Andropause

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    Aug 04, 2007 4:48 PM GMT
    Ok. so here it is. I've got a dilema. Actually it's more of a lack of good information.

    As a guy who's 50 and working out I found out about andropause through some research. But there is a large gap in the information available on the subject. I started doing the research when I realized that I was having difficulty dealing with the last little bit of extra padding around my abdomen. Yes, my abs are visible but only if the lighting is perfect and I lean back just right.

    Anyway, what I'm trying to find out, is if there is any real research into those supplements that are supposed to increase testosterone producction (as well as the other hormones - I won't go into the litany on that). All of the information I read is about testosterone replacement therapy by a physician(I'm not there - I'm just dealing with the normal reduction associated with age). I personally consider tight abs to be one of the hottest aspects of a guys body and I'd like to think that I'm not cursed with some genetic defect. I do eat well (5-6 meals a day, plenty of protien and good carbs and low on fat.)

    What I'd like to know is: are there any supplements that are proven to be effective in this area that aren't based on 'fabricated studies' and anecdotal evidence? Any research on the academic level that's not sponsored by the maker of the supplement or done by some MD whose trying to sell a book or a program?

    Anyone?

    Anyone?

    Bueller?


    BTW, I'm not looking to be 30 and I wouldn't consider 'surgical' solutions.
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    Aug 04, 2007 6:24 PM GMT
    Unfortuantly, I can't recommend any products, however, I can highly relate to the extra padding around the abdomen & love handles. I've been regularly working out for 3 and 1/2 years. If I didn't loose it by now, it's not going away. At 45 I'm in great shape. It's just an annoyance. If you find anything that works, please let me know.
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    Aug 04, 2007 7:43 PM GMT
    The supplements are not effective. End of story. Some cause a small, short duration increase - but it's not meaningful.

    If you need testosterone, GET testosterone - through your doctor. If your doc's not up to speed on the matter, email me privately and I'll suggest a couple that are.

    J.

    PS: WHAT pad on your abdomen? You are too fucking hot for words... (blush)
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    Aug 04, 2007 11:34 PM GMT
    So, the thing with testosterone is that normally its production declines with age. That decline can be accelerated by exposure to exogenous steroid products. Many of the over the counter products that claim to boost testosterone production may in the long term lead to a suppression of the body's natural testosterone production.

    If you have any question as to your testosterone production status, you should ask your doctor to test your testosterone levels. Having your thryoid function examined is a good move too as long as you are having your blood drawn.

    Testosterone replacement therapy is covered by most insurance plans...
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    Aug 04, 2007 11:54 PM GMT
    I've done a bit of incidental reading on this myself...

    The unfortunate fact is that it's hard to find good research on just about any medical topic, for exactly the reasons you describe.

    Supplemental testosterone may help you stay lean, but of course it is equally hard to find reputable, valid studies of its long term effects... and most likely your body would adapt to the supplemental testosterone by further lowering its own production... So what you are really asking for is the fountain of youth. We're all looking for it, but no one has yet found it.

    What do you mean that you'd like to think that you are not cursed with some genetic defect? You look better than most of the 30 year olds on this site.

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    Aug 05, 2007 2:12 AM GMT
    Ital,

    While exogenous testosterone does have an inhibitory effect on the HPTA axis, it is relatively minor in a hypogonadic male, and is easily overcome by adjusting the dosage as necessary after about 90 days.

    As far as a "fountian of youth" is concerned, the effects tend to be more psychological than anything else. Get your levels tested now so you can establish your body's "normal" level.

    And regarding long-term effects: Testosterone has been administered since the 1930's and was used more extensively at the close of WWII. There are NO references in the literature which I can find which document anything other than the well-known effects on lipid profile and hematocrit - both of which can be watched and dosages adjusted or combined with other esthers to mitigate.
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    Aug 05, 2007 11:49 AM GMT
    Maybe I should have been more clear. I'm not a hypogonadic male. I am familiar with testosterone replacement, and since I'm not a hypogonadic male, I wouldn't want the side effects of steriods, primarily the atrophic aspect of reduction of natural testosterone production.

    If there is no way to increase the body's natural production, I'm fine with that. It's just that there are a lot of products out there and I was wondering if any are effective based on unbiased scientific research.

    I don't want to end up a plecebo addict.
    (couldn't help myself with that one)
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    Aug 05, 2007 11:58 AM GMT
    The only conern for HRT is the increased risk of prostate cancer. HRT for men is not that much different from HRT for women, where thier breast and ovarian cancers risks will increase.

    Furthermore, sex hormones tend to alter one's HDL and LDL profile, and I think also your INR values if you are prone to blood clots.

    Additionally, exogenous sex hormones can raise your liver aminotransferase enzymes...

    ALL MEN will eventually experieince prostate hypertrophy and many will end up with prostate cancer.

    Just make sure you are monitored if you are on HRT. Have your PSA, HDL, LDL, INR, SGOT, SGPT values taken on a regular basis.
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    Aug 05, 2007 12:06 PM GMT
    Just love who you are. We spend so much time thinking about who we should be, but when it comes down to it, the goal in life is to find the beauty in who you are today.
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    Aug 05, 2007 1:11 PM GMT
    SD, I hope you don't have any clients over 40.... Despite the comments about a little extra fat here and there, HRT is about feeling good - psychologically. It's about mood stabilization and emotional resiliance. It's about decreasing fatigue and avoiding frailty in later years.

