As men age, they can experience a decline in their vitality and a range of changes in their bodies. Physical symptoms such as abdominal weight gain, decline in muscle mass, lowered libido, and decreased erectile function can occur when hormones such as testosterone decline. Referred to as andropause, this state of aging also is characterized by decreased energy, difficulty focusing, and a generalized irritability.
What is Andropause?
Andropause is another term for male menopause, or the time when testosterone production starts to decrease in men who are over 40. Certain health issues may cause men to experience premature andropause (occurring before age 40), such as hypertension, diabetes or genetic disorders associated with hypogonadism.
Young men who have not entered andropause can still have low testosterone levels and hormone imbalance. In general, there is a trend in declining testosterone levels in men under 40. A contributing factor to this decline is the environmental toxins that act as endocrine disruptors. These chemicals are called “xenoestrogens” which is a synthetic compound that mimics estrogen, resulting in a reduction in testosterone levels. Most men come in contact with over 20 xenoestrogens in the course of their typical day. Dr. Harden starts by increasing awareness about the role of chemical toxins on hormone disruption, provides specific detoxification programs to remove stored chemicals, and educates on future avoidance.
Symptoms of low testosterone may include:
- Sexual dysfunction (loss of interest in sex, problems attaining an erection)
- Lack of stamina and energy
- Premature hair loss
- Behavioral/psychological changes (especially depression)
- Memory and concentration issues
At OC Whole Family Wellness, Dr. Harden starts with a comprehensive hormonal evaluation including testosterone, DHEA-sulfate, thyroid, adrenal, Vitamin D and insulin levels. From there she offers men options to address any hormone imbalances, ranging from herbal therapies, homeopathic remedies to bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. This results in increased vitality, an enhanced sense of overall well-being, and a resolution of problematic symptoms.