Hormone therapy for men? That’s not something you often hear about. In women most everyone knows about their menopause. But most people don’t know that a large percentage of men also have the equivalent of menopause; it is called andropause (some people refer to it as Male Menopause or MANopause) and in many cases its symptoms can be as troubling and dramatic as those in women.
A dominating hormone in males is testosterone. It is associated with anything that makes a man a man. Starting with the actual gender and “man body parts”, through enlarged muscles and increased strength, deeper voice, to body hair, to their brain and mental functions (even the “conquer the world mental attitude”) it is all related to men’s testosterone; it truly is the ‘manly’ hormone.
With age the testosterone production levels decline causing a domino effect which affects entire endocrine system, in turn causing various symptoms to appear. The change usually occurs slowly so the issues can be missed or misdiagnosed.
Once the hormones stop being produced the decline is continual and steady. Men can suffer from symptoms like: fatigue, weight issues, loss of muscle, gaining fat, gynecomastia, diminished sex drive, irritability, erectile dysfunction, sleep issues, hot flashes, urinary issues, hair loss, brain function decline and memory loss.
Male hormones are generated in testes, two most important ones are testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). Both are created in Leydig cells which decrease in aging men. A rapid decline in quantity of Leydig cells will result in dramatic andropausal symptoms.
Affected men may have absolutely no idea the cause of their troubles is their hormones! Many of these symptoms can be very distressing so the man seeks treatment with medications but this is only a temporary fix, because the cause of the problems is not addressed. Men frequently blame their troubles and problems on aging and suffer with the symptoms, while the solution is at hand. Simple tests for hormone levels can show if their hormones are imbalanced and if they are, can be fixed!
Not many people understand andropause and its complications. Sufferers don’t take action to find help until something goes really wrong. One of the things people should realize is that the sooner they start with hormone therapy the better chance they have of success.
One of the recent programs developed with men in mind is BHRT, which stands for Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy. Bioidentical hormones are chemically identical to the ones present within the body, and they should be assimilated by organs in the same manner as their natural counterparts.
Treatment is quite easy but the most important thing is to precisely establish the correct dose of hormones, and that requires a qualified professional with experience on the subject. The doctor should know the latest guidelines, as new studies make more information available to allow better and better fine-tuning.
BHRT will treat hormonal imbalance in men who experience symptoms like:
These are just a few of most common symptoms; the full list can be very long and relate to virtually every part of a man’s body.
The physician sets the dose for each individual patient; every case is different and depends on many factors like present hormone levels, the patient’s medical history, the severity of symptoms, etc. If the dose consists of more than one hormone it might be compounded by specialist pharmacy, as such combinations may not be readily available.
The next phase of the treatment will be close monitoring of the effects of the treatment and any necessary dose adjustments. The results can vary from relieving the symptoms to actually reversing certain aging processes, so men can get back to enjoying normal, vibrant lives.
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