Andropause and Metabolic
Declining testosterone levels are commonly
seen in men beginning in the fourth decade of life. Suboptimal or low testosterone levels in males are often
associated with symptoms of aging and are referred to as andropause or male menopause.
This is the equivalent of menopause in women when ovarian production of estrogens and progesterone begins to
Testosterone is an important anabolic
hormone in men, meaning it plays important roles in maintaining both physical and mental health.
It increases energy, prevents fatigue, helps maintain normal sex drive, increases strength of all structural
tissues such as skin/bone/muscle; including the heart and prevents depression and mental fatigue.
Testosterone deficiency is often
associated with symptoms such as night sweats, insulin resistance, erectile dysfunction, low sex drive,
decreased mental and physical ability, lower ambition, loss of muscle mass and weight gain in the waist.
The primary cause of this increase in
girth is visceral fat, not excessive subcutaneous fat (fat under the skin).
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
(resistance to insulin).
As a person ages hormone levels change in favor of insulin resistance.
The cortisol and insulin levels rise while
progesterone, growth hormone and testosterone decline. The visceral fat cell with its increased receptors, blood
supply and innervation begins to collect more fat in the form of triglycerides.
A vicious cycle is initiated, which if not interrupted with natural hormone
balancing will lead to abdominal obesity, diabetes and high cholesterol levels.
This phenomenon is known as metabolic syndrome.
Stress management, exercise, proper
nutrition, dietary supplements (particularly adequate zinc and selenium), and androgen replacement therapy
(controversial in prostate cancer) have all been shown to raise androgen levels in men and help counter
The “trick" is to know how much testosterone is required for each individual male.
This is where knowing the salivary
testosterone levels comes into play.
Initial salivary testing and following salivary monitoring are crucial for determining the most optimal
Prior to initiation of testosterone
therapy the PSA level needs to be within the expected range. There is no evidence that testosterone increases
the risk of prostate gland cancer; however, if cancer has already developed testosterone may accelerate its
The PSA test is a good guide as to
presence or absence of cancer and is a good indicator of inflammation within the prostate