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Andropause/Male Menopause: What's in a Name?

The word Andropause is formed by combining two Greek words - andro meaning male and pauses meaning stop. Using the original meanings, we can define andropause as a condition that comes about when masculinity declines. This concept and its set of symptoms, which have been described by medical practitioners since the 1940s, are still controversial. Since it was first described in the medical literature, it has been called "male menopause." This misleading name has further clouded the scientific evidence pointing to its existence and the use of medical treatment to reduce its symptoms. Does andropause exist or not? Is there a difference between andropause and normal aging? If andropause exists, should men be treated for it?

Most people know that women experience menopause, but did you know that some men go through a kind of male menopause? For men who believe they are going through the proverbial midlife crisis, some doctors and researchers say you may actually be experiencing a form of male menopause called "andropause."? Shocking as it may be to some men, male menopause, or andropause, is becoming more widely recognized and accepted by physicians for the changes many middle-aged men experience — from energy loss to depression to loss of libido to sexual dysfunction. And some clinicians are recommending that certain men experiencing these symptoms, along with a host of others such as decreased bone density and weight gain, seek hormone replacement therapy and other treatments. "It's like puberty in reverse," Jed Diamond, a California psychotherapist and author of "Male Menopause" and the forthcoming book, "Surviving Male Menopause", says of andropause. Like puberty, the changes that andropause wreaks in aging men, Diamond says, are "hormonal, psychological, interpersonal, social, sexual and spiritual."

Andropause is characterized by a loss of testosterone — the hormone that makes men men. Most men see testosterone levels drop as they age. However, some men are impacted more than others are. Diamond says that as many as 25 million American males between ages 40 and 55 are experiencing some degree of male menopause today. "Male andropause can be very insidious," explains Dr. Stephen Sinatra, a Manchester, Conn., cardiologist board certified in anti-aging medicine. The loss of testosterone, which can happen to men as young as 35, is gradual, with testosterone levels dropping just 1 percent to 1.5 percent annually. Unlike the precipitous loss of estrogen that women hitting menopause face, the gradual loss of testosterone may take years to exact its mark on men with a host of symptoms not unlike changes menopausal women experience. Irritability, fatigue, depression, reduced libido and erection problems are hallmark signs of andropause. "I felt like I didn't want to move," says Cecil Dorsey of Vernon, Conn. The 68-year-old retired truck driver, who discovered via a blood test nearly four years ago that his testosterone levels dropped, said, "I just didn't want to be bothered by anything."

Male Menopause or Andropause?

This syndrome has been nicknamed ADAM, which stands for androgen deficiency of the aging male. It differs most markedly from female menopause in the speed with which the symptoms occur. In women, the menopause (which means the ceasing of menses or periods) is a universal and comparatively sudden change. In men, the change is much more gradual and difficult to pinpoint. This difference suggests that referring to the syndrome in men as "male menopause" is not accurate and we prefer the term andropause.

History of Andropause

Andropause was described as a syndrome by a variety of medical experts as early as the 1940s previously reported. In 1944, Heller and Myers. The results of a careful study reported in a 1944 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association described the use of testosterone injections to rapidly and thoroughly relieve the symptoms of andropause. A variety of articles followed the study and made a compelling case for diagnosing and treating these symptoms in aging males. Yet, for the last 60 years, conflicting theories about andropause (and the name male menopause), the lack of convenient treatments, and the discomfort men feel about discussing their symptoms have kept doctors from accepting the syndrome as a treatable condition.

The impact of low levels of testosterone has been identified symptoms of what they labeled the "male climacteric" including loss of libido and potency, nervousness, depression, impaired memory, the inability to concentrate, fatigue, insomnia, hot flushes, and sweating. Heller and Myers found that their subjects had lower than normal levels of testosterone, and that symptoms improved dramatically when patients were given replacement doses of testosterone.

Times change and people change. Baby-boomers are resisting the effects of aging as no age group ever has before. People are living longer and expect far more from the "golden" years than did their parents. Men are now freer to discuss their sexual performance problems with their doctors, wives and friends without fear of being ridiculed or ignored. New treatments introduced over the last few years have also made doctors more willing to bring up the subject of andropause and its symptoms with their patients.

Men "of a certain age" who are feeling less than their best should talk with their doctors about their symptoms. A complete medical examination that includes laboratory tests can help show whether testosterone supplements might help them feel better. If testosterone treatment is suggested, then we encourage men to try it for a period of a few months while keeping track of the changes they see and feel. If low testosterone is the cause of their symptoms, men will not have to wait long to see the effects of treatment.

Symptoms of Low Testosterone

Before addressing any of these controversies, it is helpful to understand what the signs and symptoms of andropause are:

    • Erectile dysfunction (problems with erections)
    • Decreased libido (low sex drive)
    • Mood disturbances, including depression, irritability and feeling tired
    • Loss of muscle size and strength
    • Osteoporosis (bone thinning)
    • Increased body fat
    • Difficulty with concentration and memory loss
    • Sleep difficulties

Symptoms of low testosterone affect many older men and the people who love them. This Center is about the symptoms of low testosterone, what may be the cause of low testosterone, especially as men age, and what you can do to increase testosterone levels. Andropause (male menopause) is not a new concept. What IS new is the amount of attention it's beginning to receive in the media. At Synergy Rejuvenation, we want to help you learn enough about andropause that you can discuss your concerns comfortably with a health care professional.

We will also help you decide whether your male menopause symptoms are simply a part of normal aging and whether they require treatment for low testosterone. We can help you understand your treatment options and how to make sure that you stay safe during testosterone replacement treatment.






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DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is an adrenal hormone that is the precursor for steroid hormones such as testosterone and estrogen. DHEA declines precipitously with advancing age in both men and women.

HGH - Human Growth Hormone
Human Growth Hormone is the largest protein produced by the pituitary gland made up of 191 amino acids. Proteins are made of building blocks known as amino acids. HGH is genetically engineered of the same 191 amino acids. It’s the same genetic engineering they use for insulin. They cloned the 191 amino acids and put them together in the same exact sequence of the DNA for that of HGH. It’s 100% identical, physically, chemically and biologically to the one made by the pituitary gland.
Learn more about "HGH - Human Growth Hormone"

The hormonal stimulus for sex drive in both men and women is testosterone, which declines with advancing age in both sexes. Testosterone also plays an important role in maintaining muscle mass and strength and bone density. The hormone is often administered to aging men and women as a topical cream, but oral testosterone supplements and injectable forms are also available. Learn more about "Testosterone"

Estrogen and Progesterone
The "female" steroid hormones estrogen and progesterone play important roles in maintaining bone density and strength, sexual function, mental function and, in women, in countering the effects of the menopause. Recent studies indicate that estrogen may be an effective treatment for age-associated memory problems.* Both estrogen and progesterone are available in a variety of forms -- natural or synthetic, oral or topical. There is considerable interest in the use of plant-derived phytoestrogens, which have weak (but safe) estrogenic activity as a possible replacement for drug forms of estrogen. One product, Natural Estrogen, has been specially designed for this purpose.

Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland, which is located beneath the brain. Melatonin is a highly potent antioxidant, which has been described as the pacemaker of the aging clock in humans. It is released every night as part of our time-dependent biorhythms to help induce sleep and recuperation from fatigue. Published studies indicate the importance of maintaining youthful levels of melatonin to help protect against age-related degenerative diseases.

Pregnenolone is known as the "mother hormone" because it is the precursor of a number of hormones including DHEA, testosterone and estrogen. Studies have demonstrated that the neurosteroid Pregnenolone has a stimulatory effect on memory.



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