Archive for the ‘andropause’ Category

Testosterone Deficiency: Male Menopause Which Is HARDly The Pause That Refreshes!

November 21, 2015

Everyone has heard about menopause for women.  This is due to a decrease in estrogen production from the ovaries.  Men also have a fall in their testosterone, the male hormone produced in the testicles, also decreases a small amount after age 30 but becomes symptomatic around age 50.  The problem affects millions of American men who have decreased sex drive, lethargy, loss of muscle mass, decrease in bone density, and even irritability\depression.  This blog will discuss the problem of male menopause or andropause.

Men losing testosterone is a steady decline, like a leak in a swimming pool you never refill. Over time, you empty out all your stores, creating a constellation of problems.

The constellation of problems compound each other, too. The apathy comes in part from the decline in hormones, which results in loss of lean muscle mass, depression, and forgetfulness. But it becomes a downward cycle, as the less lean muscle mass a person has, the faster he or she gains weight, which leads to more depression.

The seriousness of the problem of male depression tied to aging cannot be denied, as middle-aged and older men account for more than 20 percent of suicides, as compared to about 5 percent for women. Older white males represent 70 percent of suicides.  Before starting anti-depressants, doctors caring for older men with symptoms of depression should get a serum testosterone level and replace the hormone with testosterone replacement therapy before initiating anti-depressants.

Most of my physician referrals come from psychiatrists and neurologists, as men are seeing them because of depression and memory issues. Psychiatrists and neurologists know what a reduction in testosterone does to emotional well-being and brain function. These specialists want their patients to be tested for low testosterone before trying anti-depressants or other prescription therapies.

The reason more general physicians don’t think of, or want, to go the hormone testing route? Testosterone therapy got a bad rap a few years ago when there was a lot of misinformation with regard to testosterone being dangerous and possibly being linked to an increase in prostate cancer and heart disease.

There have been poorly designed studies, just as there were poorly designed studies with women’s hormone studies, such as the Women’s Health Initiative, indicating that it might be dangerous for women to take hormone replacement therapy. The result is that these defective studies resulted in a lot of men are not doing testosterone optimization correctly. There is a big difference between what is considered a normal level of hormones, which in America, is often abused to build super-normal muscle mass, and those levels at which men literally come back to life again.

Ideally men need to have their testosterone levels drawn in the morning when the testosterone levels are the highest. If the man has the symptoms described above and has a low testosterone level, they are candidates for hormone replacement therapy using injections of testosterone, topical gels containing testosterone, or testosterone pellets that are inserted under the skin every 4-6 months.

Many of these men come in saying they feel like half a man; well they are, because they are trying to live on half the amount of testosterone they had when they were younger. When they feel better, they make changes such as losing weight, or changing careers, because with the low level of testosterone, they didn’t care enough to do it before.

Bottom Line: If you don’t feel the same way about yourself or your partner, and you are in your 40s, 50s, or 60s, it may well be that one or both of you have hormonal issues. It makes sense to try and fix that with a brief history, physical exam and a testosterone blood test.

Advertisements

Testosterone Deficiency – Natural Solutions For Testosterone Replacement

July 19, 2015

Around age 50 women have a drop in their hormones and enter into menopause. At about the same age men start experiencing a decrease in testosterone occurs. This is the male hormone that is responsible for sex drive, muscle mass, bone strength, and even erections. This condition in men is referred to as andropause and it affects millions of American men.

Treatment options include testosterone replacement with injections, topical gels, or pellets inserted underneath the skin. For those who have only mild symptoms such as lethargy or decrease in libido and slight decrease in the blood testosterone level, may consider natural solutions to this common problem.

Onions
Okay, while onion breath may not be sexy, onions strengthens reproductive organs and increases testosterone, which boosts libido in both men and women.

Garlic
Garlic contains allicin, which builds heat in the body and may increase testosterone. It’s useful for sexual stamina, and body builders use it for muscle growth.

Cayenne Pepper
Just like cayenne’s spicy on your tongue, it also may help add spice to your sex life. Hot peppers contain capsaicin, which creates heat and improves circulation and blood flow for erections. The peppers have an immediate effect, so try eating them when you’re for sexual intimacy. And maybe save dessert for later!

Dates
Dates are rich in amino acids , which are known to increase sexual stamina, and they’re a popular aphrodisiac in North African and has been used for sexual purposes for centuries.

