After the age of 30-35 males go through gradual decline in their ability to produce androgens-hormones that are dominant in males.  This decline in hormones, particularly testosterone is accountable for a number of signs and symptoms and even conditions men begin to experience after the age of roughly 35.  Some of these are obvious, like decrease in libido and muscle mass; others are less obvious, like depression, spells of mental fatigue, lack of motivation, and decrease in performance: sports, work, sexual.  Some of the signs of decreased androgen dominance are increase in cholesterol and triglycerides, decrease in good cholesterol levels, insulin resistance, elevated blood pressure, weight gain around the waist area, and increased distribution of fat around the hip and chest area.  There are multitudes of conditions that are linked to lowered levels of testosterone, such as cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.  Low testosterone levels were associated with a significant 88% increased risk for mortality compared with normal testosterone levels.

Testosterone levels decline with age as a natural part of aging, it is the abnormal decrease of testosterone and other androgenic hormones, beyond the age-related values, is the problem.

Most men experience the signs and symptoms of male andropause but do not associate them with the decrease in hormonal function, and rather end up on various medications, such as statins, antidepressants, and blood pressure medications.  Such approach not only covers up the underlying hormonal deficiencies, but medication is known to lower testosterone levels, further fueling the cycle.

Very often, low testosterone levels are also associated with elevation in estrogens.  Estrogens in male act as anti-androgens.  Testosterone is naturally converted to estrogen at higher rates if there is too much it, or of the enzyme aromatase that aids this conversion.  This enzyme is produced and stored in the fat tissue, so as the fat storage increases, so is the conversion of testosterone into estrogen.  Insulin resistance and increased cortisol levels in response to physical, chemical and psychological, stressors, also raise this enzyme.  High levels of estrogens in males have been implicated in the increased risk of prostate cancer.

Research demonstrates that the men with low testosterone concentrations, placed on testosterone supplementation, increase lean body mass, and decrease abdominal fat even without any changes to diet and exercise.  Thus, testosterone appears to have a tremendous influence on male metabolism. However, testosterone alone is not enough. If the conversion to estrogen not addressed, testosterone creams can only increase testosterone to estrogen conversion, rendering the therapy ineffective.

A lot can be done to prevent the drop in the androgens beyond the age related concentrations, thus improving many “age related” problems.  Increasing the levels of the precursor hormones, improving insulin resistance, lowering cortisol levels, and if necessary replacing testosterone, all must be considered.

Here at the Artupuncture Wellness Clinic we measure all necessary hormone levels, including estrogens, assess and evaluate all related conditions and take all the necessary steps to achieve the goal of improving the andropause in men.  We do not rely solely on the hormone supplementation, as it has its drawbacks.  At the Artupuncture Wellness Clinic we use the most conservative therapies in diet, nutrition, lifestyle changes and only if necessary, hormone replacement.

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