Andropause (Low Testosterone)
Andropause | Adrenal Fatigue
Andropause is a condition in males in which hormones, especially testosterone, is low. Testosterone plays a critical role in maintaining both physical and mental health. The production of male hormones taper off steadily from the age of 35 onward. This physiologic decrease can cause changes in sexual function, mood, energy level and body composition. Some of the symptoms associated with decreased testosterone production in males are: decreased erectile function decreased mental ability, insulin resistance, loss of muscle strength, loss of muscle mass, less energy, weight gain, trouble urinating, prostate problems, and bone loss.
Stress management, regular exercise, healthy nutrition, dietary supplements and hormone supplementation have all been shown to raise androgen levels in men and help counter andropausal symptoms. While testosterone is thought of as the male hormone, it is also important to maintain appropriate levels of estrogen, progesterone, DHEA, and cortisol. The imbalance of testosterone in relation to estrogen may contribute to prostate problems. If the adrenal system (cortisol and DHEA) is out of balance men may also experience problems with nervous and immune systems and may develop blood sugar irregularities. These irregularities also contribute to cardiovascular health risk. As we age our production of sex hormones changes, the adrenals play a central role in sustaining optimal health and sex hormone function. Maintaining healthy adrenal function is also an essential piece of aging well.
Initial salivary testing and follow up salivary monitoring are crucial for determining the most optimal treatment program. If testosterone therapy is warranted, bloodwork to check Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) must be performed and be within range prior to initiation. There is no evidence that testosterone increases the risk of prostate gland cancer; however, if cancer has already developed testosterone may accelerate its growth. The PSA test is a good guide as to presence or absence of cancer and is a good indicator of inflammation within the prostate gland. Due to the complexity of the hormone system, issues that arise rarely stem from just one hormone. If there is a disruption in the balance of hormones produced by one gland, it can cause other glandular systems to participate and soon throw off the body’s entire system.