Men’s Health and Aging Male Syndrome
What is Aging Male Syndrome? This syndrome that occurs to men between the approximate ages of 35 and 65 is a collection of symptoms that occur due to a decline in production of testosterone in a man’s body. Low testosterone levels in males are often associated with symptoms of aging and are referred to as andropause or male menopause.
Testosterone is an important anabolic hormone in men, as it plays important roles in maintaining both physical and mental health. The decline of testosterone is normal in healthy males as they age. However, when hormone levels drop, some of the commonly exhibited symptoms include:
• Weight gain
• Difficulty sleeping
• Loss of sex drive/Erection problems
• Difficulties with memory/concentration
• Feeling irritable/angry/nervousness
• Loss of motivation
• Lower self-confidence
• Tiredness/Loss of energy
• Muscle loss/Bone density decreases
• Depression/Mood swings
• Increased urination
• Hair loss
As testosterone levels decrease, so does high density lipoproteins with an increase in triglycerides. The visceral fat cells are the most insulin resistant cells in the human body. They have excess hormone binding receptors for cortisol and androgens and decreased receptors for insulin. The cortisol and insulin levels rise while progesterone, growth hormone and testosterone decline. The visceral fat cell with its increased receptors, blood supply and innervations, begins to collect more fat in the form of triglycerides. If this is not interrupted with natural hormone balancing, it will lead to abdominal obesity, diabetes and high cholesterol, which is known as metabolic syndrome.
Lowered testosterone is associated with an increase in general inflammation and C Reactive Protein levels which is a red flag when it comes to assessing risk of cardiovascular events such as stroke or infarction.
One vital issue in regards to the overall health of men is the exposure to estrogens from numerous sources. They are found in food, hygiene products and even in the air (from chemical sprays). This exposure as well as other issues can lead to an increase in the conversion of androgens to estrogens. Aromatase, an enzyme found in the liver, is responsible for this conversion. The more this occurs, the lesser the amount of testosterone in the body. Estrogen dominance, then, can lead to multiple long-term and devastating health issues for men, such as enlarged prostate and prostate cancer.
The Allopathic method of testosterone replacement therapy has not been proven to be particularly effective. Some side effects may include:
– Elevated hemoglobin (above normal range)
– Bladder and urination problems
– Adverse liver changes
– Sleep apnea
– Breast tenderness and swelling
– Testicular atrophy
– Fluid retention
– Increased body hair
In addition, testosterone replacement therapy has been suggested as a potential factor involved with increased risk of prostate cancer.
What can you do?
A healthy diet, stress management and active lifestyle are of utmost importance, along with acupuncture and chiropractic adjustments which can have a dramatic effect on Aging Male Syndrome. Nutritional supplements can help to inhibit the activity of the aromatase enzyme.
Some nutritional tips include Boron, a trace mineral, with a role in cell membrane integrity, bone health, and proper brain function. Its’ benefits have anti-aging properties, prevents bone thinning, enhances testosterone levels, improves memory and eye-hand coordination and concentration, improves allergy symptoms and fungal infections as well as lowering blood lipid levels. Important sources include: apricots, apples, oranges, almonds, red grapes, pear, plum, prunes, kiwi, dates, vegetables, soybeans and nuts, chickpeas, hazelnuts, currants, peanut butter, red kidney beans, tomato, lentils, olive, onion, potato, wine and beer.
Researchers found: higher levels of Selenium reduce improper blood-sugar metabolism, consuming the most calcium, in food, lead to a 25% less likely death rate and those exposed to high levels of sunlight in their job are less likely to develop kidney cancer.
Other supplements may include: Arginine, Prostate support, Zinc, Co-Q-10, multi-mineral, Vitamin D, homeopathic and herbal remedies for male health, omega-3s and green tea.
Tests to consider:
Complete blood analysis should be monitored on a regular basis, including a PSA. Those experiencing symptoms like these above, would benefit from having testosterone levels tested (via blood test), and performed in the morning when the testes release more testosterone. Subsequent testing should be done at about the same time in the morning to ensure consistent results.
In addition, a Salivary Hormone Test is crucial to check to see if one’s hormones are balanced.
Why is Saliva testing truly superior to serum for accurately monitoring transdermal (topically applied) hormones?
Hormone levels in saliva accurately represent the amount of hormone delivered to receptors in the body, unlike serum which may not be delivered to the receptors, therefore, saliva is a reflection of the active hormone levels of the body.
The majority of hormones in the blood exist in 1 of 2 forms: free and biologically active (5%) or protein bound (95%). Saliva measures the free bio-available hormone levels in the body, while serum measures only the protein bound non-available hormone levels. Therefore, serum is a much less accurate measurement than that of saliva when assessing functional hormone levels.
A Comprehensive panel includes: 4 Cortisols, DHEA, Progesterone, Testosterone and Estrogen. With these levels, one can determine the most optimal prescription program.