Male Menopause — Is It Real?
Women going through menopause often experience mood swings, hot flashes, irritability, and insomnia symptoms. But as men age, will they experience similar symptoms? Is male menopause a real thing?
Male menopause, known as andropause or late-onset hypogonadism, is a natural healthy condition.
Older men undergoing male menopause will experience a set of symptoms linked to declining levels of testosterone as well as the hormone androgen. While every male will experience a decline in testosterone at some point in their life, not every man will experience male menopause. For those that do, moderate to severe symptoms, many of which are the same as female menopause, can significantly affect the body and quality of life.
While low levels of testosterone and androgen characterize male menopause and andropause, some of the other common symptoms include:
● Unintentional weight gain
● Mood swings
● Fat redistribution (including accumulated belly fat and “man boobs”)
● Lack of energy
● Lack of enthusiasm
● Insomnia or other sleep disturbances
● Extreme exhaustion, waking up tired
● Poor concentration
● Memory lapses
● Erectile dysfunction
● Infertility or low sperm count
An important thing to note is that sometimes these symptoms may have nothing to do with low testosterone. These symptoms might also indicate high blood pressure, heart disease, or diabetes. Specific tests can be done to rule out these possibilities. Other conditions related to aging often display the same symptoms. Remember to consult a trusted medical provider if you are experiencing any of these symptoms
Why Do Levels of Testosterone Decline?
The hormone testosterone is central to developing male sexual characteristics in young men; body hair, a deeper voice, and muscle mass. So it’s normal for older men to experience a level decline as they age.
By the time a man is in his 30s or 40s, testosterone levels have been declining about 1 to 2% annually. These levels can drop off more quickly if the individual is affected by trauma, serious illness, diabetes, obesity, chronic disease, or medication abuse.
Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle
Lifestyle choices such as exercise and diet and mental health issues such as stress and depression can also contribute to hormone decline.
Although male testosterone levels begin dropping gradually between 30 and 40, some symptoms may result from regular lifestyle changes. Mental health changes could result from more work stress, aging family members, children, divorce, or money issues. Mental health issues work in tandem with lifestyle choices and create a brutal unhealthy cycle.
Physical health must be mentally healthy as well.
Lack of sleep, poor diet, drinking too much alcohol, indulging in drug behaviors, and smoking is all risky health behaviors that could lead to low testosterone.
In other cases, late-onset hypogonadism is responsible for symptoms of “male menopause.” Hypogonadism is sometimes present from birth and can cause delayed puberty.
Occasionally, hypogonadism presents itself later in life but is usually the result of Type-2 Diabetes or obesity. It is not very common, and only a consult with your doctor and then blood tests can accurately determine if this is the cause of low testosterone levels.
Treatment for Low Testosterone
The average or traditional serum testosterone levels vary from lab company to lab company and rarely represent what is ideal. Some health professionals believe testosterone therapy can help men experiencing erectile dysfunction, and others suggest hormone replacement therapy can help men who are showing symptoms of male menopause. Exercise, relaxation, and cognitive behavioral therapy could also aid in symptom relief.
Still, others believe that testosterone treatment should be administered only to older men even when no signs of male menopause are present. Treatment options include pellets, pills, patches, and gels… Discussing your options with a trusted medical provider before proceeding with any treatment is always best.
If you want to know more about male menopause symptoms, testosterone hormone replacement therapy, or are suffering from moderate to severe symptoms that are different from life’s natural course, then let’s talk.