male_menopause1From the age of about 30 on, men may experience a gradual decline in testosterone. The resulting signs and symptoms are sometimes referred to off hand as ‘male menopause,’ but there is actually a medical term for this condition: andropause.

Andropause occurs with a drop in androgenic hormones, mainly testosterone, and may result in these symptoms:

loss of interest in sex
decrease in spontaneous morning erections
decrease in fullness of erections
difficulty maintaining erection
brain fog or inability to concentrate
depression
low motivation
muscle soreness
reduced physical stamina
Some medical concerns that may arise with a drop of male hormone are:

increased bad cholesterol (LDL) or triglycerides
reduced good cholesterol (HDL)
insulin resistance
hypertension
increased fat around the abdomen and in the breasts
development of hemorrhoids
worsened eyesight
Many health practitioners treat these symptoms by prescribing topical testosterone creams. It is important to understand that many of the above concerns are due not only to decreased testosterone, but, perhaps more importantly, to an abundance of estrogen. In some cases, the use of exogenous testosterone ends up having the effect of boosting estrogen levels, especially for men who have a lot of stress and eat a high sugar diet. High cortisol and high blood sugar boost an enzyme that causes that conversion of testosterone to estrogen. Consequently, and rather unexpectedly for the patient, some symptoms may worsen with testosterone treatment.

One of the best ways to determine whether ‘male menopause’ symptoms are the result of high estrogen and low testosterone is to do a saliva panel that tests for sex hormone levels. At Mederi Health, the andropause panel costs approximately $240 and results are available within 2.5 weeks of completing the one day test kit. Once armed with this detailed information, our practitioners have a clear picture of which dietary interventions, stress reduction techniques, and targeted natural therapies to recommend.