Hormonal Health in Men
There are several problems, which affect men related to their hormone levels these include:
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Andropause (recent cover of TIME magazine with an article regarding this)
Let’s start with andropause. Andropause is really the male counterpart of menopause occurs in females. It is associated with steady decline in the levels of male hormones (testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone-DHEA, Estradiol/Estrone and Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). The decline in these hormones is largely age-related and it can begin in your 30’s. Unlike menopause and females however, males can still reproduce during andropause. It is estimated that testosterone may decline by 10% or more every decade after age 40. In fact, testosterone may be at the low end of normal in up to 50% of males between 50-70.
The signs and symptoms of andropause can be broken into three main areas of vigor, vitality, and vitality:
- Loss of libido
- Decline in sexual function and interest
- Erectile dysfunction
- Decrease in muscle strength
- Joint pains and muscle stiffness
- Increase in brain aging
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Altered behavior
- Difficulty concentrating
- Weight gain
There is also significant evidence that shows her as an increase risk of hypertension, atherosclerosis and bone problems as well. Male hormones often times help maintain levels of your cholesterol too.
After appropriate testing, which often times will include cortisol testing, Dr. Howard will work with you to determine the proper dosing of testosterone and other related hormones that you might need.
What form of testosterone does Dr. Howard give?
There are several forms of testosterone. These include:
- Oral form
Each one of these forms has its own benefits and its own downside. Which type is best for you will be determined after testing and in partnership with Dr. Howard. However, the oral form is the least used because your liver breaks it down before it can reach the areas that are needed. If one particular form that you are given is not satisfactory them Dr. Howard will work with you to determine which one is best for your situation. Note that hormone replacement therapy is not risk free. It can cause fluid retention, acne, oily skin, breast enlargement and stimulation of prostatic tissue in some men. That is the reason why your levels must be monitored on a regular basis.
This is a very common problem as men age and has many potential causes. One of the main causes is due to low testosterone. In addition, obesity and its complications of heart disease, diabetes and psychological factors play major roles as well. Your urologist will commonly work you up for medical causes. Testosterone replacement is one of the treatments but is not the only treatment. You must play an active role in your own health, especially if you are overweight or obese. Dr. Howard’s 12-week course can help set you on the path to health, which may improve symptoms of ED as well.