Jamieson Health Center
November 30, 2011
Volume 3, Number 7
Dear patients, dear friends,
Our last newsletter talked about womenís health, perimenopause and menopause. Itís only fair that this time we spend some time discussing menís health issues.
Yes, there is such a condition called andropause in men. Itís male menopause. Unlike the dramatic hormonal changes during menopause in women, the age-related changes in reproductive hormones of men are subtle and occur gradually throughout the years of their mature life.
In contrast to women, andropause can happen at any age, when a man is 18 or 45 or 65. A man suffering from andropause typically has no energy, no drive, no desire. He has lost his passion and motivation. He is in a slow degrading decline. As a matter of fact, his brain is affected first, not his libido. Erectile dysfunction is not a dominant sign of andropause, but more of a cardiovascular dysfunction.
Patients with andropause find themselves in my office because their wives bring them. Theyíd rather watch TV and feel miserable. They donít want to get better. They think nothing is wrong. They donít want to do anything or go anywhere. They ruin the life of their spouse and their relationship with their kids. However, it is very important for the spouse to be supportive and encouraging or else their husband wonít have a chance of getting better. What I mean with this is that he needs his wife to be his best advocate and accountability partner, so he makes his appointments, takes his supplements, does his tests, eats healthy, etc. †
Andropause is not just about testosterone. It can manifest itself as different conditions and thatís why itís important to look at the different symptoms and treat each of them separately. As mentioned above, the first symptoms of andropause are related to the brain. Unfortunately, most of the focus tends to be on other symptoms such as chronic pain, gastric issues, erectile dysfunction, testosterone deficiency, high cholesterol, hypertension. But without a healthy brain, life cannot be enjoyed. Instead, depression and/or anxiety start ruling your life. So itís important to start with the brain first.
The two underlying causes of andropause are systemic inflammation and insulin resistance. In 99% of the cases, they are directly related to diet. Eating a standard American diet including transfats, gluten and sugar causes inflammation and insulin resistance. So the most important decision a man can make to stay healthy is to eat a healthy diet with plenty of protein and vegetables, and to get rid of the junk food, sodaís, pizzaís, sweets, etc. This will not only help lower cholesterol and curtail cardiovascular issues, but it is necessary for a healthy body and a healthy brain.
Men can experience night sweats, crying spells and real emotional episodes. Insulin resistance causes a process called ďaromatizationĒ, which converts your testosterone into estrogen and decreases free testosterone. Testosterone replacement therapy will only make matters worse.
I can help you or your husband with integrative chiropractic treatments including supplements to help dampen inflammation in your brain, heal your enteric and gastric system, dampen aromatase, and any cardiovascular symptoms.
Neurofeedback therapy can help curtail depression and anxiety, especially if you are willing to change your lifestyle by eating a healthy diet and taking the proper nutrition for a healthy brain.
If you are currently taking medication for chronic pain, hypertension, high cholesterol, anxiety and/or depression, ulcers and/or acid reflux, or testosterone replacement therapy, you are suffering from andropause. Medication is NOT the answer. No, those drugs just alleviate symptoms but they donít cure because they donít address the underlying causes.
Stop the vicious cycle. Give us a call for a free consultation. We can help.
Yours in good health,
Dr. Samuel Jamieson, D.C.
Menís Health: what is Andropause?
Andropause is not testosterone deficiency, itís a neuro-endocrine immunological disorder.
Andropause, otherwise known as ďmale menopauseĒ, is not a topic people commonly discuss. As a matter of fact, it seems the only time itís being referred to is in TV commercials encouraging males to take testosterone increasing drugs.
Unfortunately, as you will learn in this newsletter, increasing testosterone levels may actually worsen your condition. Andropause is not just an endocrine dysfunction. It is much more complex than that. Itís truly a neuro-endocrine immunological disorder. That means we need to look for and treat all the different causes and symptoms. Often those include systemic inflammation, insulin and blood sugar imbalances, degeneration in the brain, decreased testosterone, cardio-vascular and gastric issues.
