Hi Dr. Blanscet,
Thank you for the great information on the hormonal changes that women go through as we age. I was wondering if guys go through something similar. I always tease my husband that he is going through “Man-o-pause.” Is there such a thing?
Indeed there is! Andropause is the medical term for the decline in hormones that occurs as men age. Testosterone is the main hormone that declines in men, although I also look at other hormones. Testosterone has many roles in the body. Not only is it key for drive and stamina, it is essential for many other functions in the body. Testosterone plays a role in bone density, muscle mass, and red blood cell levels, among other things.
Men make up a large percentage of the patients who seek out hormone therapy. They are often referred by their wives or have heard about hormone treatment from some of their guy friends. The symptoms men may experience include: decreased energy, more aches and pains, changes in mood, trouble concentrating, issues with erections and/or libido, increased body fat, poor muscle tone, slower recovery after workouts, sleep issues, and they may generally feel like they’ve passed their peak. You may hear him complain that he’s “getting old.” A man with low testosterone may not necessarily experience any change to his sex drive, but other symptoms will be evident.
Men’s hormones drop more gradually than ours do so it can often be overlooked. Generally testosterone will decline slowly starting in the thirties. Our toxic environment seems to be accelerating this decline. Remember that testing in a “normal” range for testosterone is not the same as testing at an “optimal” level, so doctors without special training in hormones may not recognize a problem. The trouble is that “normal” is based on a population that is overweight, fatigued, and stressed; basically a population that is not feeling optimal. Often everyone gets caught up in the facade of staying within the arbitrary “normal values” that the whole person is forgotten. Before you assume that the man in your life is doomed to suffer because his lab work is “normal”, trust your gut feelings that something is not right and have his hormones evaluated by a physician who is trained to get him to optimal lab values and functioning.
The great news it that when done correctly it is perfectly safe for men to have Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). Men on optimal HRT report feeling at their prime again. Improvements in motivation, mood, memory, energy, sleep, libido, and even their physical appearance have many men loving life again! There are several ways to restore hormone balance in men including bioidentical pellets, creams, or injections. Each man is different and needs a personalized HRT program that addresses his unique needs.
Do not rely on your insurance to pay for optimal wellness–if you want to feel balanced it is in your hands. For the men and women out there: if you are experiencing the decline in your health and the drop in vitality that comes with a decrease in hormones, act now and stop suffering. Schedule a consultation with a hormone specialist!