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Treating the Symptoms of Andropause with Testosterone Supplementation
May 1 2012 -
By Dr. Erika Schwartz
As they get older, men just like women, experience a decline in their hormone levels. The symptoms may not be the same or as well recognized as menopause, but in the long-term, male menopause - also known as andropause - can be just as damaging and cause serious illnesses and frailty.
Over the past few years I have seen an increasing number of men in our age management clinic seeking help. I’ve become convinced that the time has come to take andropause or male menopause out of the closet.
What are the facts about Andropause?
Men usually start with a total testosterone level somewhere between 600 and 1000 mcg/dl (or higher) and a free testosterone level around 2 pg/mL. It is not common to measure men’s testosterone levels unless they are sick, so we don’t usually know where the levels are when men are young and healthy. Only when symptoms start to appear do we become aware that the level of these important hormones has decreased. In the case of andropause, these symptoms may include some or all of the following:
- Prostate swelling and prostatitis.
- Mood swings
- Loss of libido
- Weight gain
- Inability to build muscle the same way they did when they were young
- Frequent urination in the middle of the night
- Weak or split urinary stream
- Night sweats
The symptoms of andropause can seriously affect a man’s quality of life, harming his relationships and family life, his well-being, even his workplace performance. The refusal to take andropause and hormone deficiency seriously causes enormous suffering.
Is Testosterone Supplementation Safe?
During more than 16 years of working with hormones, I have seen thousands of male patients worried that taking testosterone supplementation may cause prostate cancer. This is incorrect and misleading. The entire story of the connection between testosterone and prostate cancer stems from one report in a medical journal in 1939 by a Dr. Huggins about a patient who had high testosterone and prostate cancer. No research ever supported the connection and millions of men have suffered since. It is a shame and it’s time to change by adding testosterone supplementation as a first line therapy for men in andropause with low testosterone and symptoms of its deficiency.
I’ve seen thousands of inspiring outcomes where men’s lives were improved, relationships were saved, and patients were literally transformed by the addition of testosterone safely and caringly by knowledgeable bioidentical hormone doctors.
The more male patients I treat and the more scientific literature on supplemental testosterone I read, the more convinced I am that men can really benefit from testosterone supplementation.
Among other results, testosterone supplementation often proves to be more successful than Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, and other drugs used for erectile dysfunction.
The First Steps Towards Facing Up to Andropause and Low Testosterone
The first step in dealing with the symptoms of andropause is finding a bioidentical hormone doctor who recognizes that andropause is a problem and one who has experience diagnosing and treating low testosterone. If you don’t know where to turn, try searching RestoreMD for a doctor in your area.
Once you have identified a doctor who you feel comfortable with, ask him or her to do the following:
- Have a blood test for PSA, testosterone, (Total/free), Estrogen, Progesterone, DHEA, TSH, T3, T4, LH, cortisol, prolactin.
- Start nutritional supplementation with an age specific supplement that includes lycopene, saw palmetto, omega 3 fish oils, vitamin C and B, folate and vitamin D3.
- Add micronized testosterone and progesterone in transdermal cream form. These safe-and-effective prescription medications are available from a compounding pharmacy with a doctor’s prescription.
- If that doesn’t prove to be enough to help your man increase his testosterone level, try HCG 250 u twice a week subcutaneous and /or testosterone enanthate or propionate 100 mg IM a week.
- Consider adding 7-Keto or DHEA for energy and weight management, and DIM and indole-3- carbinol to lower the estrogen and DHT, by products of aging testosterone metabolism.
About Dr. Erika Schwartz
Erika Schwartz M.D. is the Chief Medical Officer of RestoreMD, the author of four bestselling books, a noted lecturer and TV personality. She is one of the nation’s most widely recognized experts in the field ofbioidentical hormones and is currently part of the new LifechangersTeam appearing on EXTRA-TV. Dr. Schwartz is the founder and owner of the Age Management Institute, New York.