How do you recognize andropause?
As mentioned before, male menopause is properly referred to as andropause. Letís first describe what most men will feel when they are experiencing andropause. You know when you are suffering from andropause when you answer yes to the following questions:
Unlike the dramatic changes that happen to women when they are experiencing symptoms of menopause, the age related hormonal changes in men occur gradually throughout many years and are not as obvious.
I also want you to understand that andropause is not an ďage thingĒ. Often men can be experiencing andropause early in adulthood. There really is not magic age of hormonal dysfunction for men as generally recognized in women. It can happen when a man is 18 or 55.
Ten most common causes of death in males related to andropause.
Again, although andropause is considered by most people as an endocrine dysfunction, studies show that the most common causes of death related to andropause are the following conditions. Also listed here are the 15 most commonly prescribed drugs for andropause.
As a matter of fact, almost 60% of the 50 most often prescribed drugs are to treat andropause symptoms.† Thatís amazing. From this you can tell how many people are suffering from andropause symptoms. And as you and I know, those drugs donít cure, they donít heal anything. They only attempt to alleviate symptoms.
So letís have a look at what really causes andropause so youíll know what can help you heal or prevent it altogether.
What causes andropause?
According to numerous studies, the two main underlying causes of andropause are:
1. Systemic inflammation
Several clinical studies have proven that andropause is caused by inflammation in the body. (Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2005 Jun 30;238(1-2):1-7; Andrologia. 2008 Dec;40(6):398-400; Andrologia, 2003 Feb;35(1):55-63; Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2004 Feb 27;215)1-2):135-141)
Inflammation can many times be easily diagnosed.† Look for swelling and pain. These are two easy ways to detect inflammation. But not all inflammation causes easily seen swelling, especially if itís at the cellular level. Organ dysfunction can also be caused by inflammation.
In most patients, inflammation is caused by their unhealthy diet and to a lesser degree by injuries. Unfortunately few people know that there is a direct correlation between their diet and their health. Or they want to be in denial about it. As a matter of fact, your diet directly relates to the amount of suffering you experience. The standard American diet, including transfats, gluten and sugar, is enough to create systemic inflammation and chronic pain. (Read more in our newsletters about gluten, sugar and transfats)
2. Insulin resistance
Secondly, andropause is also caused by insulin resistance. (Nat rev Endocrinol. 2009 Dec;5(12):673-681;Aging Male. 2008 Sep;11(3):107-117)
Insulin resistance happens when your cells become more resistant to the effects of insulin. The more insulin your body produces in response to increased blood sugar levels, the more resistant your cells become to insulin. The more sugar (sucrose and fructose) containing foods and drinks you consume, the more your blood sugar will be out of balance and therefore the more insulin your body will produce. So again, insulin resistance is directly related to your diet. A common sign of insulin resistance is when you are tired after meals. We offer supplements that can help reverse insulin resistance.
Aromatization converts testosterone into estrogen.
Here is why insulin resistance is detrimental for menís health and I hope it will give men a wake-up call:
Insulin resistance causes testosterone to convert into estrogen and decrease free testosterone. (Reprod Biol. 2004 Mar;4(1):23-24; Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2000 Oct; 11(8):327-332))
This process is called ďaromatizationĒ. Insullin resistance increases the enzyme ďaromataseĒ, which causes testosterone to convert into estrogen. I would expect that no man wants to increase his estrogen levels. But this is much more common than you think. Thatís why men can have very real emotional phases, crying spells, night sweats and even look like they are developing breasts. Studies show that insulin resistance, inflammation and low testosterone is prevalent in diabetic men (again showing the insulin resistance connection) (Diabetes. 1992 Oct;41 Suppl 2:97-101).
Fortunately, we can help dampen aromatization with integrative treatments and supplements and/or gels.
For more information about andropause, insulin resistance and systemic inflammation, call our office at 408-517-0706 or visit our website at http://www.jamiesonhealthcenter.com.
