotence. Replacing deficient testosterone levels using BHRT for men can improve the symptoms of sexual dysfunction and stimulate libido.
Weight Gain: As men age, testosterone levels begin to decline and estrogen dominance develops, which often results in a loss of lean muscle and a drop in energy levels. This combination often results in weight gain. Restoring deficient testosterone levels with BHRT can help keep men’s bodies performing at optimal levels and prevent hormone-related weight gain with age.
Depression: Men experiencing age-related hormone decline often have never experienced feelings of depression before With a changing body, reduced energy levels and other physiological changes occurring, many middle-aged men begin to lose hope. Frustration with body image, sexual performance or an inability to participate in favorite activities or hobbies can become a catalyst to feeling depressed. There is hope. By optimizing male hormones using BHRT you can begin to reverse the signs and symptoms of age related hormone decline and restore youthful energy, vitality and function to the body.
Mood Swings: Although mood swings are generally recognized as a female symptom of menopause men can also experience these swings as hormonal balances change. Men experiencing age-related hormone decline often show signs of increased anger, sadness, anxiety, irritability and a short temper. These mood shifts can occur when estrogen and testosterone levels fluctuate and inhibit the chemicals responsible for regulating moods. Restoring hormone balance in men using Hormone Replacement Therapy can help properly regulate moods and stimulate optimal brain chemistry, bringing a greater sense of wellbeing.
Memory Loss: Testosterone is responsible in helping to regulate cortisol levels in the brain. When testosterone levels begin to decline, cortisol levels can fluctuate, inhibiting mental cognition and causing symptoms such as confusion and foggy thinking. The neurotransmitters are not able to work properly due to the irregular levels of hormones. Men can be more vulnerable to failing memory than women. Ensuring the steady and balanced levels of testosterone in the body as men age can promote a stronger memory and sharper mental cognition into old age.
Insomnia: Sleep disturbances can be caused by hormonal interference with the body’s ability to properly regulate brain chemistry and deal with the stresses of everyday life. Insomnia is a persistent disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep, hard to stay asleep or both, despite the opportunity for adequate sleep. With insomnia, you usually awaken feeling unrefreshed, which takes a toll on your ability to function during the day. Insomnia can sap not only your energy level and mood but also your health, work performance and quality of life.
Muscle Atrophy: Muscle loss due to the decline of testosterone levels with aging is a common symptom of andropause. Loss of muscle means loss of strength and mobility. People who are physically inactive can lose as much as 3% to 5% of their muscle mass per decade after age 30. Testosterone binds to muscle cells in the body and promotes both muscle growth and integrity. Low testosterone levels can inhibit muscle growth and allow estrogen to begin to build up in body fat. This cycle of muscle atrophy and weight gain can be stopped in its tracks with BHRT for men.
Although many men just assume that their symptoms are due to aging and there is nothing to be done, there are treatment options suitable for men with andropause symptoms. Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy is an option that utilizes natural products to treat these symptoms.
Traditional Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormones affect many functions of the human body and are so interrelated that it may be difficult to determine the specific cause of one symptom or another. Due to this, doctors often isolate these symptoms and treat each symptom individually, prescribing one medicine for insomnia, another for headaches, etc. This is a result of treating a symptom rather than exploring the root cause of the discomfort. Had the doctor made the connections between the many symptoms and hormonal imbalance, these symptoms could be treated as a single cause and not individually.
After realizing that hormones may address these multiple symptoms, some doctors suggest synthetic hormone replacement therapy after other treatments fail to bring relief. Synthetic hormones are generally given in pill form to be taken orally.
However, synthetic hormones are associated with several serious health conditions, including endometrial cancers, blood clots, heart attack, abnormal liver function, and pancreatitis. Additionally, they generally take longer for the body to accept and process, and many people do experience common side effects like nausea and muscle cramping. These can be bothersome enough for patients to stop taking the synthetic hormones or prescription pills their doctors have given them.
How Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy is Different
The first major difference between Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) and synthetic hormones is that bioidentical hormones are created from natural plant-based extracts. The natural hormones in these plants remain unchanged during the compounding process because they are nearly identical to the natural hormonal structure that exists in the human body. For most people on BHRT, the similar cellular structure means that the compound is metabolized by their body faster and easier. With their hormones in balance, men and women in their 30s, 40s and beyond are able to enjoy renewed energy, better health and a more positive outlook on life.
Due to the natural interactions of bioidentical hormones and the body, patients are able to experience prolonged symptom relief without the risk of further complications or undesirable side effects.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy for men can give you back your strength and sexual libido and encourage a life of vigor and vitality. Monica Valenzuela, D.O. has years of experience treating patients through BHRT.