When we talk about aging in America we usually think about women going through their menopausal changes. Men generally think they are not going through the same changes as women, but this is not true. Recently, doctors have labeled a condition for male menopause called Andropause.
The Mayo Clinic did an extensive study on men between ages 30 and 80, and found that men at the age of 30 experience up to a 2 percent decrease in their testosterone level every year. As men continue to age and their testosterone levels continue to decline, some physiological changes start to happen. They start to have problems with sexual function, decrease in muscle mass-weakness, disappearance of facial and body hair, increase in body fat depression, osteoporosis and a decline in over all well-being.
Low levels of testosterone may also result from other conditions such as obesity or severe systemic illnesses, including malnutrition, AIDS, and hepatic cirrhosis. One of the most common contributions to low testosterone levels is aging.
Today, approximately 1 in 4 American men are facing Andropause symptoms and only 5 percent of them seek medical treatment. Men have a tendency to ignore the symptoms of Andropause, believing that the symptoms are a normal part of aging. However, living with these symptoms does not have to be a way of life.
Dr. Seibert can help with hormone replacement. The treatment of Andropause not only relieves symptoms, but also helps with the prevention of Osteoporosis and muscular protection. In mid-life, men normally experience less bone fractures than women of the same age, but by the age 80 occurrence of fractures and breaks are equal in both sexes.
The first step in evaluating patients for Andropause is with a questionnaire that will connect the symptoms of Andropause to the patient, this questionnaire is called ADAM- Androgen Deficiency in Aging Males. The questionnaire includes 10 questions such as:
- Do you have a decrease in sex drive?
- Are your erections less strong?
- Do you lack energy?
- Are you falling asleep after dinner?
- Has your work performance deteriorated?
If you fit the criteria for Andropause, a saliva or blood test will be done to determine if hormone levels are in normal ranges. If the lab tests reveal that hormones are deficient, we need to look at the whole individual. Dr. Seibert can help you with dietary and lifestyle changes. If Dr. Seibert feels that you need hormone replacement, there are different methods of receiving therapy. Oral tablets are available, but avoided because of their toxic side effects to the liver. Patches, topical gels and creams are also available and convenient; they are applied directly to the skin where it can be absorbed quickly. Testosterone injections can be given at our office on a weekly basis.