The Andropause and Importance of Hormone Balance for Older Men

The Andropause and Importance of Hormone Balance for Older Men

How much do you know, or even appreciate about hormone balance in men? I anticipate it could be very low.

Much of the discussion regarding hormones relate to the menopause in women.

Yet, many people, men included would be hard pressed to even know that men also suffer from a similar issue.

Albeit men experience it on a much slower scale and over a much longer period of time.

LAST UPDATED: March 2019 by Ben 

Andropause

Men’s hormone levels start to deplete as early as their thirties.

This has been coined as the Andropause and is know being referred to as the male menopause.

This when the production of testosterone starts the slow and the amounts produced naturally become less.

As with women, this process is not replicated exactly the same from person to person.

Some men will notice more symptoms than others and this include a number of symptoms that are just associated with age.

Symptoms

In a way, it is the natural ageing process at work, but it can have some very negative effects which can be minimized if recognized and action sought.

These symptoms include:

– Weight gain
– Increased stress
– Irritability
– Mood swings
– Low libido
– Depression
– decreased muscle mass and strength
– Cholesterol level changes
– Decreased bone density
– Less energy

Many men will first notice a loss of energy.

They are more reluctant to participate in sports and exercise. In cases this may be brushed off as increased workloads, commitments and responsibilities.

This lack of energy then can trigger or be followed by a loss of enthusiasm. Competition in both work and play becomes less enticing or appealing.

This can also be reflected in a reduction of interest for sex.

IN addition to this, there are also many other hormone’s which will come in to play as well.

These will all make contributory factors which will have a negative impact.

For instance having a high level of estrogen will encourage fat mass increases, particularly around the chest and stomach areas.

Cortisol imbalances can cause insomnia, anxiety, sugar cravings, chronic fatigue and poor muscular recovery.

Metabolic syndrome will increase blood pressure and trigger diabetes.

Other hormone imbalances can lead to hair loss, acne, an excessive need to urinate, cognitive decline, symptoms of depression and prostate growth.

symptoms of low testosterone

Plan of Attack

As a result, it is important to ensure that our hormone levels are well balanced.

A good place to start is increasing testosterone as this then can help have a positive knock on effect.

High testosterone will lower estrogen. Low cortisol is associated with high testosterone and so forth.

What can we do?

We can use supplements to increase natural testosterone production.

Is it safe?

Yes. But read on.

There are differing types of testosterone supplementation…

There are hormones that are administered in to the blood stream and secondly, natural supplements that stimulate the body to produce more of its own testosterone.

Many testosterone replacement therapy products can have their (limited) risks. This is because they are adding synthetic hormones to your blood stream. [1] [2]

However, natural testosterone supplements that trigger more natural testosterone rather than add testosterone to the body are generally safe.

However, you have to ensure that the supplement you are using is from a reputable company.

Okay, what research is available?

Only a few years ago there was a study which included nearly 1500 men who were between the ages of 52 and 63.

The results showed that those who received the supplements to increase their testosterone levels to a point whereby they were at a normal level did not suffer from any adverse cardiovascular disease. [3]

No man suffered an increase in the likelihood of a stroke or death.

In fact, furthermore, these participants showed a decrease in any cardiovascular risk compared to men who had not received any treatment.

Later down the line, a follow up study was published in 2016 with some encouraging results.

The data demonstrated that almost 800 men above the age of 58 and below 79 who were suffering from coronary artery disease at a severe level saw improvements.

Those who were using treatments to increase testosterone levels saw much greater health improvements compared to those who didn’t use any for their follow up treatments.

The data also highlighted that those men who didn’t receive testosterone treatment were sadly up to 80% at more risk to suffer further problems. [4]

So what should we do?

We can all rely on a couple of things in life: Taxes and ageing.

It happens to us all regardless of wealth, position in life, gender or race.

Unfortunately with age comes the natural decline of testosterone and the imbalance of hormones. This is inevitable.

However, we can help control this decline of testosterone. There are tested products available to assist.

