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Marla Ahlgrimm on Menopause and How Men Are Affected by Hormone Decline

September 29, 2018

Marla AhlgrimmThe endocrine system is an important part of our body. Essentially a network of glands which produce hormones our bodies need for everything from sexual function to metabolism. But as Marla Ahlgrimm explains, different life stages have the endocrine system working in different ways.

According to Marla Ahlgrimm, the biggest change to a woman’s endocrine system comes at menopause. This is when the ovaries, which are controlled by the endocrine system, start to produce lower volumes of progesterone and estrogen. In turn, her pituitary gland begins producing follicle stimulating hormone in an effort to compensate. Menopause is a normal part of life but one that comes with unpleasant side effects.

Marla Ahlgrimm describes the vast majority of menopausal symptoms as bothersome and potentially harmful to a woman’s self-esteem and mental health. These include hot flashes, the feeling of being suddenly engulfed in heat; vaginal dryness and decreased libido, which can harm a woman’s sex life; insomnia; and osteoporosis, a degenerative disease of the bones that puts a woman at greater risk of breaks and fractures.

Marla Ahlgrimm reports that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the accepted treatment for menopause symptoms. HRT is typically recommended as a way to ease the transition into menopause. Alternately, bioidentical hormone therapy is effective and is formulated from plant or animal sources.

Like women, many men also experience declining hormones with age. While a woman will enter menopause around her 45th birthday, andropause doesn’t become a concern until after man’s 60th birthday. But even then, only two out of 10 men will experience it. Marla Ahlgrimm explains that andropause is a sharp decline in testosterone, the male sex hormone. Decreased testosterone can affect bone mineral density, cognitive impairment, and lead to erectile dysfunction. It is recommended that men begin screening for bone density at age 70.

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