Low Testosterone and Andropause Treatment in Cleveland
Hormone Replacement Therapy for Men
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for men is generally used to supplement testosterone. As males age, androgen production slows down and testosterone levels start to decline.
Many in the medical community refer to the phenomena of low androgen levels in men as low t (low testosterone). Men who believe they have low testosterone levels should consult a physician and schedule and check-up. There could be serious medical conditions associated with symptoms that can be corrected with proper medical treatment. If men are suffering from low levels of testosterone not due to medical issues, then testosterone replacement therapy may be the answer.
Why is it Important to Consult a Doctor About Andropause?
Many of the problems associated with andropause, if left unchecked, can lead to serious chronic illnesses, such as, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart and cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, it may not be safe to use products not regulated by the FDA or without the care of a physician, for instance, products sold without a prescription or online.
If you are dealing with symptoms of andropause, it is best to see a physician, preferably one that is familiar with hormones, hormonal levels in men, as well as, the benefits and costs associated with hormone replacement, like endocrinologists, andrologists, and urologists (i.e., doctors who specialize in the urinary tract).
What are the Symptoms of Andropause?
- Loss of Strength
Many men experiencing andropause notice a steep decrease in strength that is likely due to muscle loss, which is also commonly associated with andropause or low testosterone levels. Testosterone binds to the cells of the muscles stimulating them to contract and grow. When testosterone levels are low, there is not enough of the hormone to bind to these cells.
Another common symptom of andropause is increased fatigue. Men complain about a persistent feeling being tired and a lack of energy and motivation. Low DHEA levels in addition to low testosterone and high cortisol levels can lead to many health problems, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
- Hot Flashes
Similar to women experiencing menopause, symptoms of andropause include hot flashes. A number of conditions cause hot flashes, including hyperthyroidism (an over-active thyroid), low blood pressure, and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Also, men who have had their prostate removed or some disease associated with the prostate can experience hot flashes as a result of the decreased testosterone levels.
- Night Sweats
Night sweats in men can be a signal of hormonal imbalance. It’s generally believed that the hypothalamus receives false signals that the body is overheating and begins to release the excess heat. Since the body is not overheating, night sweats or hot flashes can occur. This is brought on by an imbalance of low testosterone levels and high cortisol levels. HRT can restore hormone levels, thus, relieving these symptoms.
Not just associated with men that are obese, male breasts are common among men with high estrogen levels and low testosterone levels. As men age, testosterone levels drop while estrogen levels increase, in conjunction with men also putting on weight. The combination of these factors is thought to be the primary cause of gynecomastia in men that have not experienced it previously. Many men unnecessarily opt to have surgery, when the less drastic option of hormone replacement could correct this problem.
- Erectile Dysfunction
Chronic illnesses like high blood pressure, liver and kidney disease are illnesses that cause high levels of estrogen, leading to erectile dysfunction. Testosterone levels help achieve and maintain an erection and when levels are low, erectile dysfunction may be the result. Testosterone levels can be low due to an increase in the stress hormone cortisol, therefore increasing the risk of erectile dysfunction. HRT can help cease these experiences by balancing hormone levels attributed to the problem.
Depression is commonly caused by deficient testosterone levels. Men with low levels of this testosterone are 400% more likely to be diagnosed with depression. Low thyroid levels or hypothyroidism may also contribute to depression. This is due to the low levels of the thyroid hormone T3 that decreases serotonin (i.e., the happy hormone), an essential neurotransmitter for moods and behavior.
- Irritability and Anxiety
Irritability and anxiety are generally thought to be the result of high cortisol levels and low levels of testosterone, though high estrogen levels can also be the cause. High cortisol levels diminish the amount of free testosterone in the blood stream, leading to increased estrogen levels and irritability in men. Men who are irritable or anxious may appear angry, tense, frustrated, sad, demanding, hostile, impatient, defensive and antagonizing. Because these emotions or feelings are often seen as “women’s problems”, men tend to not seek help for problems that, many times, are easily corrected.
- BPH or Urinary Problems
Most often suffered by men over 60, BPH or benign prostatic hyperplasia is an enlargement of the prostate gland. The swelling of the prostate puts pressure on the urethra making urination difficult. The prostate gland is regulated by estrogen, testosterone and DHT (i.e., dihydrotestosterone) a derivative of testosterone, and when these levels are imbalanced, it causes many organs, like the prostate, to malfunction. Unresolved problems like BPH can become chronic illnesses without proper medical treatment. Having hormone levels checked and balanced can drastically reduce or cease BPH and other issues associated with high or low hormone levels.
- Memory Loss and Decline in Cognitive Functioning
Memory loss and reduced cognition are part of growing older, especially for those over 60. But in recent years, there has been more documentation of men as young as 35 complaining about memory loss and decreased cognitive functioning. For the latter, hormone deficiency may be the culprit. Testosterone helps regulate the release of cortisol, which impacts the release of neurotransmitters, and when testosterone levels are low, cortisol is not regulated and increases, causing neurotransmitters to malfunction and which results in memory loss and a decrease in cognitive abilities. Hormone replacement can restore memory and cognitive abilities for many men that erroneously think they are just getting old.
- Hair Loss
Hair loss can have many causes. These include genetics, stress (excess cortisol), thyroid disease and hormonal imbalance. The hormonal imbalance is due to the relationship between testosterone and DHT. DHT causes the hair growth period to shorten and the resting period to lengthen, resulting in shorter hair in some areas. DHT is made from testosterone, so if testosterone levels are high, DHT levels are high, which may result in hair loss.
If you are suffering from any of the above conditions, don’t wait any longer to find help. Contact one of our Cleveland bioidentical hormone doctors for men and get back to feeling like yourself again. Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy can transform the way you look & feel—for good.
Contact a Cleveland, Akron, Canton Area Andropause Doctor and get back to feeling like yourself.