Menopause and Andropause
Menopause refers to that time in a woman’s life when menstruation ceases for 12 months. The ovaries decrease their output of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone and women begin to experience the effects of this decrease in hormones.
During menopause, hormone levels drop, which can trigger profound mental, emotional, and physical changes.
The symptoms of menopause include:
• Hot flashes, flushes, night sweats
• Mood swings, sudden tears
• Trouble sleeping through the night
• Loss of libido
• Dry vaginal wall
• Crashing fatigue
• Anxiety, feeling ill at ease
• Difficulty concentrating, disorientation
• Aching muscles and joints
• Headaches and migraines
• fluid retention
• Exacerbation of existing conditions
• Increase in allergies
• Weight gain
• Hair loss or thinning
• Increase in facial hair
In addition to decreased levels of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, many other hormones including thyroid hormone and human growth hormone taper off during menopause.
As hormones levels decrease, profound changes begin occurring with growth and metabolism that affect the breasts, vagina, bones, blood vessels, gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract, cardiovascular system, skin, brain, and energy levels.
Many women experience hot flashes, loss of libido, weight gain, insomnia, and emotional changes such as depression and anxiety. Some long-term risks of menopause include osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.
Medical research has proven that the majority of women’s disorders, including menopause, PMS, migraines, and depression can be treated with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.
For women the midst of menopause, BHRT -bioidentical estrogen, progesterone, thyroid and testosterone can bring a rebirth of energy, sexual desire, and the ability to have a healthy active life. Bioidentical hormones offer the same benefits of synthetic hormones, without many of the unwanted dangerous side effects.
Male Menopause / Andropause
Women aren’t the only ones who experience a hormonal imbalance as they age. Men also suffer from fluctuating hormone levels and testosterone deficiencies that lead to the physical and mental changes associated with aging, a condition called andropause or male menopause.
While men don’t experience hormone changes the same way women do—with sudden symptoms like hot flashes and drastic mood swings—they do experience symptoms that have a significant impact on vitality and virility.
The symptoms of andropause occur gradually, and are the direct result of an age-related decline in testosterone and progesterone, and an increase in estrogen production. Symptoms can be exacerbated by the decline in thyroid, growth hormone and DHEA that often accompany andropause.
• Body fat gain, particularly abdominal
• Loss of lean muscle tissue
• Hair loss
• Wrinkling and drying of skin
• Decreased libido
• Erectile dysfunction
• Hot flashes, blushing, sweating
• Aches and pains
• Poor sleep quality, insomnia
• Nervousness, anxiety, irritability
• Memory lapses
• Reduced exercise endurance
• Reduced motivation, apathy
Men often attribute these symptoms to stress at work or financial pressures at home, but andropause is a medical condition, and treatment with BHRT as part of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is available.
While changes to physical appearance can be dramatic, the most dangerous effect of increased estrogen is the amplified risk of enlarged prostate, heart attack or stroke.
It is important to check hormone levels and treat the symptoms when the appear, also to have routine physical exams.