Andropause and Low Testosterone
Charlotte Testosterone Replacement Doctor, Scott Shapiro, M.D. understands that hormonal decline can happen for men during any point in their lives, and there are many factors that can contribute to reduced levels of hormone production. Stress plays the biggest role in premature male hormone decline, and many men experiencing long-term emotional, physical, or mental stress may have reduced hormone production. A poor diet is another factor that weighs on hormonal productivity, and a lack of nutrients, a diet high in fat, sugar, and bad carbohydrates can also cause hormonal fluctuations. For men, the most common cause for hormone decline is aging, and most men experience hormone imbalances during the mid to late forties and early fifties.
When hormone variations occur in men, it is usually because the testicles are producing less than adequate amounts of testosterone, which is known to be the primary male sex hormone. Testosterone begins to decline in men during the 30’s, and after this time men lose around 10% of their testosterone each decade. When a steep decline in hormone production occurs during middle age, it begins the phase known as andropause, which has also been referred to as a man’s mid-life crisis. Andropause and low T can cause men to experience a series of unwanted symptoms, which can include:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Low libido
- Hair loss on the scalp, under the arms, or on the groin
- Mood swings
- Muscle atrophy
- Reduced workout performances
- Lack of motivation
- Increased blood pressure.
Important Male Hormones
While men are going through andropause, several hormones can fall out of balance, which can include testosterone, DHEA, cortisol, and melatonin. These hormones all maintain important functions in the male body, and when they are not in harmony, men may notice several symptoms.
- Testosterone is one of the most important male hormones, and it helps men to build muscle, maintain workout performances, and increase their stamina. It also helps men to have healthy sexual functions and libido. When testosterone is deficient, men can suffer from fatigue, low libido, muscle atrophy, erectile dysfunction, and a lack of motivation.
DHEA is a building block for testosterone, and during a man’s 20’s, he has an abundant supply of this important hormone. DHEA helps men to lower cholesterol, reduce fat stores, decrease triglycerides, and regulate blood sugar. Some of the metabolic issues men may face during andropause, such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides can be due to a lack of DHEA.
- Cortisol tends to increase as men age, which is not a positive factor for male health. Excessive cortisol can actually suppress the production of testosterone, and cortisol is released during physical or mental stress. When this occurs, the body may convert testosterone into cortisol in order to counteract the inflammation caused from stress, and men may experience decreased immunity, an inability to tolerate stress, increased joint pain, and poor moods.
- Melatonin is another necessary hormone that can decrease with aging and stress. The gastrointestinal tract, pineal gland, and parts of the eye produce melatonin, and it is used to set the body’s cycles, such as sleeping and waking cycles. Other functions include decreasing cortisol, enhancing sleep quality, and working as an anti-oxidant. Lower amounts of melatonin can increase the risk for cancer, sleeping disorders, and elevate levels of cortisol.
Charlotte Testosterone Replacement Doctor, Scott Shapiro, M.D. can help men to overcome the challenges associated with andropause or low T and it can supplement other existing hormonal deficiencies. Balanced hormones can reduce the risk for age related disease and increase levels of longevity and vitality, and many men have been able to experience optimal levels of health with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. Dr. Scott Shapiro treats men in the Charlotte, Indian Trail, Matthews, Monroe, Mint Hill, Concord, North Carolina areas.