Figs
Like dates, figs are rich in amino acids, and are also said to be an aphrodisiac because of the sexual appearance and flavor. A fig’s scent and texture is very aromatic and sensual.

Goji Berries
Goji berries have long been used as a sexual tonic in Asian countries because they’re said to increase testosterone. You can sprinkle these berries on your cereal, salads, or just eating a handful.

Fatty Fish
Salmon, tuna, and mackerel are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which elevates dopamine, the same hormone released in the brain during an orgasm. These omega-3 fatty acids also elevates mood, and more relaxed people are in the mood for sex more often. Fatty fish also contains L-arginine, an amino acid used to treat problems with erections. Think of it like a natural Viagra.

Bottom Line: Although none of these natural remedies will cure testosterone deficiency but they may help slow the progression of testosterone deficiency. And as my wise Jewish would say, “They may not help, but they voidn’t hoit!”

Menopause or Andropause-Not the “Pause” That Refreshes Either Women or Men

July 19, 2015

Around age 50 women have a drop in their hormones and enter into menopause. At about the same age men start experiencing a decrease in testosterone occurs. This is the male hormone that is responsible for sex drive, muscle mass, bone strength, and even erections. This condition in men is referred to as andropause and it affects millions of American men.

The symptoms of andropause include hot flashes, fatigue, night sweats, mood swings; all the fun things that females going through menopause may endure. Men lose one percent testosterone for every year past 30 but usually don’t develop symptoms until age 50. As testosterone decreases, estrogen increases. Abdominal fat causes excess estrogen and low levels of testosterone may also lead to prostate problems. Ever wonder why suddenly you are gaining weight around the middle? It could be your hormone levels are unbalanced.

The diagnosis is easily made with a blood test to measure the testosterone level. Men more than 50 years of age should also have a digital rectal exam to check their prostate gland and a PSA test which is a screening test for prostate cancer. Treatment options include testosterone replacement therapy. This can be administered with self injections of testosterone, topical gels, or the insertion of testosterone pellets under the skin.

Bottom Line: Testosterone deficiency in middle age and older men affects millions of American men. The diagnosis is easily made and effective treatment is available. You don’t have to suffer this common condition. Help is available. See your doctor.

Aveed – New Long Acting Injection Treatment For Low Testosterone

June 13, 2014

Aveed – New Treatment For Low Testosterone

Many of you may have heard about a “new” long acting form of injectable testosterone that is available in the U.S.A. and the U.K. Known as Aveed in the U.S.A. Both Aveed and Nebido are oily injections that contain 1000mg of testosterone undecanoate. These pharmaceuticals are the first preparations that allow the individual to drastically reduce the number of injections to approximately four per year, once testosterone levels are stabilized.
Previously the only other option for long lasting testosterone delivery was the implant, otherwise known as “pellets”. This is a procedure where local anesthetic is generally applied to an area of skin, usually on the abdomen or buttock, where the pellets will be placed. A number of small “pellets” are then placed under the skin. These are expected to last four to six months. It has been estimated that approximately 2-3 percent of the pellets inserted force themselves to the surface of the skin.
Many of you, who are not using implants, are using the injectable forms of testosterone marketed as testosterone cypionate and testosterone enanthate. These are also both oily injections that are generally injected every ten days to three weeks depending on your current dosage and testosterone levels.
As with all medications however, there are side-effects. Many of you would be aware of the patient leaflet supplied with all vials of testosterone that indicate possible side-effects. Aveed is no different. These include diarrhea, leg pain, dizziness/headache, breathing problems, acne, itching, and breast-pain and enlargement. Some of the other effects known to occur in this preparation included weight gain, muscle cramps, nervousness, hostility, depression, sleep apnea, water retention, skin conditions and balding. A rare complication is a lung embolus of the oil causing shortness of breadth and chest pain. These symptoms are usually transient and dissipate after just a few minutes.
This, of course, does not mean that these symptoms will occur in all individuals who use the preparation. It is, however, always wise to weigh up the options available to you. It is most important to inform your doctor of any medical issues or concerns you may have so that the most suitable preparation can be chosen for you.

Testopel for Hormone\Testosterone Replacement Therapy In Men

March 4, 2014

Millions of American men suffer from low T or decreased testosterone levels. The symptoms include a decrease in libido or sex drive, lethargy, decrease muscle mass, decrease in bone density, and even depression.

