Menopause in Men & Women?

Gentlemen, Before you move on because you feel this HORMONAL post is only problems we Women have, you might want to sit back, have a beer and read because there is term swirling around known as “Male Menopause or Andropause”.

Did you know that MEN & WOMEN have similar side effects from the decline of hormone levels in our bodies? Here’s just a few examples;

monochrome photo of couple holding hands

  • Weight gain                    
  • Fatigue
  • Decline or loss of libido
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Hair loss
  • Sleep disorders
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Type 11 Diabetes
  • and the list goes on……

It’s interesting to me that the decline of the testosterone hormone in men is not talked about as much as Menopause is for women and even that is mostly thought of just another “stage of life” we have to endure. I wonder why… Is this because “MEN & Women are at that Age”?

Men don’t go through a defined time-line like women do with Menopause, which is a process when hormone production comes to a complete stop. Men go through a SLOW decline of Testosterone Hormone levels with aging that The Mayo Clinic and WebMd suggest potentially begins in your 30’s.

Let’s review a few symptoms of Low Testosterone; decreased sex drive & fewer erections (probably be #1 concern on your list if YOU know it’s a possibility), weight gain, hair loss, hot flashes, fatigue, depression, sleep disturbances and the list goes on. I found a great article on this topic. Click here for a good read titled “Low Testosterone in Men”.

The good news is that this can possibly be addressed with supplements, diet, Testosterone Therapy, etc. but YOU HAVE TO GO TO THE DOCTOR.    

grayscale photo of man leaning on refrigeratorGuys, we women know you LOATHE going to the doctor even for a simple physical which is needed for preventative measures. Some of you LOATHE it so much that you. probably haven’t had a physical in years.

Meet my Husband, Rich, who turned 50 this year! His last physical was in 2015 at which time he was diagnosed with High Blood Pressure and given meds which he stopped at 30698304_10155228462247540_5659248131267624960_n the end of 2016. He hasn’t had another physical since. Hmmmm! I begged and pleaded with him for months to get a physical. (I think I cried and then yelled a few times too. That’s not hormones. That’s Love….) His answer ALWAYS…. Babe I’m fine! Finally, PROGRESS! He had a physical in August. Guess what? He still has high Blood Pressure. The Doc prescribed meds to address this, set an appointment for Rich to have “routine” blood work, and said I’ll see you in about 3 weeks. We received the results of his blood-work a few days later. Rich knows I’m a geek and love to read results so he brings them to me. His report had nicely highlighted in RED areas where his levels were high or lower than normal. After going through the report and comparing it to mine (yes, I’m a geek and like to read blood work results. Ha!), I asked Rich if the Doc had mentioned testing his Testosterone Levels. Rich’s response… “I dunno. Why?” Well, if your testosterone levels are low, this may be one of the culprits for your High Blood Pressure, Sleepless nights, Waking Up sweating in the middle of the night, etc. His response was OHHHHH! My hubby immediately goes to the patient portal on line and asks whether or not his hormone levels were checked. The doc said no but they can address this if needed.

Before I go on, I am Rich’s advocate now for any medical needs and appointments that he has. He knows that my sister and I went through 20 years of major illnesses with my Mom before she passed away at the age of 58. We learned to ask questions about everything from causes of conditions, tests, results, prescriptions, home care and so much more. I don’t just accept a doctor’s course of care without educating myself. Some doctors have been patient with me and some not so much. Nonetheless,
YOU need an advocate if you’re not comfortable questioning your doctors protocols.
YOU DEFINITELY need an ADVOCATE if you’re going through a Health Crisis.

Rich had a his follow up appointment this past week. I asked at the end of the appointment, because the Doctor had not brought up Rich’s request through the patient portal, when he was going to do more blood work and include a Testosterone check. Mr. Doctor’s response was “I don’t usually run a test for Testosterone unless you tell me you’re having a problem”. He then asked “WHY we wanted Testosterone Levels to be included in the blood work?” Rich looks at me to answer so I happily did with a question-like response…. “lower testosterone levels can affect Blood Pressure, Energy Levels, Physical Changes (hot flashes, weight gain, Sleep Patterns…)” For a moment, I received a blank stare from Mr. 30-something Doogie Howser. He then said, in a what I felt was a condescending tone, “we have more pressing issues to address right now but will run a follow up test in a couple of weeks along with rechecking his sodium levels which was an issue”. Well thank goodness I asked about the Testosterone test because he may not have suggested a recheck of his Sodium Levels which if abnormally low cause a whole slew of problems.
I then envisioned me leaping on top of Doogie Howser’s head while choking him and Rich laughing his ass off as he dragged me out of the doctor’s office. The rest of the visit was a blur.

You love your CAR! Right? I’m pretty sure you will not miss a carhug
“maintenance check”  for that sweet car and definitely don’t
let too many days go by without giving your ride some extra
TLC especially if it gets a little dirty.
Why not take care of YOU like that??

flat screen televisionWhat about that big screen TV and Audio System you are so a crazy about? The world would literally come to an end if it stopped working while you are watching your favorite team on the big screen. I bet you took special care to have it installed and learned all of the things you need to do to troubleshoot problems and maintain it but won’t do that for YOU.

