Because the symptoms can be ambiguous and vary so widely among individuals, andropause has been vastly underdiagnosed by many healthcare professionals. Men are sometimes reluctant to admit they are having issues, and physicians don’t always consider low testosterone as a viable reason. Some healthcare professionals assign the symptoms of low testosterone to other medical conditions, such as depression or natural aging, and merely encourage their patients to tolerate this unavoidable stage in their lives.
Myth: Low Testosterone is a Natural Part of Aging
While it is true that decreasing testosterone levels are a natural part of aging, some men experience drops in their testosterone levels much earlier in life than might typically be expected. For these men, an accurate diagnosis could be especially difficult to attain.
Fortunately, this paradigm has changed significantly. An increased interest among medical researchers in the male aging process, has led to advancements in testing methods and treatment opportunities. Some of those options include testosterone replacement therapy, such as Androgel or Testim.
Changes in hormones are a natural part of the aging process for both men and women. In men, this decrease in testosterone, or reduction in testosterone availability, is referred to by many healthcare professionals as andropause. And while this reduction in hormone levels is a natural part of the aging process, it is NOT something you have to learn to live with. With proper diagnosis, many men have discovered they can take a pro-active approach to feeling better and living longer.
As they age, both sexes experience an increase in the production of Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG), which is designed to bind with testosterone in men and estrogen in women. When this happens, the sex hormone becomes unavailable for use. Therefore, as more SHBG is produced, less free testosterone is available to the tissues of the male body.
Myth: Nothing Can be Done to Delay Onset of Andropause
In addition to natural aging, obesity contributes to increased levels of SHBG, causing overweight men to experience symptoms of andropause earlier and more dramatically. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help delay the onset of andropause and minimize the impact on a man’s overall well-being.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet and staying active are just two ways every man can make a positive impact on his health. Regular weight training that engages the larger muscles of the body, such as the legs, back, shoulders, and arms stimulate testosterone production, thus promoting increased muscle mass and muscle strength.
Getting adequate, restful sleep is important too. Peak production of testosterone occurs during sleep, therefore regular sleep deprivation can have a significant impact on testosterone levels.
Additionally, physical and mental stress deplete testosterone levels. Engaging in relaxation and stress-management skills can do much to mitigate your body’s response to testosterone loss.
Myth: There are Few Signs of Low Testosterone
There are numerous signs that you may be suffering from low testosterone – but these signs can be easily ignored or overlooked by healthcare professionals. Signs of low testosterone include:
- Mental Fatigue
- Lowered sex drive
- Decreased muscle strength
- Decreased bone density
Myth: There is No Treatment Once I get Andropause
To believe that there is nothing you can do to mitigate symptoms of andropause is to believe the greatest myth surrounding it. Yes, it is true that hormone levels drop as we age. And yes, it is true our bodies will undergo physiological changes because of it. However, there are numerous treatment options available to you if you suffer from low testosterone. You may benefit from balancing out your hormone levels through medically supervised hormone replacement therapy – and we can help.