Man-o-pause, Andropause, “low T”…whatever, is the relative deficiency of testosterone in men. The symptoms are many including energy, mood, weight gain, low sex drive, irritable (who wouldn’t be) as well as loss of muscle mass and increased fatigue. Historically all of these things were looked at like inevitabilities. Only in the past few years, lead in large part by non-medical advocates, has the reality of the importance of Low Testosterone become apparent. Imagine, for the past 50 years we have been telling diabetics that it’s just normal, so get used to it. Or women with low thyroid that it’s all in their head…wait, they have been told that and that is wrong too.
Regardless, low testosterone and its associated symptoms are practically epidemic. This is a public health issue. But public health is fueled in large part by big pharma and since there is no golden goose patent on treating men or women with low testosterone the studies are not funded, papers are not published and physicians are not typically educated on the importance of maintaining an appropriate balance of Testosterone. However, one exception does exist. The use of patented gels for the treatment of low testosterone. Gels, which are less than effective, messy and pose other issues for application, are found quickly on lead pages of internet searches because of agendas that have nothing to do with patient care.
It is difficult to convey to the lay public and medical professionals the critical nature of appropriate testosterone therapy without their having experience in patient encounters. This has never been more important than now as men seem to be becoming deficient at earlier ages than previously expected. Approximately 40% of men over 40 are suffering with low testosterone. The cause is unclear: whether it is due to epigenetics (the change in genetic expression related to exposure to environmental stimuli), heavy metals or run off from agricultural pesticides is important, but regardless of cause , the condition is characterized by a number of uncomfortable symptoms, including hot flashes in men, erectile dysfunction, low libido, irritability, muscle loss, and fatigue that are the result of low levels of testosterone. Symptoms include:
- Weight gain
- Muscle loss
- Low libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Hair loss
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Memory loss
- Low energy
At the 2015 American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists conference, a panel of experts released a position statement citing testosterone therapy as a low risk, high reward treatment option. At the conference, the panel reviewed the mounting clinical evidence showing that low testosterone levels play a role in common co-morbidities, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes, among men in all age groups and that testosterone therapy is a viable solution. These statements later received further backing when the results of large, long-term Veteran Affairs Database study that analyzed data collected on more than 83,000 male veterans with low testosterone levels was published. The findings, released in August 2015, showed that men who restored testosterone to normal levels with testosterone therapy were at a reduced risk of heart attack or stroke. In comparison, men who failed to receive treatment for low T experienced a 56 percent increase in all-cause mortality.
On the heels of the VA Database study, the results of a meta-analysis including more than 59 trials and 5,000 male subjects was published. The research uncovered the benefits of testosterone therapy for improving body composition and glucose metabolism in men with low testosterone, including notable beneficial effects in subjects suffering from obesity and metabolic disorders.
Treatment for Andropause (Man-o-pause) is Safe & Effective
Advances in science have yielded increased safety and efficacy in the treatment of low testosterone. We, as medical professionals, now have more accurate forms of testing and precise mechanisms for delivery of therapy.
Testosterone therapy is available in a variety of delivery methods including creams, gels, injections, and pellets. Pellet therapy has become the most sought-after delivery method of bioidentical testosterone replacement therapy, as it mimics the natural secretion process of endogenous testosterone. Testosterone pellet therapy delivers a steady dose of hormone over the course of three to four months, eliminating daily dosing hassles and reducing the risk of side effects.
The safety and effectiveness of any therapy is largely dependent on the care provided with the treatment plan. The lead researcher of the VA Database study pointed out, “Patients who failed to achieve the therapeutic range after testosterone replacement therapy did not see a reduction in [heart attack] or stroke and had significantly less benefit on mortality.“ A statement that underlines the importance of seeking expertise when considering testosterone therapy, including choosing expert practitioners that use sensitive lab testing and specialize in hormone therapy.