April 24, 2007
Male Menopause Crisis Finds Solutions In Hormone Optimization Program
CenegenicsÃ® Medical Institute, developers of the largest age management organization in the world, alerts the public to a growing concern that puts men at risk for premature disease and early mortality: Male menopause is not being adequately addressed in the medical community. Cenegenics has initiated a campaign, raising awareness and introducing proven protocols, which they say help male menopausal patients restore hormonal balance, promote better health and recapture quality of life. The initiative has become the focus of its locations worldwide, Las Vegas, Nevada; Boca Raton, Florida; Charleston, South Carolina; Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul.
Sparking the campaign is the fact that male menopause (called andropause) is not recognized or understood by most physicians. As a result, men face real health challenges and struggle with "menopausal" symptoms similar to women: dramatic declines in energy, overall fatigue, difficulty in sexual arousal, weaker erections, weight gain, loss of lean muscle mass, slower cognitive functions, loss of work productivity, cardio concerns, emotional swings/anxiety/irritability, loss of skin elasticity and general aches, pains and stiffness."Male menopause really fell through the cracks. Very few doctors are trained in andrology--the counterpart of gynecology--and that's where the crisis begins," Dr. Florence Comite said. Nationally recognized, Comite is a Yale associate clinical professor and endocrinologist, who also is a member of the Cenegenics medical advisory board.
"Those trained in anything akin to hormones typically become reproductive endocrinologists, focused on matters of fertility. So this area of male menopause is largely understudied . . . we simply do not study men the same way we've come to understand women. We have a handle on women because of their menstrual cycles and yearly visits to the gynecologist. If something is a little off, it is usually explored. But we have no external measurement tools for men," Comite said.
"Our target is men age 40 onward since that's when we start feeling the increasing negative impact of dwindling hormones--complaining of having no energy, feeling apathetic, which extends to our work, sex life and social life. We blame these feelings on getting older," Dr. Alan Mintz, Cenegenics CEO, said.
According to Mintz, male menopause is just as real as female menopause--but more subtle. The symptoms creep up over a period of 20 years. However, the hormonal depletion is equally significant.
"The differences between male menopause and female menopause are quantitative, not qualitative," Mintz said. "Hormones start to drop by 1 percent to 3 percent each year, beginning around age 30. That means at age 50 someone could be 20 percent to 60 percent deficient--and by age 70, a person could be 40 percent to 100 percent deficient. Most everything in medicine has an absolute, such as bone density, blood pressure, vision, hearing, etc. The values do not change with age. And yet, that's been the approach of conventional medicine with hormones. Allowing hormone levels to diminish with age and accepting that as normal is unresponsive."
According to Mintz, that viewpoint is starting to be voiced in more traditional circles, evidenced in statements by Dr. Abraham Morgentaler--a Harvard associate clinical professor and founder of Men's Health Boston. "I am strongly opposed to the use of age-adjusted values for testosterone, used to determine if a man is androgen deficient. Since testosterone levels decline with age, older men need to have incredibly low testosterone values to 'qualify' as androgen deficient. Since the symptoms of low testosterone are the same at all ages, a standard threshold for men of all ages should be applied," Morgantaler said.
Mintz also stated that men have compound challenges: Testosterone output decreases annually, but men also begin to form more estrogen, which stores in fat. The higher estrogen levels ultimately compete with testosterone for the same receptors. For some men, the answer isn't simply supplementing with testosterone. Comprehensive evaluations must be performed to determine if the low testosterone problem is related to a pituitary or testicular issue, high estrogen or a combination of factors.
Cenegenics focuses on improving hormonal health by balancing the endocrine system, which is supported by mounting medical literature. Their evidence-based program uses an intensive set of diagnostics to reveal a patient's unique medical issues. Based on that data, a personalized action plan is designed to help regain and maintain metabolic and endocrine functions at the upper end of the normal range for the patient's age--creating the best opportunity for a more vigorous and healthy life. The customized program also includes low-glycemic nutrition, appropriate exercise and nutraceuticals.
While Cenegenics is working to raise men's awareness and offering proven protocols, Comite wants the medical community to take some initial steps toward helping men be better prepared for menopause.
"I would like to see men, beginning around 25-30 years old, have testosterone testing done on a regular basis--maybe every five years," Comite said. "That would create a basis for comparison and give us a better understanding of what is happening to men. It may be a baby step, but it definitely points us in the right direction."
CenegenicsÃ® Medical Institute has developed the largest age management medicine organization in the world with locations in Las Vegas, Nevada; Boca Raton, Florida; Charleston, South Carolina; Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul. With an established presence in the medical community, Cenegenics incorporates a proactive, preventive approach, based on solid science and comprehensive evaluation. Their protocols have been recognized as the next generation of medical science, capturing global attention. Cenegenics proudly offers CME-accredited physician training and certification opportunities in age management medicine via the nonprofit Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation (CERF). Headquartered in Las Vegas, Cenegenics serves more than 12,000 patients--25 percent at their Las Vegas facility are physicians and their families.