When women go through menopause, Dr. Oz explains that, over a two-or three-year period, the ovaries stop making the hormones estrogen and testosterone. “That’s why, sometimes women put a little pooch on when they go through menopause,” he says. “If you don’t have testosterone, you can’t make muscle mass.”
Meanwhile, the same reduction of hormone production happens in men…just not in such a dramatically short amount of time. “You can’t tell that it’s happening sometimes,” Dr. Oz says. “But that exact same shift is occurring.”
Dr. Oz says this decrease in testosterone and growth hormones—particularly as a man enters middle age—can lead to decreased muscle mass and loss of vitality. “It’s absolutely an issue,” he says. “That’s why, for a lot of guys as you get older, we start checking hormone levels because they’re often treatable or even with lifestyle [changes] you can get back on the right course.”
Dr. Alicia Stanton, Chief Medical Officer of BodyLogicMD sheds some light on Andropause – The Male Menopause
Hormones decline in both men and women as they age. Human growth hormone, sometimes known as “The Master Hormone” declines about 14% per decade after it peaks around 20 years of age. By our 70’s, the level is significantly lower. This decrease brings about a slow decrease in testosterone levels in men as well. Some are calling this the “male menopause”. It is very different from the female menopause which occurs because the ovaries are depleted of their eggs. The maturation of ovarian follicles to eggs is what drives the cyclic female hormone production. When the eggs are no longer available, the production of hormones in a cyclic fashion ceases. Females do, however, continue to produce a low, constant level of hormones on their own.
Many things can accelerate the decline of hormone levels in both sexes. Stress levels, diet, nutrition and lifestyles all contribute to hormone imbalance. Currently, one of the main culprits is stress. This is true because the stress hormone, cortisol, is built with the same building blocks as our sex hormones, DHEA, testosterone and estrogen. The more stress we have, the more cortisol we demand and the fewer building blocks we have to make our sex hormones. So, we get less testosterone which causes a decrease in libido, fatigue, depression, inability to build muscle mass and increase in erectile dysfunction in men. This situation is further aggravated by poor diet, lack of exercise and lack of sleep because all of these things create more of a demand for cortisol. Many women start having perimenopause symptoms in their late 30’s due to this imbalance. Men may also see symptoms of low testosterone as early as their late 30’s too – especially with the high levels of stress we have today. The good news is that hormone levels can be checked and monitored and missing hormones can be replaced if necessary. However, it is not all about hormone replacement. It is about optimizing nutrition through a diet with lean proteins and complex carbohydrates as well as adequate vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids. It is also about limiting your exposure to stress and setting boundaries as well as getting appropriate rest and exercise. If the simple lifestyle steps are started early, it is possible to maintain hormone balance naturally throughout your life. If, on the other hand, you have many significant symptoms, discuss your situation with a physician who understands Functional Medicine and get your hormone levels tested.
Dr. Jennifer Landa of BodyLogicMD of Orlando applauds Dr. Oz
I applaud Dr. Oz’s answer on The Oprah show regarding andropause or as we like to call it Man-o-pause! For men Testosterone reaches a peak at around age 25-30 and then goes down at a rate of 1-2% per year which is why as Dr. Oz points out that the onset of symptoms is very slow and not very obvious to men. The changes with menopause tend to happen over a shorter period of time so women are more aware of the changes. Men may notice a lack of energy, declining memory, increased moodiness, a decrease in libido and/or erections and a loss in muscle tone, increase in fat and a loss of stamina. Levels of testosterone are easily checked in a blood test and can be corrected with testosterone therapy. In addtion to improving all of the above symptoms, replacing testosterone also decreases the risk of heart disease and alzheimer’s disease and can improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels among many other benefits. Many of the changes that men tend to chalk up to aging can be improved with testosterone therapy.