Treatment options include injections of testosterone, which can be done at the doctor’s office or by the man in his own home, testosterone gels, which are applied every day to the skin, and testosterone pellets or Testopel. Testopel is the only FDA-approved testosterone treatment on market designed to continually deliver testosterone for 4 – 6 months.
The three treatment options include injections of testosterone every two to three weeks, topical gels, and injections of pellets or Testopel under the skin which will last for 4-6 months.
The pellets are inserted under the skin using a local anesthetic. The procedure takes approximately 10-15 minutes for the insertion process. The procedure requires the creation of a small opening in the buttocks area and using a special insertion device to insert from 9-12 pellets. The number of pellets is dependent upon the testosterone level.

Testopel is contraindicated in men with an elevated PSA or who have an abnormal digital rectal exam.

Men have to discontinue the use of any blood thinners such as aspirin, Plavix, Coumadin, and even fish oil prior to the insertion of the pellets.
There is a small possibility that the pellets may exit the insertion site and that the insertion site may become inflamed and require the use of antibiotics.
There may be a small amount of pain at the injection site which can usually be controlled with Advil or Tylenol. The pain can also be reduced by applying ice to the insertion site.
It is important to understand that men receiving Testopel will need to monitor their PSA, blood counts, testosterone levels, and possibly his liver functions on a regular basis.
Men with breast cancer should not use Testopel. In patients with breast cancer, Testopel may cause elevated calcium levels in the blood.

Men who have or might have prostate cancer or have had an adverse reaction should not use Testopel .

Men treated with Testopel may be at an increased risk for developing an enlarged prostate and prostatic cancer.

Swelling of the ankles, feet, or body with or without heart failure may be a serious problem in patients treated with Testopel who have heart, kidney, or liver disease. In addition to your doctor stopping treatment with Testopel, your doctor may need you to take a medicine known as a diuretic

It is also a possibility that gynecomastia (enlarged breasts in men) frequently develops and occasionally persists in patients being treated for hypogonadism

Because Testopel pellets are placed under the skin it is more difficult for your doctor to change the dosage compared to medicines taken by mouth or medicines injected into the muscle (intramuscular injection). Surgical removal may be required if treatment with Testopel needs to be stopped.

In addition, there are times when the Testopel pellets may come out of the skin

While taking Testopel, your doctor may periodically do tests to check for liver damage. Your doctor may also check for increased red blood cells if you are receiving high doses of Testopel

Side effects of Testopel include more erections than normal or erections that last a long time, nausea, vomiting, changes in skin color, ankle swelling, changes in body hair, male pattern baldness, acne, suppression of certain clotting factors, bleeding in patients on blood thinners, increase in libido, headache, anxiety, depression, inflammation and pain at the implantation site and rarely anaphylactoid reaction (a sudden onset of allergic reaction)

Bottom Line: Androgen or testosterone deficiency is a common problem in middle age and older men. Help is available and Testopel is one solution.

Loss of Libido-Finding It Without Medication

November 17, 2012

Many men are experiencing a decrease in their libido or sex drive. The symptoms consist of more than just a loss of libido. Men may also have decreased energy, falls asleep after the evening meal, and may loss muscle and bone mass. There some suggestions that men can follow to boost their testosterone level without the necessity of taking medications or testosterone replacement therapy.

10: Drink in Moderation
One alcoholic drink can lubricate a nervous first-date situation. By reducing anxiety and stress one drink can help get you in the mood for sex. But beware, alcohol is a depressant, too much booze and you can end up with quite the opposite problem.

9: Try Aphrodisiacs
There is no magic love potion but aphrodisiacs can be fun. Often they are foods that look sexually suggestive like asparagus. Others, like oysters, gain their love-inducing reputation by containing antioxidants and trace elements necessary for good sexual functioning. For example, oysters are packed with zinc, a mineral central to fertility and good prostate health.

8: Stop Smoking
It’s well known that smoking can have a terrible affect on blood flow to the sexual organs as it causes the blood vessels to narrow. It also saps your stamina and most people don’t like kissing an ashtray.

7: Keep Fit
Moderate regular exercise will help improve blood flow to the sexual organs. In addition, exercise helps you feel good about yourself. Anything that improves self-esteem will improve libido.

6: Lose Weight
Being overweight can affect not only your self-esteem and your feelings of sexuality but you’re likely to suffer from blood vessel disease which can reduce essential blood flow to the genitals.

