Are you experiencing fatigue, a change in attitude or mood? Do you have a loss of energy, sex drive or physical endurance? If you are nodding ‘Yes’ to one or several of these symptoms, and you are a male between the ages of 40 and 55, you may be experiencing a phenomenon caused by a drop in hormone levels called andropause.
How does Andropause affect the body?
Similar to females (ie. during menopause), there comes a point in the normal aging process where there is a natural decline in hormones. Andropause is specifically associated with a lowering of testosterone levels. The body is capable of adjusting to gradual declines of testosterone, but if the levels drop significantly and/or too rapidly, symptoms of andropause may arise.
Do you have symptoms of andropause? Take this quiz to find out!
1. Do you have a decrease in libido or sex drive?
2. Are you experiencing a lack of energy?
3. Do you have a decrease in strength or endurance?
4. Have you lost weight?
5. Have you noticed a decreased enjoyment of life?
6. Are you sad or grumpy?
7. Are your erections less strong?
8. Have you noticed a recent deterioration in your ability to play sports?
9. Are you falling asleep after dinner?
10. Has there been recent deterioration in your work performance?
If you answered ‘YES’ to question #1 or #7 or you answered ‘YES’ to 3 or more symptoms, you may have low testosterone.
Low testosterone is also correlated with low thyroid function, weak adrenals, and poor digestion, thereby creating many other symptoms. Long-term low testosterone levels have even greater detrimental impacts on the body – it increases one’s risk of chronic health concerns including heart disease, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and Type 2 diabetes.
Causes of Low Testosterone
Outside of the natural aging process, low testosterone can be influenced by many other causes. Factors that lower testosterone include:
– Toxicant and heavy metal exposure
– Poor diet and lifestyle
– Drug and alcohol intake
– Nutrient deficiencies
These factors are important to consider when making a thorough assessment of your symptoms. Using specialized testing and gathering a complete medical history, our Naturopathic Doctors are well-equipped to properly identify and assess all of these factors.
Although it may seem like a simple solution to supplement testosterone in someone who has low testosterone, hormone therapy comes with inherent risks, side effects and does not properly address the root cause. The best outcome of symptom relief and restoring balance can only be achieved when all factors are taken into consideration. Once your Doctor identifies the potential factors affecting your testosterone levels, the best course of action can be determined. This may include:
– Removing toxicant and heavy metal load from the body
– Individualizing dietary and lifestyle recommendations to support testosterone levels
– Implementing nutrient therapy and/or herbal remedies to balance hormones
– Referral to a specialist for further testing
Don’t let these symptoms affect your well-being and impact your enjoyment of life! You have options to not only make you feel better and stronger, but to change the course of your long-term health.
~ Dr. Patti
Kelly DM, Jones TH. Testosterone: a metabolic hormone in health and disease. J Endocrinol. 2013 Apr 29;217(3):R25-45. doi: 10.1530/JOE-12-0455. Print 2013 Jun.