Manopause, mid-life crisis, grumpy old man syndrome—all terms tossed around these days, but what do they really mean?
LOW TESTOSTERONE (LOW T) can be a normal process of aging or may be caused by hypogonadism, a condition where the body is unable to produce optimal amounts of testosterone. Testosterone levels gradually decline as men age, but premature low testosterone levels can will effect the body prior to mid-life. Increasingly more men are experiencing symptoms and have lab values to support an earlier onset of andropause.
Low testosterone levels affect men in more ways than just their moods. Men with hormonal imbalances often notice body fat increasing with lean muscle mass decreasing. The more fat gained, the higher the likelihood that testosterone will decline and their estrogen (predominant female hormone) will increase. This can cause further changes in a man’s body composition. This increase in body fat percentage can create the perfect environment for developing metabolic syndrome, which dramatically increases a man’s risk for developing heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
COMMON SYMPTOMS OF LOW TESTOSTERONE ARE:
• Weight gain: frequently in hips, thighs, and breast tissue
• Abdominal fat (known as central adiposity)
• Decreased muscle strength and stamina
• Sore muscles and poor recovery from strenuous exercise
• Prostate problems
• Increased appetite/sugar cravings
• Low thyroid function
• High stress, feeling of burnout
• Lack of mental clarity
• Difficulty sleeping
• Low sexual desire
Testosterone replacement therapy can improve many of the symptoms men commonly experience. However, it is important to seek out a qualified medical professional with experience and training in proper treatment of low testosterone. He or she will perform a physical exam and order appropriate laboratory tests to determine if you are a good candidate for testosterone replacement therapy. Appropriate treatment of low T includes regular, periodic lab work to maintain optimal hormone levels during treatment.
After much debate, there is clear scientific proof that appropriate testosterone replacement therapy is not only safe but appears to protect men from many of chronic diseases. This scientific evidence should compel men suffering from any of the aforementioned symptoms to see qualified provider to determine if they are in optimal hormonal health.
Dr. John W. White, Jr. is a practicing physician dual board-certified in Family Medicine as well as Obesity Medicine. In addition, Dr. White completed fellowship training in Age Management Medicine. He serves as the medical director of The Transformation Doctor in Collierville. For a consultation call (901) 221-7212 or visit thetransformationdoctor.com