What the Hell? Take care of Your “SELF” too. You’re much more important to those of us who love you than any nice material thing.

A couple of my male friends told me that they had to ask the doctor to include testosterone levels as part of the blood work done during their annual physical. Why is that? Isn’t the premise behind annual physicals to ensure that we’re healthy and provide a preventative measure to detect potential physical issues that are lurking around? Why wouldn’t a doctor include a COMPREHENSIVE check of EVERYTHING during a physical.  WHY? WHY? WHY? Sadly, most annual physicals involve the physician ordering only routine blood tests. (That’s if blood tests are ordered at all. More often than not, routine blood work does not test for silent warning signals for serious diseases).

Blood tests have benefits that go far beyond disease prevention. Monitoring levels of our hormones is just an example. If you had information about your levels, you’d be armed with information that could help enhance your quality of life on many levels and I’m not just talking about Sex. Depression is a condition that affects so MANY PEOPLE. I would wager that if you are one of those people and sought help, you were probably given a prescription for an anti-depressant without a discussion like…. “let’s look at what’s going on in your body to rule out imbalances in all of the complex pieces of the body that can cause depression if they are not in normal ranges”. The same thing can apply to abdominal obesity, erectile dysfunction, low energy levels, etc.

Ladies, “You’re definitely at that Age” when Menopause STOMPS into your life.

Menopause Symptoms Tags CloudIt starts in our 40’s for some of us and 50’s for others. I was diagnosed when I was 44. YAYYYY for me! My first sign were those crazy “Heat Sweats”. Otherwise known as “Hot Flashes”. I still refer to them as Heat Sweats. They are the RUDEST interruption in a woman’s day! There’s no warning when a “Hot Flash/Heat Sweat” decides to say HELLOOOOO! The next thing you feel is intense heat causing your face and neck to become red hot and blotchy. Some of us start to sweat profusely. I can’t stop here. What about those sleepless nights ladies? There are sleepless nights when you do drift off for a while. Then you wake up totally drenched in sweat. Your jammies and sheets are soaked. You’re hot & cold, hot & cold, hot & cold all night. You kick the covers off when you’re hot and pull them back over you when you’re cold over and over and over again.

You would think that Hot Flashes and Sleepless nights should be enough punishment for having estrogen and progesterone hormones. Oh Nooooo! Let’s add weight gain, mood swings, depression, thinning hair, memory lapses, irregular periods, vaginal dryness, fatigue, etc. to the list. These symptoms can go on for years for some women and can be more intense for others.
menopauzeA friend recently said to me “NO ONE told me about all of this crap that I’m dealing with right now because of Menopause”. (Actually, I think she said it like 3 times) Can you say MOOD SWING!!

WEIGHT GAIN. DAAAMMMNN! We fight this battle our entire lives and then Menopause arrives or “Manopause” if you guys want to be included even though you can loose 5 lbs just thinking about it or after a quick bathroom break. I’m really not bitter about that at all. More and more pounds literally creep up on you. Your friends and family are empathetic because they’ve gone or are going through it too.

  • Your Doctor says this is a normal part of life. In other words, just accept it.
  • He/She then says “here’s your Prescription: Eat a well-balanced diet that consists of 1200 calories a day and exercise. Here’s your Bill. Follow the exit signs to the check out counter. See ya next year! Buh-Bye”

This has been my experience over the last 3 years until recently. Since moving to Saint Petersburg, a friend suggested I try Dr. Barbara Pacholec for my Menopause-Related issues. Dr. Pacholec is an Internal Medicine Specialist. She specializes in Anti-Aging/Regenerative and Functional Medicine along with other areas of specialty.  She has helped me tremendously since February. I have lost 20+ pounds without changing my diet or exercise routine. How did I do it? Stay tuned for my next Post.

An excerpt from Dr. Pacholec’s Blog: “Balanced hormone levels are associated with decreased body fat, increased muscle mass, increased bone density, increased energy levels, improved skin tone and texture, increased sexual function, and improved immune system function. Alternately, hormone imbalance can drastically and negatively affect your feelings of well-being, your libido, your regulation of blood sugar, weight, your rate of aging, strength and stamina, and can reduce your body’s ability to heal or fight infection.” Click here to learn more about Dr. Pacholec’s practice in Saint Petersburg and Lutz Florida.

Ladies and Gentlemen: If you want to be and feel healthy with lots of energy in all aspects of your life, find a doctor who will not put you in a bucket because “You’re at that Age”

  • Find one that treats you as an individual.
  • Find one who wants to help you decrease or better yet, eliminate the “symptoms/side effects” associated with the effects hormonal changes have on our bodies as we age. 

Be assertive with your health care, ask questions and ensure your doctor is looking at EVERYTHING that could impact your Quality of Life.

woman holding hands

Believe that you deserve a Happy, Healthy Life.

Disclaimer: the views, information, and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author; they do not represent the opinions of any other individual, agency, organization, company or employer.

 

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4 thoughts on “Menopause in Men & Women?

  1. Good post about something that never occurred to me. Lucky me that I’m married to a guy who’s so laid back that it’s hard to know if he ever has a mood swing for any kind of reason!

    Liked by 1 person

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