Salt Lake City Hormone Replacement Therapy for Men
Low Testosterone and Andropause
Andropause is the name given to lowered androgen levels (e.g., testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone, estrogen) or decreased androgen production in aging men. Androgens are hormones produced by the gonads (i.e., testes and ovaries) and is found in both men and women. The most known male androgen is testosterone and many people use the terms androgen and testosterone interchangeably. Lowered testosterone levels are thought to be the main catalyst for the onset of andropause and lower levels of testosterone in both aging men and women is well documented.
Andropause or low testosterone levels, is thought to affect between 2 and 5 million men in the U. S. and is usually experienced by men beginning in their 40’s. Low Testosterone symptoms include loss of body hair, decreased strength, erectile dysfunction, loss of some cognitive abilities, osteoporosis, thinning skin, impotence, gynecomastia (i.e., male breasts) and diabetes.
At What Age do Men’s Hormone Levels Start to Decline?
Changes or declines in men’s hormone levels generally begin around the age of 40, though some men may experience them earlier. Men are expected to lose 10% of their testosterone every decade or 1% a year, starting anytime between the ages of 40 and 55. Many physicians refer to this timeframe as the mid-life crisis phase, or a time when some men question the direction of their lives and the legacy they’re leaving behind. Some physicians assert that this period of crisis can be attributed to age-related medical, mental or emotional issues that inhibit the production of androgens like testosterone.
Why Should Men Consider HRT and What are the Benefits?
If men have low levels of testosterone, or any other important hormones that is or is not a result of medical issues, like chemotherapy, it’s important to seek help because many of the symptoms associated with low hormone levels can be rectified with the appropriate treatments. An appointment with a specialist in hormone replacement is recommended. The benefits of hormone replacement therapy for those that need it are abundant. Benefits of having hormone replacement therapy include:
- Increased Libido
- When levels of androgens are low, one of the first symptoms noticed and reported by men is decreased libido or sex drive. HRT can replenish testosterone levels, thereby, increasing sex drive through the utilization of this most prized male sex hormone.
- Improved Erectile Dysfunction
- The inability to achieve or sustain an erection affects about 18 million men in the United States. Causes of erectile dysfunction can be due to medications, chronic illnesses, smoking, alcoholism, decreased blood flow to the penis and decreased energy levels. It has also been shown that low androgen levels like testosterone can contribute this increasingly prevalent disorder. Studies have found that increasing testosterone levels can alleviate symptoms or cease them altogether.
- Increased Sense of Positive Well-Being
- One benefit of HRT often overlooked is an increase in the sense of positive well-being. When testosterone and other androgen levels drop, this can sometimes produce anxiety and depression in men and women. Androgen levels have been shown to affect how individuals feel about themselves, especially testosterone and cortisol levels in men. Experiencing symptoms like erectile dysfunction, decreased libido, and low energy levels can lead to diminished feelings of positive well-being. HRT can combat these symptoms and increase how people feel about themselves in the process.
- Less Fatigue
- Low levels of energy are a common among men with low testosterone levels. Testosterone is thought to give men their “edge” or the drive and determination needed to be productive on a daily basis. Numerous studies have reported that restoring levels of testosterone can increase men’s viability.
- Decreased Gynecomastia
- Gynecomastia or male breasts is another symptom of low testosterone levels, but also a symptom of elevated estrogen levels. When testosterone levels decrease, estrogen levels tend to increase and gynecomastia may result. Increasing the amount of free testosterone in the blood system can greatly decrease gynecomastia, while improving men’s overall health and overall life satisfaction.
- Osteoporosis and Muscle Loss
- Osteoporosis and muscle loss are commonly associated with hormonal imbalance, mainly high cortisol and estrogen level in combination with low testosterone. Balancing these hormones has been known to increase muscle mass and lead stronger bones, though results of the latter finding have been mixed.
- Improved Sleep Patterns
- A decrease in androgen levels of men can also increase problems associated with sleep, like sleep apnea, a condition where sleep is constantly interrupted due to starting and stopping breathing, leads to a decrease in REM during sleep. Originally thought to be a product of being overweight, a recent study found that sex hormone replacement reduced the severity of sleep apnea syndrome by 75% as measured by the sleep apnea index.
- Reduction in Metabolic Syndrome
- Low levels of testosterone are associated with metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors such as abnormal cholesterol and high blood pressure that increase risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes as well as other serious risks to health. In a recent study, those treated with testosterone saw a dramatic decrease of the indicators associated with metabolic syndrome. The results showed an overall decrease in bad cholesterol and triglycerides, but also an increase in good cholesterol and body mass index. This resulted in a decrease of two to three pants sizes, as well as, a decrease in waist size of three to four inches, without the aid of diet or exercise plan.
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