It is estimated that up to 5 million men in the United States are currently suffering from some form of low testosterone. These men will experience a decline in their sex drive, energy levels, and overall quality of life. In addition, they will develop symptoms of depression and anxiety – something that can adversely affect their relationships and their careers. Yet, only 10% of these men will actually seek treatment for this condition. They erroneously believe that it is a simple part of the aging process and that there is nothing they can do to change it.
Andropause, sometimes described as “male menopause,” is what is caused when testosterone levels decline over the male lifespan. Some men experience a more significant decrease than others – leading to debilitating symptoms and an increased risk for heart disease and chronic illness.
Treatment for Andropause
If you are suffering from Andropause, treatment options have never been better. Once your doctor determines that your testosterone levels are lower than normal, you and your health care physician will be able to develop and personalized and comprehensive treatment plan to help get your testosterone levels increased.
The most common treatment for men going through andropause is the replacement of testosterone in the blood. Supplemental testosterone can take many forms, including capsules, patches, gels, and injections.
Capsules taken twice daily after meals are one option for testosterone replacement. However, some men should not take testosterone capsules, such as those with deficient liver function or liver disease, excessive calcium in their blood, or severe heart or kidney disease.
Skin patches allow the absorption of testosterone through the skin. The patch maintains a slow consistent flow of hormones into the bloodstream. The patch is applied once daily to a dry area of skin on the thigh, abdomen, upper arm, or back.
Testosterone gel treatment is also applied topically, most commonly on the arm. Special care must be exercised to wash the gel from the hands following each application to prevent transfer of the gel to others through skin contact.
Testosterone injections involve injecting testosterone cypionate and testosterone enanthate into the muscle every two to four weeks. Due to more drastic changes in testosterone levels, mood swings can be a side effect of injection therapy. Testosterone injections are not for every man, however. Men with serious heart or kidney disease and those with excessive calcium in their blood should not take testosterone cypionate. Those with serious kidney disease should avoid testosterone enanthate.
Additionally, men with prostate or breast cancer should not take supplemental testosterone. Men with heart, kidney or liver disease, or those with an enlarged prostate should weigh the pros and cons of testosterone replacement. Also, men who take certain medications, such as blood thinners will need to consult their healthcare professional before starting treatment.
Testosterone therapy may not be the right alternative for every man. For those who do choose testosterone replacement therapy; however, the benefits can be substantial. A combination of your symptoms and the pattern of your daily testosterone level fluctuations will be considered when designing the optimal therapy solution for you.
Furthermore, making some changes in your daily lifestyle can help lessen the troublesome symptoms of andropause. Risk factors including high blood pressure, obesity, and smoking, will only worsen the symptoms of andropause. Increasing the amount of exercise you get, reducing stress, and getting proper nutrition will certainly enhance any therapy you choose and can help to improve your testosterone naturally.
Remember, the men who are best equipped to deal with andropause are those who are in their optimal mental and physical states.