    It's not a beauty formula.
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    Aug 05, 2007 2:08 PM GMT
    Agree with BigJoey..

    I think aging men, like women, also are prone to osteoporosis when sex hormone level decline.
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    Aug 05, 2007 3:13 PM GMT
    I'm just gonna get a girdle.
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    Aug 05, 2007 5:16 PM GMT
    NYC, absolutely - we advocate the use of a generic multi-vitamin with minerals to ensure adqueate calcium consumption, especially since we discourage dairy because of lactose.
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    Aug 05, 2007 7:52 PM GMT
    I do watch my diet and make sure I take a good spread of vitamins and minerals but I don't overdo it. However, what's the issue with lactose if you don't have an intolerance to it?

    I love milk and I stay with enriched skim.
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    Aug 05, 2007 9:30 PM GMT
    A word about osteoorosis/osteopenia, calcium supplimentation, and HRT...

    This is true for both aging men and women...

    Research showed that calcium supplimentation, when combined with adequate Vitamin D (which is fat soluable and can be synthesized with UV exposure via our skin), can only do so much to prevent osteoporosis and osteopenia...

    Osteoporosis and osteopenia associated with aging has a large hormonal component.

    You used to get Ca and Vit D supplimentation in addition to medication such as Folsomax. Then they started to add Calcitoni, another hormone, as a spray (not as an inject) to address osteopenia and osteoporosis. Now, they even came up with a IV treatment that you only have to do twice a year...

    The point is this, HRT, for both men and women, has shown to be beneficail in preventing osteopenia and osteoporosis (of course, with the above mentioned supplimentation and medication if appropriate).

    HRT is not just for psychological and "feel good" purposes, it actually has a beneficial physiological component to it. Hower, it also has it risks.... So ask you primary care pratitioner...
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    Aug 05, 2007 9:41 PM GMT
    Opps... I meant to say Calcitoni NASAL spray for cutaneous absorbtion bypassing first pass... Not a body spray...
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    Aug 06, 2007 12:44 AM GMT
    BG: Our issue with lactose is the same as our issue with sucrose and fructose - they are all simple sugars. Sucrose & fructose being mono-saccacharides, and lactose being the only di-saccacharide. We try to get most of our carbs from polysaccacharides (starches).

    J.
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    Aug 06, 2007 1:45 AM GMT
    Oh Joey, you've ruined my life! Actually thanks, that should have been obvious to me but then sometimes it's the forest for the trees. I guess I was only focused on the mono-saccacharides.

    Sugars (sucrose, fructose) was my worst problem when I used to eat in a generally unhealthy way. I thought I had eliminated almost all of the uneccessary sugars. Oh, well. live and learn. It's just that milk was always such a cheap source of protien.

    Time to recalculate.
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    Aug 06, 2007 11:59 AM GMT
    I have a good friend who suffers from andropause. He doesn't produce any testosterone anymore. He was a big boned guy to begin with. Danish by birth and has those great youthful Scandanavian good looks. One day, his femur broke spontaneously. This was several years ago. It took awhile to discover what the problem was and he sees a specialist at the Johns Hopkins. He wear a testosterone patch. But in the following years, his bones just break and he rearly leaves the house. He is only in his fifties. Yet, the man is amazing and has the best attitude and sense of humor. He is an inspiration to me.
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    Aug 06, 2007 1:10 PM GMT
    Gem, I suspect your friend is (1) not getting enough testosterone, (2) has nutritional issues. If he doesn't exercise, he'll continue to lose bone mass and will end up in a wheelchair or worse by his 60's.

    Please encourage him to have his levels reviewed and seek more agressive treatment - and to get a trainer who understands frailty and can safely get him moving again.
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    Aug 06, 2007 1:35 PM GMT
    I'm all for HRT, but I still find the matter of dosing confusing. It is obvious that a lot of the "anti-aging clinics" are basically prescribing cycles of the type bodybuilders use and I question how healthful that is.

    Nobody's gonna acquire a helluva lot of muscle with a testosterone patch or even with the typical doses prescribed with injectables. But you see a lot of men who are taking high doses of steroids trying to mask it as HRT or as an antidote to wasting among the HIV-positive.

    We've had this discussion before here and I tried to find some medical rationale for the high doses mentioned and could not. But I remain very curious about dosing.
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    Aug 06, 2007 2:34 PM GMT
    PSBigJoey,

    Thanks for the advice for my friend. There is no easy fix here. He is seeing the specialist at The Johns Hopkins who I am sure is giving him good care. Plus, his wife is a well trained nurse and knows how to manage chronic conditions. Unfortunately, my synopis is just the tip of the iceberg. This condition has taken a toll on all his systems. Even moderate exercises have to be done with such care and under the supervision of a physical therapist because they never know when a bone is so weakened that it will break at any time. His femur was broken three times so far. Just walking can cause a fracture. It is so sad to watch this man who is still so full of life have to cope with such limitations.