5: Eat the Right Things
If your body becomes frail due to bad health, sex invariably suffers. Five to nine fruits and vegetables a day can provide the cornerstone to your health. The vitamins and antioxidants will help maintain good blood flow to the sex organs and prevent certain chronic diseases.

4: Massage
Massage techniques can do wonders for sexual arousal particularly if you’re stressed, worried or angry. Prepare the room with soft lighting and soothing music then start with a back massage.

3: Yohimbine
Long used in Africa as an aphrodisiac and often called natural Viagra, yohimbine is thought to improve male impotence although clinical trials have been disappointing. There is little evidence that it works for women.

2: Gingko Biloba
This herbal remedy made from the leaves of the gingko biloba tree, is known to improve blood flow to the brain and sexual organs. It is thought to have an enhancing effect upon desire, excitement and orgasm.

1: Feel Good About Yourself
Nothing reduces your interest in sex more than low self-esteem. Spoil yourself when you’re feeling down and take some time to relax or do an activity that makes you feel better within yourself.

Bottom Line: Loss of libido is just one aspect of erectile dysfunction. The diagnosis is easily made with a simple blood test to measure the serum testosterone level. If the above suggestions do not work, you may want to consider hormone replacement therapy with testosterone injections, topical gels, or the new pellets that can be inserted under the skin and provides a normal blood level for 4-6 months.

Want To Raise Your Testosterone? Lower Your Wasit Line!

November 13, 2012

Your Belly May Be Burying Your Sex Life

Your Belly May Be Burying Your Sex Life


Lifestyle modification such as weight loss may help increase your testosterone level by almost 50%. Overweight man with low testosterone levels may find that a weight loss program and exercise may be all that is necessary to raise the testosterone level to the normal range. Lifestyle modifications consisting of exercise for a total of 2 hours a week and eating less fat and fewer calories may be all that is necessary to raise the testosterone level. Another benefit of this program is that men who have early diabetes may be prevented from progressing to actual diabetes.

Bottom line: Low testosterone and the symptoms of loss of energy loss of bone mass loss of muscle mass and decreased libido can be significantly improved with lifestyle modifications including weight loss and exercise.

Male Hormone Deficiency-You Don’t Need To Wind Down When You Grow Older

November 13, 2012
Testosterone Deficiency

Don’t Wind Down With Hormone Deficiency

A decrease in the serum testosterone level may not be an inevitable part of aging but instead could be due to changes in smoking habits, body size, mental health status and chronic cardiovascular disease. And men who have declines in testosterone levels are more likely to be does to become obese, had stopped smoking, were depressed, or had persistent or new onset of heart disease.

It is also of interest that unmarried men had a significantly greater decline in testosterone levels compared to married man.

Bottom line: Testosterone deficiency can be a marker of underlying disease. Therefore, it is necessary if you are having the symptoms of low testosterone which include loss of energy, loss of muscle mass, and decreased libido, you should consider seeing your physician and being evaluated for these other comorbid conditions.

Safe Sex For Seniors

February 3, 2012

The days of the dirty old man are over. Let the truth be told; older men and women want to remain sexually active. Seniors have more open attitudes toward sexuality, better health among seniors, the option for Internet dating, and the availability of medications like Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis, many older adults are remaining sexually active. It is important to emphasize that seniors are also vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) just as younger adults. Therefore it is important that seniors make certain that they are practicing safe sex. This article will provide suggestions for safe sex for seniors.

Do your homework. Seniors need to know your partner’s sexual background before having sex. This includes oral sex, anal sex, as well as vaginal sex. All types of sexual intimacy can spread STDs. It is important for seniors to talk about their sexual histories, and tell one another whether they have recently been tested for STDs and share with each other the results of those tests. It is also important to ask if there has ever been a history of injecting illegal drugs. HIV/AIDS can also be spread via a shared hypodermic needles though the most common risk factor for older women is sex with an infected man.

Make sure you can pass this test! The best way to protect yourself and your partner is for both partners to get tested for HIV and other STDs before starting to have sex. If one of the partners has not been tested, then it is imperative that the tested partner encourage the other partner to obtain testing. Remember that STDs don’t always cause obvious symptoms such as a rash, discharge, fever, or urinary symptoms. Also, some symptoms of STDs or HIV, such as fatigue, can be mistaken for age-related health problems such as low testosterone levels in men.

