Pay Attention to These Symptoms of “Male Menopause”
It’s common knowledge that at or near middle age, all women experience a process called menopause, where their hormone production slows, their ovaries eventually stop producing eggs, and they stop menstruating. This process comes with a wide variety of side effects, including weight fluctuation, mood swings, and decreased libido, among others.
What is likely not common knowledge is that a percentage of middle-aged men go through a process that, while certainly different from menopause, bears a number of similarities, especially regarding potential symptoms. This process, colloquially known as “male menopause,” is called andropause. Andropause is characterized by the symptoms of low levels of testosterone and other male hormones in men who are forty years of age or older.
Unlike menopause, andropause does not occur in all men, and we do not have a distinct way to measure when it starts and ends. Many men’s testosterone levels fluctuate over the course of their lives, and different men have different base levels and average levels. For example, an eighty-year-old man could have four or five times the necessary amount of testosterone to constitute a sufficiency, while a thirty-year-old man could be medically deficient in testosterone. One constant, however, is that men’s testosterone levels show an overall decrease as they grow older. After a certain age, when these levels drop below a certain point, a man can be said to have andropause. There is a large range of what is considered “normal” for testosterone levels. Frequently, when younger men are told their testosterone is normal, they have a level that is normal for someone much older, and they may still benefit from testosterone therapy to bring them into an optimal range.
The best way to be forewarned about andropause is to know about the symptoms. Andropause symptoms may manifest as mood swings, depression, irritability, or memory loss. Andropause may also cause changes in physical build, characterized by muscle loss, weight gain, and even gynecomastia, the development of male breasts. In addition, andropause often affects a man’s sleep and sex life, causing insomnia, night sweats, fatigue, lowered libido, and erectile dysfunction.
Not all men experience all of the symptoms of andropause, and there are reliable treatment options for those who do. The best way for men to start dealing with andropause is to make sure their lifestyle is active and healthy; regular exercise and a balanced diet lays a foundation of success that makes other treatments much more likely to work.
In addition to establishing a healthy lifestyle, there are two important medical treatments to consider: natural supplements and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. Among the two, hormone replacement therapy does the heavy lifting, while supplementation provides ancillary support. Because of the delicacy of balancing hormones, it is essential to let a hormone expert take the lead in prescribing and managing such treatment plans. If you are suffering from symptoms of low testosterone, don’t take any risks with your health. Contact an expert physician of the BodyLogicMD network who is specially trained and certified in treating the conditions of andropause and hormonal imbalance.