Testosterone replacement therapy is NOT the answer.
There are four hormonal patterns of male aging caused by increased inflammation and insulin surges. Once you understand those patterns, you will also understand that testosterone replacement therapy is not the answer. On the contrary, it will make matters worse.
The following four hormonal patterns cause a decrease in testosterone in men. The first 3 are the most common, often occurring at the same time and are the result of years of an unhealthy diet:
1. Aromatization of testosterone into estrogen, caused by an increase of the enzyme aromatase. Aromatase increases with increased inflammation and insulin surges, and there is a direct correlation with the increase in body fat. Thatís why testosterone replacement therapy or gels donít work. They donít increase testosterone, but estrogen. The more testosterone you take, the more testosterone gets converted into estrogen.
2. Aromatization also increases the production of a protein called SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) to which testosterone binds itself. This lowers the levels of free testosterone, which is what men need for optimal health. Only free testosterone can bind to receptors in the tissues and protect them. Thatís why lab tests need to measure both free and total testosterone. Using gels or taking testosterone drugs decreases free testosterone.
3. Leydig cells in the gonads fail because of increased inflammation in the body, causing an increase of the LH hormone and decreased testosterone. Unfortunately, just like the brain, the gonads have no anti-oxidant protection. And unlike the skin, cells in the gonads and the brain donít regenerate. Inflammation attacks the tissues and causes hypo-gonadism as well as brain degeneration.
4. Increased production of DHT (dihydrotestosterone, a very potent form of testosterone), caused by up-regulation of the enzyme 5-alpha reductase, which converts testosterone into DHT.
Andropause causes brain degeneration.
As the following studies show, there is a direct correlation between andropause and brain degeneration. It is therefore imperative to pay special attention to preserve the health of the brain with good nutrition and supplements and to dampen brain inflammation. Neurofeedback therapy can help balance asymmetry issues in the brain, often seen in patients suffering from anxiety and depression. Unfortunately, it is so common to focus on treating the other causes of andropause like pain, cholesterol and diabetes and to forget about the brain. But without a healthy brain, life cannot be enjoyed, and relationships will suffer.
∑ Studies show that low testosterone has been found to be a risk factor for Alzheimerís disease.
(Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2000 Feb 1;97(3):1202-1205)
∑ Andropause has been shown to alter mood, memory, the ability to concentrate, and the overall sense of vigor and well-being.
(Am J Ther. 2006 Mar-Apr;13(2):145-160)
∑ Loss of testosterone in men related to cognitive function and brain aging has been well reported in the literature. Symptoms associated with a loss of testosterone include memory decline, poorer cognitive function and dementia. (Ann NY Acad Sci. 2005 Dec;1055:80-02)
∑ More specific, andropause can impair functional interactions that occur between the brain and the immune system. Recent findings indicate that microglia cells and astrocytes (innate immune cells in the brain) become activated, causing an exaggerated inflammatory response in the brain, which may lead to severe long-lasting behavioral and cognitive deficits.
(Immunol Allergy Clinic Nort Am. 2009 May;29(2):321-337)
∑ The hippocampus in the brain is saturated with Luteinizing Hormone (LH) receptors and therefore LH elevation appears to be a promoter of hippocampal degeneration.
(Cell Mol Life Sci. 2005 Feb:62(3):257-270)
∑ Decreased cerebral blood flow caused by andropause is associated with decreased cognitive function, including a slowing of information processing, poorer working memory, and division of attention.
(Brain Res. 2009 Apr 24:1267:77-78)
∑ Late-life depression is associated with alterations in regional cerebral blood flow.
(Int J Geriatr Pyschiatry. 2009 Aug:24(8):809-819)
Andropause causes gastro-intestinal issues.
As discussed in detail in our April 2011 newsletter, there is a direct correlation between degeneration in the brain and degeneration in the gut. The gut and brain are linked together. As a matter of fact, the gut is also called the ďenteric nervous systemĒ, or the gutís brain. The gutís brain is located in the sheaths of the tissue lining the esophagus, stomach, small intestine and colon.
