“Navigating Andropause: A Guide to Maintaining Health and Wellness”

Andropause

Andropause, also known as male menopause or “low T,” is a term used to describe men’s natural decline in testosterone levels as they age. This decline typically begins in the mid-30s and continues slowly but steadily throughout the rest of a man’s life. Andropause can cause various physical and psychological symptoms affecting a man’s quality of life. These symptoms may include fatigue, low libido, muscle weakness, weight gain, mood changes, and difficulty concentrating. In addition, as men age, the body produces less testosterone, and the amount of another hormone called sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), which draws usable testosterone from the blood, also starts to rise.

It is estimated that approximately 4 out of 10 men over the age of 45 experience andropause symptoms, which increase with age. But all is not lost. Bonatra Healthcare, with its tailored program, can help you overcome the issues with this condition. 

Common signs and symptoms of Andropause:

  • Fatigue:  Many men with andropause experience fatigue and a lack of energy.
  • Mood Changes: Testosterone has a role in mood regulation. Low testosterone levels can cause mood changes, such as irritability and difficulty concentrating. According to studies, older men with reduced testosterone levels may also experience depression. 
  • Low sex drive: Testosterone is essential for maintaining sexual drive and function. Therefore, libido loss may result from low amounts of this hormone. Additionally, with time, it may become more challenging to get an erection, raising the risk of erectile dysfunction.
  • Abdominal obesity: Fat deposition in the central and upper body is connected with aging in men, and this could be because the concentration of growth hormones decreases with age. These hormones are also vital in maintaining sex hormone—binding globulin (SHBG) and testosterone levels. As a result, a decrease in growth hormones raises SHBG levels. It produces testosterone shortage with age because testosterone delays fat accumulation in the abdominal region and a lack of the hormone causes belly fat accumulation.
  • Low Bone Density: A considerable decrease in testosterone levels in young males might hasten bone loss and osteoporosis. Normal testosterone levels are required in older men to maintain bone mineral density, particularly around the spine and hip region. As a result, low testosterone levels in older men may increase the risk of hip fracture due to low bone mineral density.
  • Insomnia: Testosterone also aids in the regulation of sleep patterns. When testosterone levels drop, it can cause sleep disturbances and insomnia. In addition, age can lead to irritation, daytime sleepiness, and difficulties falling asleep.
  • Muscle weakness: Low testosterone levels can lead to muscle weakness and a decrease in muscle mass.
  • Late-onset of hypogonadism:  Hypogonadism occurs when the body’s sex glands produce little or no hormones. Hypogonadism can infrequently appear later in life, especially in men with type 2 diabetes or obesity. However, this is a rare and distinct medical illness that is not a specific aspect of aging.
  • Osteoporosis: Low testosterone levels can cause a decrease in bone density, which can increase the risk of osteoporosis, a condition in which the bones become fragile.
  • Cardiovascular disease: Testosterone replacement therapy may increase the risk of heart attack or stroke, especially in men with a history of these conditions or who have high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

These symptoms can also affect a man’s relationships with his family and loved ones, as they may impact his energy levels, mood, and ability to participate in activities. Therefore, it is essential to communicate openly with your family about your symptoms and treatment and seek their support and understanding. 

Andropause vs Menopause:

Andropause and menopause are both natural processes that occur as people age. However, they are different in several key ways:

  • Gender: Andropause refers to the age-related decline in testosterone levels in men, while menopause refers to the end of menstrual periods in women.
  • Hormones: Andropause is associated with a decline in testosterone levels, while a decrease in estrogen and progesterone levels marks menopause.
  • Age of onset: Andropause typically occurs later in life than menopause, which typically occurs between the ages of 45 and 55.
  • Symptoms: The symptoms of andropause and menopause can be similar, but they can also be different. For example, common symptoms of andropause include a decrease in libido, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, and mood changes. In contrast, common symptoms of menopause include hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disturbances, and vaginal dryness.
  • Treatment: Treatment for andropause and menopause may vary, including lifestyle changes and medical interventions. Testosterone replacement therapy is a standard treatment for andropause, while hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a common treatment for menopause. However, both testosterone therapy and HRT can have potential risks and side effects, and men should decide to use them carefully with the guidance of a healthcare provider.
  • The duration: The body responds to decreased testosterone during the progressive period of male menopause. Menopause discomfort may persist for 15 to 20 years, according to some authorities. Nevertheless, many people contend that male menopause lasts the rest of one’s life if left untreated because testosterone levels gradually decrease over a person’s lifespan.

