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What is Andropause?

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By the time men reach between the ages of 40 and 55, they can experience an aging  phenomenon similar to the female menopause, called andropause. Unlike women, men do not have a clear-cut signal that it is coming such as the cessation of menstruation to mark this life transition. Both, however, are distinguished by a drop in hormone levels. Estrogen in the female, testosterone in the male. The bodily changes occur very gradually in men and may be accompanied by changes in attitudes and moods, fatigue, a loss of energy, sex drive and physical agility. Erectile dysfunction seems to be very common and signals some form of hormonal imbalance is taking place.

What's more, scientific studies show that this decline in testosterone can actually put one at risk for other health problems like heart disease and weakened bones. Since all this happens at a time of life when many men begin to question their values, accomplishments and direction in life, it's often difficult to realize that the changes occurring are related to more than just external conditions.

A Gradual Hormonal Decline

Unlike menopause, which generally occurs in women during their mid-forties to mid-fifties, men's life transition may be much more gradual and expand over many years. Attitude, psychological stress, alcohol use, injuries or surgical procedures, medication use, obesity and infections can contribute to its onset even faster.

Although with age, a decline in testosterone levels will occur in virtually all men eventually, there is no way of predicting who will experience andropausal symptoms of substantial severity to seek medical help. Neither is it predictable at what age symptoms will occur in a particular individual. Each man's symptoms may be also different.

Is This A New Phenomenon?
Yes and no. In fact, andropause was first described in medical literature in the 1940's. So it's not really new. But, our ability to diagnose it properly is. Sensitive tests for bio-available testosterone weren't available until recently, so andropause has gone through a long period where it was under diagnosed and under treated for many years. And now that men are living longer, there is heightened interest in andropause and this will help to advance our approach to this important life change which was identified so many years ago.

Increased Diagnostic Capability

Another reason why andropause has been under diagnosed over the years is that symptoms can be vague and can vary a lot among individuals. Some men find it difficult to admit that there's even a problem and enter a self-denial attitude. And often physicians didn't always think of low-testosterone levels as a possible cause. So these factors often led doctors to conclude that symptoms were related to other medical conditions (i.e. depression) or were simply related to ageing and often encouraged their patients to accept that "they were no longer studs". See Male Menopause

This situation is changing rapidly. New blood testing methods are available and there is an increased interest in men's ageing among medical researchers to better understand this area. So much attention is being focused on andropause that major efforts are underway to quickly share emerging scientific information with the international medical community. See Maca Information

Causes

Starting at about age 30, testosterone levels drop by about 10 percent every decade. At the same time, another factor in the body called Sex Binding Hormone Globulin, or SHBG, is increasing. SHBG traps much of the testosterone that is still circulating and makes it unavailable to exert its effects in the body's tissues. What's left over does the beneficial work and is known as "bio-available" testosterone.

Andropause is associated with low (bio-available) testosterone levels. Every man experiences a decline of bio-available testosterone but some men's levels dip lower than others. And when this happens these men can experience andropausal symptoms.

These symptoms can and do impact their quality of life and may expose them to other, longer-term risks of low-testosterone. It is estimated that 30 percent of men in their 50s will have testosterone levels low enough to be causing symptoms or putting them at risk for heart disease, stroke and even cancer.

Importance Of Testosterone

Testosterone is a hormone that has a unique effect on a man's total body. Testosterone is produced in the testes and in the adrenal glands. It is to males what estrogen is to females. See Estrogen

Testosterone helps to build protein and is essential for normal sexual behavior and producing erections. It also affects many metabolic activities such as production of blood cells in the bone marrow, bone formation, lipid metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism, liver function and prostate gland growth.

Impact of Low Testosterone

When there is less testosterone available to do its work, the testosterone target-organ response decreases, bringing about many changes.

There are great variables in testosterone levels among healthy men so not all will experience the same symptoms or changes to the same extent. But typical responses to low bio-available testosterone levels include:

  • Low sex drive 

  • Emotional, psychological and behavioral changes

  • Decreased muscle mass 

  • Loss of muscle strength 

  • Increased upper and central body fat 

  • Osteoporosis or weak bones and back pain

  • Cardiovascular risk

  • Increased hair loss

Why Should Andropause Be Taken Seriously?Apart from the impact that andropause may have on your quality of life, there are other longer-term and silent effects of andropause that are harder to track: increased cardiovascular risk, cancer and osteoporosis. See Osteoporosis

Andropause & Osteoporosis

In healthy individuals, bone tissue is constantly being broken down and rebuilt. In an individual with osteoporosis, more bone tissue is lost than is regenerated. We've all heard of women suffering from weaker bones, or osteoporosis, after menopause. well in men, testosterone is thought to play a role in helping to maintain this balance. Between the ages of 40 and 70 years of age, male bone density falls by up to 15-20 percent.

