Approximately 20% of men between the ages of 60 and 80 suffer from a condition called andropause. Andropause is a basically a lack of usable testosterone that causes physical weakness, memory impairment, diminished cognitive function, reduced muscle and bone mass, fatigue, impaired hematopoiesis, oligospermia, diminished libido, impotence, depression, anxiety, irritability and insomnia.
The problem is usually caused by a reduction of free testosterone rather than total testosterone. Testosterone is present in the blood as bound or free. The free testosterone, only about 2% of the total testosterone, is the hormone that is available for the body to use while the bound testosterone is basically being held in reserve by the body. Total testosterone is the amount present including both the bound and the free testosterone.
Usually total testosterone doesn't decline until the age of 60 while the free testosterone begins to decline at a rate of 1% per year starting at the age of 40. While not every man will experience the ravages of the andropause symptoms, many will have detrimental effects causing a decline in quality of life as well as a reduction in the life span.
The reason for andropause is complex but one cause is an imbalance between estrogen/testosterone levels. The body converts testosterone to estrogen in a process called aromatization. As the body ages it often generates excess estrogen that causes symptoms like gynecomastia or male breast development and torso fat deposits.
Another of the causes for andropause is obesity. Obesity reduces testosterone levels by as much as 63% when compared to non-obese males. The problem is a viscous cycle that causes a reduction in testosterone levels that leads to decreased physical activity and weight gain that leads to further testosterone declines.
Typically a man with andropause will lose 12-20 pounds of muscle mass and 2 inches of height. The reduction of muscle mass causes a lowering of the basal caloric expenditure leading to an increased fat/muscle ratio. All these physical symptoms usually lead to depression, sexual dysfunction and weariness.
There is good news! The solution for andropause is often testosterone replacement. Testosterone replacement may be given in a variety of dosage forms such as orally. The problem with oral dosing is that natural testosterone is broke down by the first pass effect of the liver so very little testosterone actually gets into the body. Synthetic testosterones like methyltestosterone, Halotestin, Anadrol and Winstrol are methylated to prevent the liver from breaking them down but often cause liver damage and are usually unadvisable. We strongly advise the use of natural testosterone!
Injections into the muscle tissue are another option for testosterone replacement therapy. The disadvantages of receiving an injection with an inch and a half needle is obvious. Often the best solution is a topical transdermal testosterone gel that can be compounded by a compounding pharmacy.
Normal dosing with transdermal testosterone gel is 2-5% applied twice daily. For more information about andropause and hormone replacement options please call the compounding pharmacy of Soderlund "Village Drug" in Saint Peter Minnesota.
Something to Consider
Information provided regarding specific medications and compounds are for informational purposes only. The information is not to be used to diagnose or treat a specific disease. Only your physician is qualified to do that. We make no claims of safety or efficacy of any compounded prescription though we will be glad to share pertinent medical studies, published professional knowledge, journal articles and factual antidotal data with any prescriber or patient desiring more information.