Yet, there are many other contributing factors which can have an effect too. Yes, supplements will help increase natural testosterone production.

Change your habits

But, it is also your lifestyle that matters, too.

A lifestyle that consists of a bad diet of processed foods that are high in sugar and salt will hamper and hinder testosterone secretion.

A man who is suffering from stress, who only takes few hours of sleep per night and leads a sedentary life while drinking lots of alcohol is more likely to gain weight.

Then, a result of that is a higher level of estrogen.

This will increase fat levels further especially around the hips and abdomen.

High levels of estrogen will increase fatigue, create mood swings, depression and studies have shown a link to prostate cancer growth.

Thus, increasing testosterone levels with supplements in combination with a healthy, active lifestyle can have an extremely positive effect.

What other things should we look out for?

When you recognize the symptoms of andropause you should first and foremost try to lose fat mass.

This is because fat cells harbor aromatase.

Aromatase is an enzyme which converts available testosterone in to estrogen. With that comes the negative effect of too much estrogen such as further weight gain and mood swings.

Obviously this conversion to estrogen then lowers the levels of testosterone.

Yet, it isn’t just fat which essentially takes away testosterone and lowers our level.

Everyday vices such as caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes and not leaving enough time to sleep adequately all have their part to play.

There are other things that we can start to implement as part of our daily lifestyle such as weight lifting which can help.

Weight training, and particularly hitting the big compound lifts such as the bench press and squat which use multiple joints are proven to boost natural testosterone levels.

This type of weight training will increase lean muscle mass while reducing fat mass. Weight training is also a great stress reducer.

As we have already mentioned, more stress results in lowering our testosterone levels.

Another benefit of high intensity weight training is that it will physically exhaust you while clearing your mind. This then helps you fall to sleep easier.

Further benefits of more sleep is that it can control hunger cravings. This will have an additional weight loss benefit.

Once you start to control your male sex hormone (testosterone) levels other hormones will fall in to place and the imbalance will reduce.

This will encourage improved health which will increase your quality of life and improve the ageing process for you.

Take Home Points

As all men age, they will suffer from a gradual reduction of testosterone.

This can have many negative effects on overall health.

A reduction in testosterone will also contribute to a hormone imbalance.

To fight against this imbalance we need to change our lifestyle and diet.

Start to include resistance exercise to your weekly habits.

Ditch processed, fatty and sugary foods that also contain high levels of salt.

De-stress and try to get more sleep.

You may also use a natural testosterone booster which includes nutrients which have evidence to prove they are safe and effective.


References

[1] The Rationale, Efficacy and Safety of Androgen Therapy in Older Men: Future Research and Current Practice Recommendations Peter Y. Liu, Ronald S. Swerdloff, Johannes D. Veldhuis. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 89, Issue 10, 1 October 2004, Pages 4789–4796, https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2004-0807

[2] https://www.health.harvard.edu/mens-health/is-testosterone-therapy-safe-take-a-breath-before-you-take-the-plunge

[3] https://www.health.harvard.edu/mens-health/a-new-look-at-testosterone-therapy

[4] Long‐term efficacy and safety of a permeation‐enhanced testosterone transdermal system in hypogonadal men Stefan Arver, Adrian S. Dobs, A. Wayne Meikle, Kim E. Caramelli, Lakshminaryan Rajaram, Steven W. Sanders, Norman A. Mazer. First published: 29 October 2003. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2265.1997.3071113.x

Summary
Importance of hormone balance for men
Article Name
Importance of hormone balance for men
Description
We look at the importance of a healthy hormone balance and how to combat andropause as we age.
Author

Ben [BA(Hons)]

Ben established this site to be a free resource in 2015. Since then it has gained over half a million visits. He has always been interested in sport and he started playing rugby at the age of 6 represented his town, county and school. Ben also enjoys cycling, has started skiing and is in the Army Reserve representing his Regiment as part of the 150 Regimental Shooting Team.

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