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Saturday, June 9, 2007

Menopause and Andropause Are Out of the Closet! (Part 1: Andropause)

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Bio-identical hormones, change of life transitions, Suzanne Somers, all these topics have been discussed in previous posts on this blog. Today I offer recently published informaton about andropause, now already being called “man-opause” by some, due to its similarity to menopause in women, and the fact that many andrologists (anti-aging doctors) are espousing its treatment with bio-identical hormones just as they treat menopause.

According to BodyLogic, these are the top 10 signs of Andropause:

1. Irritability
2. Sleep problems
3. Diminished libido
4. Erectile problems
5. Muscle loss
6. Weight gain
7. Memory loss
8. Thinning hair
9. Decreased bone density
10. Depression

In a press release, doctors at Bodylogic indicate that “Unlike women, who are more likely to be aware of many of the symptoms of menopause, doctors say men frequently mistake andropause for aging. "Men’s symptoms appear over the course of a decade or more and it becomes a very slow, insidious process that they attribute to getting old," explains BodyLogicMD’s Michael Lee, M.D. "As men lose testosterone, they begin experiencing male menopause – or andropause." Testosterone is key for building muscle and retaining memory in men. When they get into their early 30s, men begin losing testosterone at a rate of one to two percent a year. Experts today say as many as 25 million American males between ages 40 and 55 are experiencing some degree of male menopause.”

They also state that “Although the first study on male andropause was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in the mid-1940s, it's only recently that the U.S. medical community has taken notice of this condition. At the forefront of these medical important advances is BodyLogicMD. “Typically, men suffering from the symptoms of andropause are treated for a specific medical condition that is related, but not the root issue. Therein lies the problem,” Dr. Lee says. “It is still common for an andropausal male to be misdiagnosed.” For example, a man may be diagnosed with depression and prescribed an antidepressant. Both the doctor and patient think the man's problem is addressed. However, if that man has other symptoms of male menopause, such as loss of libido, the antidepressant will only exaggerate that problem.”

This article apeared in The Daily Mail

Men with low levels of testosterone ‘more likely to die young’

Last updated at 23:24pm on 5th June 2007

New research has shown that in the future men - like women - may need a type of hormone replacement therapy.

Men with low levels of testosterone are more likely to die young, a study suggests. They suffer a third higher risk of not reaching middle age compared with those who have high levels of the male sex hormone.

The findings are further evidence that some men could benefit from "testosterone replacement therapy" – the equivalent of hormone replacement therapy in women.

The researchers said it was too early, however, to recommend that vulnerable men use testosterone patches.

Dr. Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, who led the study at the University of California’s San Diego School of Medicine, said: "We are very excited by these findings which have important implications but we are not ready to say that men should go out and get testosterone to prolong their lives.

"We’re not ready to take this to the prescribing pharmacist.

"It’s very possible that lifestyle determines what level of testosterone a patient has. It may be possible to alter the testosterone level by lowering obesity."

Testosterone, which is produced in the testes and triggers the onset of puberty, is closely associated with the sex drive. Levels vary widely from man to man and tend to fall with age and during fatherhood.

Low testosterone levels have been linked to lower sex drive, mood swings, weaker muscles and a greater risk of osteoporosis. The decline in the levels of the hormone is called the "andropause" or "male menopause".

The Andropause Society claims that half of men aged 50 and 70 per cent of men aged 70 suffer from low levels.

Some clinics offer middle-aged men testosterone patches to boost their libido and suppress mood swings.

Many doctors are sceptical about the treatment though with some arguing the long-term effects are unknown.

The San Diego researchers looked at the medical histories of 800 men, aged 50 to 91, living in California over two decades. At the start of the 1980s, a third of the men had unusually low testosterone levels for their age.

This group had a 33 per cent greater risk of dying during the next 18 years than the men with high testosterone levels, the researchers told the Endocrine Society conference in Toronto yesterday.

The difference could not be explained by smoking, drinking, physical activity or pre-existing illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes.

Dr. Gail Laughlin, a co-author of the study, said: "This is only the second report linking deficiency of this sex hormone with increased death from all causes, over time, and the first to do so in relatively healthy men who are living in the community.

"This study did show there may be an association between low testosterone levels and higher mortality.

"It did not show that higher levels of testosterone are associated with decreased mortality."

The researchers said they were unsure why low testosterone is linked to premature death.

Men with the lowest levels were more likely to be obese, have high blood pressure and high levels of "bad" cholesterol.


It is my hope that this post will open eyes. Whether bio-identical hormone treatment is the treatment of the future, as some think, remains to be seen. But we need to know about it. We can't ignore the fact that we have something natural out there that could be enormously advantageous for our health. It's up to us to tell our doctors to get on the bandwagon and find out more. There are few things worse than a lack of information.

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