What is Male Hormone Imbalance or Andropause?
When a woman’s hormones begin declining and her menstrual period stops, we know that she is experiencing menopause. When a man’s testosterone levels begin to fall, he is going through the ‘male form of menopause’ which is referred to as andropause. Once a man reaches the age of 35, his testosterone production begins to slow: Typically, a man over the age of 35 loses from 1 to 5 percent of his production level each year. It is not uncommon for women to seek treatment for hormone imbalances and, even though men experience a more gradual loss of hormones (mostly testosterone), they are also finding relief from the symptoms associated with hormone imbalances through hormone therapy programs. At Florida Health & Wellness Institute, in Pensacola, Dr. Jorge Peláez treats men experiencing andropause with Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) and personalized treatment programs.
Causes of Male Hormone Imbalance
Declining testosterone levels are a natural part of the aging process; however, when the symptoms associated with andropause affect a man’s quality of life, he may want to consider seeking treatment. While predicting the timing and extent of a man’s propensity to experience andropause symptoms is difficult, understanding the causes, the symptoms and the treatments available may help a man continue leading a healthy, active life regardless of his age. Although testosterone levels begin to fall once a man reaches the age of 35, andropause is associated with men who are 40 to 55 years of age.
Other causes of low testosterone include:
- Radiation treatment or chemotherapy (to treat cancer)
- Infection, injury or loss of testicles
- Too much iron (Hemochromatosis)
- Klinefelter’s Syndrome (a genetic abnormality that causes an individual to have an extra X chromosome)
- Pituitary gland or hypothalamus dysfunction
- Chronic illness
- Inflammatory diseases
- Cirrhosis (liver)
- Chronic kidney failure
- Medication (especially corticosteroid drugs and the hormones that are used to treat prostate cancer)
- Obesity (especially when the weight is mostly abdominal)
Diagnosing Male Hormone Imbalance
Just like menopause, andropause has the ability to make daily life extremely difficult. Since people are living longer and remaining active, finding relief from hormonal imbalances is vital. To diagnose a male suspected of having a hormone imbalance, Dr. Jorge Peláez orders blood tests to check his testosterone level. He will also want to know about the patient’s medical history.
Symptoms of Male Hormone Imbalance
Andropause causes many of the same symptoms that women experience when they are going through menopause. The symptoms associated with andropause frequently prompt men to seek treatment.
The symptoms of male hormonal imbalance include:
- Chronic fatigue
- Decreased sexual performance/Erectile dysfunction
- Memory loss
- Difficulty sleeping/Insomnia
- Hot flashes
- Difficulty urinating
- Night sweats
- Decreased libido
- Hair loss
- Loss of strength or agility
- Changes in psychological disposition
- Weight gain
- Gynecomastia (an abnormal growth of the breasts)
- Workouts that are less productive/Loss of muscle mass
Left untreated, men whose testosterone levels have declined are at a higher risk for developing heart disease, diabetes, prostate cancer, arthritis, muscle loss, Alzheimer’s disease and osteoporosis as well as an increased risk of suffering a heart attack or a stroke.
The conventional treatment of Male Hormone Imbalance
Testosterone replacement therapy is very effective for men who are experiencing andropause. However, conventional treatments include using synthetic hormones to alleviate the symptoms associated with andropause. Treatment with bioidentical hormones is preferred over synthetic hormones because bioidentical hormones are identical to the hormones in the body: These hormones are derived from plants; whereas, synthetic hormones are created using inorganic chemical compounds.
Potential side effects of synthetic testosterone delivered via an extended-release patch include:
- Trouble breathing
- Swelling, pain or redness in the leg or the arm
- Gum/mouth irritation
- Lower back pain
- Pain in the side
These are just a few of the potential side effects linked to synthetic testosterone.
At Florida Health & Wellness Institute, we treat male (and female) hormone imbalances using Bioidentical Hormone Therapy. Dr. Jorge Peláez creates personalized treatment programs for each of his patients. Patients who seek treatment for hormonal imbalances receive BHRT hormones that are customized to meet his specific needs.
When Bioidentical Hormone Therapy is used to replace testosterone, it has been shown to:
- Improve physical, emotional and mental energy
- Increase sexual performance and libido
- Improve sleep patterns
- Lower the potential risk of heart disease
- Alleviate depression, fatigue, anxiety and irritability
- Improve mood/sense of well being
- Decrease fat mass
- Improve body mass and muscle performance
Dr. Peláez is dedicated to assisting his patients as they move toward optimal health and wellness. He accomplishes this by acknowledging that each of his patients is unique and, therefore, requires a treatment program designed around his or her particular needs. If you believe that you are experiencing symptoms related to a hormone imbalance, contact Florida Health & Wellness Institute today at 850-436-4444 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Peláez.