Causes of Andropause:

Several factors can contribute to andropause, including ageing, obesity, and certain medical conditions such as hypogonadism or pituitary gland disorders. In some cases, andropause may also be triggered by certain medications or treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

The issue can stem from any of the below-mentioned places: 

  • TesticlesHypogonadism can induce a decrease in androgens in men, and this occurs when the testicles do not produce as much testosterone as they should or are used to producing. This is also known as a gonad deficit. The less testosterone a man generates, the less fertile he becomes. This is because testosterone is essential for sperm count and motility. Hypogonadism and androgen decline can begin as early as 40 when levels start to fall for many men. Chronic disease, obesity, diabetes, and medication are among the factors that can influence a man’s androgen levels.
  • Pituitary GlandThe pituitary gland, sometimes known as the “master gland,” is positioned near the brain’s base and is roughly the size of a pea. The pituitary gland generates hormones and regulates the thyroid and adrenal glands. In addition, pituitary glands produce androgens, which can cause symptoms of andropause in men. If your pituitary gland is the source of your hormonal imbalance, the most likely cause is a pituitary tumour. Although these are typically noncancerous (benign), they begin to interfere with a person’s hormone production.
  • HypothalamusThe hypothalamus controls various processes, including releasing hormones by the pituitary gland. Tumours and genetic abnormalities such as Kallmann’s syndrome are two prevalent ailments that can damage the hypothalamus. These diseases can hinder the hypothalamus from communicating with the pituitary gland. As a result, the testicles will not produce testosterone unless they receive signals from the pituitary gland.

Who can help?

Andropause is a well-known term among healthcare professionals, but it may be less prominent among the general public. Some people may not be aware of andropause or may not realize that it can cause significant changes in a man’s physical and emotional well-being. It is essential for men experiencing andropause to seek medical attention.

If you are experiencing symptoms that may be related to andropause, it is essential to speak with a healthcare provider to determine the cause and appropriate treatment. A variety of healthcare professionals may be able to help with andropause, including:

  • General Physician: Your physician is an excellent place to start if you are experiencing symptoms that you believe may be related to andropause. They can perform a physical examination and order blood tests to measure your testosterone levels.
  • Endocrinologist: An endocrinologist is a doctor who specializes in the endocrine system, which includes the glands that produce hormones such as testosterone. They can diagnose and treat andropause and other hormonal imbalances.
  • Urologist: A urologist is a doctor who specializes in the urinary and reproductive systems. They can diagnose and treat andropause and other conditions that affect these systems.
  • Mental health professional: If you are experiencing mood changes or other psychological symptoms related to andropause, it may be helpful to speak with a mental health professional such as a psychologist or psychiatrist. They can help you manage these symptoms and address any underlying emotional issues.

Treatment Options:

Several treatment options can help alleviate symptoms and improve a man’s quality of life. These options may include testosterone replacement therapy, lifestyle changes such as exercise and weight loss, and counseling or therapy to address any psychological or emotional issues. With the proper treatment and support, men can manage their symptoms and continue living healthy and fulfilling lives.

