This article will discuss andropause, the natural process of a decline of hormones in ageing men. I will address: HRT (hormone replacement therapy), and the controversy surrounding these treatments, correct testing and evaluating, medical monitoring, and recommended lifestyle changes.
But first, let’s quickly review the symptoms of low testosterone. As I do so, I want you to consider a very important point. Quite often, testosterone is considered to be the “king” or the “primary” male hormone.
Nevertheless, testosterone exists in both men and women, and maintaining proper levels is crucial.
Moreover, hormones such as, estrogen, testosterone, DHEA, progesterone, thyroid hormones, and cortisol must be harmoniously balanced.
Andropause: Getting Down to the Nitty Gritty
An imbalance in one or more than one of these hormones can mean worsening existing symptoms of low testosterone.
Low testosterone can affect all aspects of male life. Typical symptoms include:
- depleted libido
- loss of bone density
- loss of muscle mass
- excessive weight gain
- development of breasts (gynaecomastia)
- excessive sweating
- hot flushes
- disturbed sleep or even insomnia
- unpredictable mood swings
- difficulties in holding concentration
- a drop in self-confidence
This list is only the tip of the iceberg!
With proper treatment, on most occasions the imbalances in the hormones can be reversed. Bearing in mind that an imbalance of hormones other than testosterone can also trigger some of the symptoms mentioned above.
Today’s 2016, and you will see many forms of hormone replacement therapy/testosterone replacement therapy be used to address some of the symptoms of andropause. Ironically, these treatments have caused much controversy in recent times, regardless of what form they come in.
Does Hormone Replacement Therapy Trigger Heart Disease or even Prostate Cancer?
A number of studies have focused on this lingering question over the past 10 years or so, and the results so far have delivered mixed outcomes.
For instance, some of the studies have suggested that men using hormone replacement therapy tended to have more strokes and heart attacks.
Other studies seem to suggest that cardiac arrests were lowered as a result of individuals undergoing testosterone replacement therapy in particular.
January 2014 was a bit of a busy month for medical professionals involved in this area because a number of conflicting results from a collection of studies prompted the FDA to issue a “safety warning” about the potential correlation between hormone replacement therapy and increased risks of strokes and heart attacks.
These studies also looked at the possibility of a potential connection between testosterone replacement therapy and prostate cancer.
Although testosterone replacement therapy has not been proven to cause prostate cancer, the treatment is never prescribed for high risk, or existing prostate cancer sufferers.
Another point to bear in mind is that some forms of prostate cancer are sensitive to estrogen. Meaning, that long-term high levels of testosterone replacement therapy can stimulate the testosterone conversion to estrogen, which can undeniably increase the chances of developing prostate cancer.
So What Does All This Mean?
The safety and effectiveness of long-term hormone replacement therapy can only be achieved when the following procedures are followed by a qualified physician:
- proper testing and evaluation
- a customized treatment plan offered to every patient based on initial testing results
- regularly scheduled medical monitoring, ensuring treatment safety, and the results for every patient
- patients compliance
How About Some Lifestyle Changes?
There are a number of lifestyle changes you can implement that are known to alleviate some of the symptoms of low testosterone levels, and overall balance of your hormones.
These changes include:
- Proper diet: that includes nutrient dense food to promote hormonal balance, whilst eliminating sugar, which is known to decrease testosterone
- Exercise: to maintain bone density and muscle mass, as well as supporting the cardiovascular system
- Weight loss: as needed. This will help boost testosterone levels
- Stress reduction: will support your adrenal glands, crucial for maintaining normal levels of DHEA, and cortisol
- Avoid toxins: also known as “endocrine disruptors”.
- Avoid self-diagnosis/treatment: and this includes over-the-counter treatments, because testing and evaluation and monitoring can only be done by a qualified physician, which is essential to the success of any treatment
I sincerely hope that you found this article useful, if you have any questions in regards to any part of the content, leave your comments below, and thanks for reading!