Condoms count. I suggest that seniors use a condom as well as a lubricant every time you have sex until you are in a monogamous relationship and your know your partner’s sexual history and HIV status. Lubricants such as KY Jelly are important because they can lower the odds of getting a sore or a tiny cut on the penis or inside the vagina. These sores or cuts can significantly increase the risk of getting STDs.

Bring your doctor into the equation. Your doctor can offer additional advice about protecting yourself from STDs. He or she can also recommend treatments for common sexual problems such as vaginal dryness and erectile dysfunction (ED).

It is quote common for senior women to have vaginal dryness as a result of estrogen deficiency. Vaginal dryness results in discomfort when a woman engages in sexual intercourse and can make for an uncomfortable experience. Solutions range from over the counter moisturizers and lubricants or the use of supplemental estrogen prescribed by your doctor. Estrogen can be given by pills, topical vaginal creams and estrogen impregnated rings that are inserted into the vagina.

Though ED is more common with age, it isn’t an inevitable part of the aging process. ED is often due to an underlying medical condition such as heart disease, diabetes, or the side effects of medication. As a result there is a likelihood of nervousness with the onset of a new relationship. Since ED may be the first sign of an underlying medical condition, it’s particularly important to speak with your doctor if you are having difficulty obtaining or holding an erection adequate for sexual intimacy.

It is not uncommon for seniors to have lost a partner and to go without sexual intimacy for months or years after losing a spouse. Consequently, there is anxiety associated with embarking on a new sexual relationship. Occasionally, counseling is in order to help the seniors jump start their sex lives.

There are numerous medications for ED, which are not recommended for men who use any form of nitroglycerin. Other treatments for ED include testosterone replacement therapy for men who have symptoms of decreased libido, lethargy, and falling asleep after meals. Finally, there are operations which includes penile implants for men where oral medications are not effective.

Bottom Line: It is acceptable and even normal of seniors to engage in sexual intimacy. If a man and women are healthy, are free of STDs, and wish to be sexually intimate, they can plan to successfully engage in sexual intimacy. In 2012, no one needs to suffer the tragedy of the bedroom.

Testosterone Is For Women, Too!

August 23, 2011

If you are a middle aged woman who is post menopause, you may find that your sex drive or libido has decreased to the point of no interest in sexual intimacy. It doesn’t have to be this way.

When we think of testosterone we usually think of this hormone as only existing in men. However, testosterone is also produced by the female reproductive organs.
A special menopause supplement in the March 1999 issue of the “American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology” recommends the addition of androgen (testosterone) to estrogen for all women undergoing surgical menopause. The use of androgen therapy may also be beneficial to women who experience loss of libido and other symptoms of testosterone deficiency during natural menopause.

Medical science now knows that testosterone is produced naturally by the ovaries and smaller amounts by the adrenal glands. Testosterone is an important factor in women’s health before and after menopause. Testosterone provides several benefits to women:
• improves relief of vasomotor symptoms of menopause 

• increases energy levels

• enhances of feelings of well-being

• decreases breast tenderness

• improves sexual desire

• increases sexual sensitivity

• increases the frequency of coitus

• enhances orgasm

Androgen therapy has been around since 1936, however the myths often associated with testosterone therapy in women have placed fear in many women and resulted in few women considering this therapy. Rare, but possible side effects of testosterone therapy include hoarseness or other voice changes, development of facial hair, acne, and over-sexuality. These side effects rarely occur at the low doses most often in use today; when side effects do occur relief is usually achieved by reducing the dose of testosterone.

The Symptoms of Testosterone Deficiency?
• diminished sexual pleasure

• decreased sensitivity of breast and genital tissues

• decreased orgasmic response

• decreased libido

• low energy

• depression
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, talk with your doctor. Several forms of testosterone replacement are available including oral estrogen-androgen combinations such as Estratest, injections of testosterone, topical gels containing testosterone and, recently, there is an implantable forms of testosterone, Testopel.
Bottom Line: Testosterone is not just for men. If you are a woman and suffer from a significant decrease in your sex drive or libido, check with your doctor. You may be a candidate for testosterone replacement therapy.

This blog was excerpted from an article, Menopause and Testosterone, by Tracee Cornforth.
http://womenshealth.about.com/cs/menopaus1/a/menotestosteron.htm