Testosterone replacement therapy is the most common treatment for andropause, and it involves administering testosterone through injections, patches, gels, or pellets. This treatment can help to restore testosterone levels to normal and improve symptoms such as fatigue and low libido.  Like any medication, testosterone replacement therapy can cause side effects. The most common side effects of testosterone replacement therapy include the following:

  • Acne: Testosterone replacement therapy can cause acne, especially on the face, chest, and back.
  • Prostate problems: Testosterone replacement therapy may increase the risk of prostate problems, such as prostate cancer or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
  • Heart attack or stroke: Testosterone replacement therapy may increase the risk of heart attack or stroke, especially in men with a history of these conditions or who have high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
  • Sleep apnea: Testosterone replacement therapy may worsen sleep apnea, a condition in which a person’s breathing is disrupted during sleep.
  • Blood clotting problems: Testosterone replacement therapy may increase the risk of blood clotting problems, such as deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism.
  • Mood changes: Testosterone replacement therapy may cause mood changes, such as aggression or irritability.

Counseling or therapy can also be helpful for men experiencing andropause, as it can provide a space to address any psychological or emotional issues contributing to the symptoms. 

How do you control and reverse Andropause?

  • Exercise regularly: Regular physical activity can help to increase testosterone levels, improve muscle strength, and reduce the risk of obesity, which is a risk factor for andropause. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity, such as brisk walking or cycling, most days of the week.
  • Eat a healthy diet: A healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein can help to support testosterone production and maintain a healthy weight. Avoid processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive amounts of alcohol, which can negatively affect testosterone levels and overall health. Instead, consume a balanced diet full of vitamins and nutrients.
  • Get enough sleep: Sleep is essential for maintaining testosterone levels and overall health. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night and practice good sleep hygiene, such as establishing a consistent sleep schedule, avoiding screens before bedtime, and creating a relaxing bedtime routine.
  • Manage stress: Stress can negatively affect testosterone levels and overall health. Try to identify and address sources of stress in your life, and practice stress-reducing techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, or yoga.
  • Limit alcohol consumption: Excessive alcohol consumption can interfere with testosterone production and negatively affect overall health. Therefore, limit alcohol intake to no more than two drinks per day for men.

We at Bonatra work with you on each step of your journey to ensure 100% personalisation and support to drive adherence. 

Diagnosis

To diagnose andropause (male menopause), a healthcare provider will typically recommend a blood test to measure testosterone levels through a blood test called a total testosterone test. The test measures the amount of testosterone in the blood and can help determine whether a man has low testosterone levels, also known as “low T.”

In addition to a total testosterone test, a healthcare provider may also recommend other blood tests to help diagnose andropause, including:

Free testosterone test: This test measures the amount of testosterone in the blood that is not bound to proteins, which can help determine how much testosterone is available to the body.

Luteinizing hormone (LH) test: This test measures the level of LH, a hormone produced by the pituitary gland that stimulates testosterone production in the testicles.

Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) test: This test measures the level of FSH, a hormone produced by the pituitary gland that stimulates the production of sperm in the testicles.

Prolactin test: This test measures the level of prolactin, a hormone produced by the pituitary gland that plays a role in milk production and sexual function.

It is important to note that testosterone levels can vary throughout the day and can be affected by factors such as age, weight, and stress. Therefore, it is recommended to have testosterone levels checked more than once to get a more accurate assessment. A healthcare provider will interpret the results of these tests and determine the appropriate course of treatment. Book your appointment on Bonatra app to get tested at the lowest prices.

How does Bonatra’s program work? 

Bonatra combines the power of technology with medical & data science. Bonatra uses IoMT devices, including CGM, to analyze and understand one’s body and then prescribes the right treatment plan, including supplementation, diet, fitness, and stress relief plans. The AI-based app generates actionable insights which can be used to course correct the journey and achieve the reversal goal faster. 

Bonatra’s programs are led by a doctor, implemented with the app’s help, and supported by a health coach. As a result, Bonatra’s patrons enjoy the company of a supportive community. 

Where can I find more information?

Talk to Bonatra’s medical doctors, dietitians, and nutritionist, who understands your health issues. Bonatra can also tell you about any specialist services that can help with specific problems, such as diabetes, fatty liver, thyroid, PCOD, Hypertension, weight management or improving fitness.

Contact Bonatra or phone +91 8095023777

Disclaimer

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article.

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