Dr. Steve Jepson explains.
When we think of hormone replacement therapy, we usually think about menopausal women. But men go through their own “menopause” too. It’s called andropause. The symptoms of andropause are usually a little more subtle in men compared to the extreme hot flashes and mood changes that women can experience during menopause, so it often goes undiagnosed. But andropause is a very common problem with undesirable symptoms and significant long-term consequences. Fortunately it’s an easy problem to identify and treat.
Menopause occurs when a women stops producing the major female hormone – estrogen. Andropause occurs when a man stops producing the major male hormone – testosterone. Testosterone production can start to significantly decrease as early as age 40 in men. Common symptoms include fatigue, irritability, low mood, foggy thinking, insomnia, decreased muscle mass, abdominal weight gain, decreased libido, and decreased sexual function. These symptoms are often blamed on stress or on “getting older”. But in fact, these symptoms are often due to the decreasing hormone levels of andropause. And importantly, these dropping testosterone levels can also significantly increase a man’s risk for heart disease , osteoporosis, depression, and diabetes.
Andropause is easily identified by testing hormone levels. I prefer saliva hormone testing in both women and men due to its superior accuracy. Blood testing for testosterone in men will often miss the diagnosis in all but severe hormone deficiency.
Once identified, andropause is easy to correct with prescription testosterone. In years past, andropausal men would get a testosterone shot every few weeks. Now the most popular form of replacement is with a daily cream or gel which is applied onto and absorbed into the skin. Testosterone creams can be compounded at local compounding pharmacies such as Jolley’s or The Medicine Center, and are much less expensive than the commercially available testosterone gels.
By correcting abnormally low testosterone levels, affected men can expect more energy, better mood, clearer thinking, better sleep, improved exercise tolerance, and increased libido, as well as decreased risk for some of the more common chronic illnesses of middle age.
We help both men and women with natural hormone balancing at my office. Please call 801-281-0022 for more information or to schedule an appointment. More information can also be found on my clinic’s website.
Steven Jepson M.D.
154 E. Myrtle Ave (5065 S) #102 – just off I-15 in Murray