Unfortunately, with advancing age and declining testosterone levels, men, like women, seem to demonstrate a similar pattern of risk for osteoporosis. What's more, approximately one in eight men over age 50 actually have osteoporosis.  See Osteoporosis SymptomsSee Osteoporosis Support

The incidence of hip fractures rises substantially in ageing men, as it does in women, starting about 5 to 10 years after testosterone levels decline. In Canada, 20-30 percent of osteoporosis fractures occur in men. The incidence of fractures has been increasing in men dramatically, whereas it seems to be stabilizing in women - which is likely due to their lifestyle changes, calcium supplements and hormone replacement therapies (HRT). See Calcium Benefits

Low bone density can put one at risk of frequent fractures, associated pain, and in many cases, loss of independence. Wrists, hips, spine and ribs are most commonly affected.

Two important consequences of osteoporosis are often seen as a slow but progressive rounding of the shoulders as well as a loss of height and back pain. Particularly devastating seem to be hip fractures, up to one third of patients never seem to regain full mobility.

Cardiovascular Risk

It is now well accepted that women's risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) increases after menopause. Estrogen replacement therapy seems to reverse this trend.

New evidence suggests that a similar phenomenon occurs in men as their testosterone levels diminish with age. While research is not as complete as for women, the clinical findings point to an association between low-testosterone levels and an increase in cardiovascular risk factors in men.

A cause and effect relationship has not yet been established in large clinical trials. Further clinical research is needed into this important area of study. See Study

Andropause is often under diagnosed because symptoms can be vague and can vary a great deal among individuals. Some men find it difficult to admit that there's even a problem. And often physicians don't always think of low-testosterone levels as a possible culprit. See Maca For Improved Testosterone

So these factors often lead doctors to conclude that symptoms were related to other medical conditions (i.e. depression) or were simply related to ageing and often encouraged their patients to accept that "they were no longer spring chickens".

But this situation is changing. New blood testing methods are available and there is increased interest in men's ageing among medical researchers. In fact, so much attention is being focused on Andropause that major efforts are underway to quickly share emerging scientific information.

 Understanding Risks

There are several conditions in which you should never use testosterone replacement therapy. These include:

  • Breast cancer (in males)

  • Prostate cancer

In some other cases testosterone replacement therapy may not be right for you. If one of the conditions below is applicable to you, your doctor will decide whether (in your specific case) testosterone replacement therapy is the right solution.

  • Liver disease

  • Heart or blood vessel disease

  • Edema (swelling of face, hands, feet, or lower legs)

  • Enlarged prostate

  • Kidney disease 

  • Diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes)

To help your doctor determine your best treatment plan, you should also discuss the following:

  • If you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to androgens or anabolic steroids.

  • If you are an adult male who plans to have children; high doses of androgens may cause infertility.

  • If you are bedridden.

  • If you are now taking any other prescription or nonprescription (OTC) medicine,  especially anticoagulants (blood thinners).

Testosterone Replacement Therapy

In many instances, testosterone replacement in men with andropause can be highly effective and beneficial. It's not for every man, of course, even those who show symptoms may have other health problems at the root of it all. Still you should discuss with your doctor if you would be a good candidate for testosterone replacement therapy.

 

What Should You Expect From Testosterone Replacement?

In various clinical studies, very good responses to testosterone have been reported for men with low-testosterone and they include:

  • Improvement in mood and sense of well-being 

  • Increased mental and physical energy 

  • Decreased anger, irritability, sadness, tiredness, nervousness 

  • Improved quality of sleep 

  • Improved libido and sexual performance 

  • An increase in lean body mass, a decline in fat mass 

  • An increase in muscle strength (hand grip, upper and lower extremities) 

  • Potentially, a decrease in the risk of heart disease

With testosterone therapy, one's attitude improves, reinforcing self-esteem and self-confidence at work, as well as an increased energy at home and in social activities. Most men will feel more vigorous, experience improved energy levels, mood, concentration, cognition, libido, sexual performance and an overall sense of well-being. These effects are usually noted within 3 to 6 weeks.

Other potential benefits include maintenance or improvement in bone density, improved body composition, muscle mass and muscle strength, as well as improvement in visual-spatial skills.

Lifestyle

Of course, any ongoing strategy to reduce the symptoms and risks of andropause should incorporate lifestyle approaches such as optimal diet, regular exercise, stress-management and the reduction of tobacco and alcohol intake.

How Can Imperial Gold Maca Help?

If you haven't tried Imperial Gold Maca, your in for a real treat when you do. First you will experience increased natural energy, as the body becomes more hormonally balanced testosterone levels increase with continued use. Spend a few minutes and pick several of the topics on your left and see for yourself!

Learn How Maca can increase energy, balance hormones and enhance sexual function naturally.

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