∑ Inflammation in the brain causes inflammation in the gut.
∑ Altered chemistry in the brain causes decreased activity in the vagus nerve, the main highway between the brain and the gut. This can cause gastric ulcers, leaky gut syndrome and multiple enzyme deficiencies.
(Brain Res. 1997 Jul 4;761(2):203-204, Peptied. 1981;2 suppl 2:51-55)
∑ Infections such as H. Pylori are very likely to occur frequently.
(Dig Dis. 2007;25(2);112-117)
∑ Testosterone protects the tissues in men. Low testosterone diminishes the ability of intestinal cells to regenerate.
For more details about our integrative protocol for gastro-intestinal issues, please read our April 2011 newsletter.
Andropause causes cardiovascular issues.
By now, you have come to understand that andropause is more complex than you originally thought. The underlying causes are insulin resistance and system inflammation. Andropause causes the brain to degenerate, testosterone to be depressed and gastric disorders to occur. Unfortunately, each one of these factors also causes the hardening of your arteries and accelerates atherosclerosis. Herein lies the connection of andropause with cardiovascular diseases.
Testosterone is a very cardio-protective hormone (similar to estrogen in women).† A manís heart has many testosterone receptors which help protect it. Therefore, as a manís testosterone levels decrease, his heart protection decreases and he is subject to all of the cardiovascular issues that make heart disease the number one killer of men. It is commonly thought that testosterone levels naturally decline with age. As you can read in the above studies, many experts believe that they should not. Again, poor diet and also many years of stress are causing testosterone levels to decrease. With proper nutrition and handling of stress, testosterone levels should stay fairly constant throughout a manís life.
Erectile dysfunction is not generally an endocrine problem but rather vascular, neurologic and psychogenic in origin. It also may be the first sign of systemic vascular disease. (Am j Ther. 2006 Mar-Apr;13(2):145-160)
For more information about andropause and how we can treat it, call our office at 408-517-0706 or visit our website at http://www.jamiesonhealthcenter.com.
JAMIESON HEALTH CENTER
†††† †††††††††Samuel R. Jamieson, D.C.
Emotional Stress Relief
Total Body Modification
1175 Saratoga Ave, Ste 8
San Jose, CA 95129
Weíre on the Web!
Seminars weíve taken.
Since I want to make a difference in your lives and that of your children, Iím constantly trying to keep up with the latest developments in healing practices, clinical research and new discoveries in the area of integrative holistic medicine. To that end, I have attended the following seminars and conferences over the last several months:
∑ Functional neurology Ė ongoing at the Carrick Institute of Neurology
∑ Understanding the complexity of gluten sensitivity
∑ Breaking the complex web of leaky gut
∑ Neurochemistry of childhood brain developmental disorders
∑ The neuroendocrine immunology of andropause
∑ The neuroendocrine immunology of perimenopause
∑ The aging brain
∑ The brain-gut axis
∑ Nutrition Response Testing
∑ NeuroIntegration therapyĖ Level 1 and Level 2 training
∑ Deep States training with neurofeedback
∑ Level 2 advanced neurofeedback training
∑ Alpha-Theta advanced training
∑ Autoimmune regulation
∑ Metabolic Biotransformation: an overview of detoxification and weight management
∑ Restoring Gastrointestinal Health
∑ Practical Blood Chemistry
∑ Neurotransmitters and Brain
∑ The Thyroid-BrainĖImmuno Connection
∑ Restorative Endocrinology: Balancing Female Hormones in Menopausal Women
∑ Restorative Endocrinology: Balancing Hormones in Cycling Women
∑ The Impacts of Estrogen on the NeuroEndocrine-Immune Axis
∑ Restorative Endocrinology: Balancing Male Hormones
∑ Advanced Nutrition Therapeutics for Addictions and OCD
Some patients have asked about previous newsletters and they can be found on our website at http://www.jamiesonhealthcenter.com/archive.htm
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