What is andropause all about? The term andropause does not refer to a disease, but rather to a group of physiological conditions or symptoms. This cascade event is either initiated by, promoted by, or influenced by a decline in overall available testosterone. While it is occasionally called male menopause, the ultimate impact on the male reproductive organs is far less drastic than what occurs in female menopause. This book talks about the ways you can “short-circuit” this natural process of aging and reclaim your manhood.
Surprisingly enough, andropause actually begins at, or just after, age thirty—when a man is at his peak muscle-building phase in life. At present, medical research has no viable explanation as to why testosterone suddenly begins to decline for most (but not all) men, after they reach the third decade in life. Once begun, the decline continues at a rate of about 10% for each additional decade lived. Theoretically, a person should be able to continue on a steady downward spiral until they reach an undetectable level of this hormone, but in reality, that very, very rarely happens. Instead, there appears to be a give and take physiological response to declining testosterone. As the body senses the decline in circulating, free testosterone levels, it sends out a stimulus to increase production in an attempt to compensate. At the same time another hormone, called the sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), begins to rise. SHBG pulls more and more unbound testosterone from the blood, further decreasing both existing and newer created testosterone, limiting biological availability. It has been estimated that as much as 30% of all men in their 50s are/will experience at least some symptoms of andropause caused by reduced testosterone levels. In contrast, some men live their entire lives and never experience any symptoms of andropause or decreased sexual performance. It is all strictly predetermined by genetics.
One of the first reasons for some of these symptoms is a lack of exercise. Testosterone has a very dynamic impact on muscle mass and skeletal protein synthesis. Believe it or not, something as simple as an exercise program or a resistance training program can provide a modest reversal of a low testosterone level. Why? Because strength training will increase your free testosterone level, muscle mass, and is involved in the release of IGF-1. The effects can be seen at any age but will be more dramatic for men in the forty to fifty age range. This should not be looked at as a ‘once in the gym and I am set for life’ scenario, instead, this must be viewed as a lifestyle change and a work in continuous progress.
Fortunately, there are many ways to modestly increase your levels of testosterone, the natural way. These methods don’t have side effects and will address many of the andropause issues that accompany low testosterone.