What is Andropause?
Have you heard of "Male Menopause"? By the time men are between the ages of 40 and 55, they can experience a phenomenon caused by a change in hormones similar to the female menopause, called Andropause. Unlike women, men do not have a clear-cut signpost such as the cessation of menstruation to mark this hormonal transition. Both, however, are distinguished by a drop in hormone levels. Estrogen in the female, testosterone in the male. As a man's testosterone level drops a hormone imbalance or androgen deficiency occurs. The bodily changes can occur very gradually in men and may be accompanied by changes in attitudes and moods, fatigue, a loss of energy, sex drive, sexual performance, erectile dysfunction, muscle strength and physical agility.
What's more, studies show that this decline in testosterone can actually put one at risk for other health problems like heart disease, Alzheimer's and weak bones. Since all this happens at a time of life when many men begin to question their values, accomplishments and direction in life, it's often difficult to realize that the changes occurring are related to more than just external conditions.
Symptoms of Andropause - the Male Menopause (Low Testosterone - How it all begins…)
Libido starts to drop, muscle mass decreases, weight increases, insomnia and tiredness boardering on fatigue occur more frequently, irritability and depression start to set in. Below are the principal symptoms of men's menopause.
- Decrease in sex drive (libido)
- Decrease in sexual activity
- Decrease in mental alertness
- Decrease in energy and strength
- Decreased muscle tone and definition
- Weight gain, flabbiness and pudginess
- Night sweats, hot flashes and sleep problems
- Mood swings, grumpiness, irritability, lack of drive or motivation
A gradual hormonal decline
Unlike menopause, which generally occurs in women during their mid-forties to mid-fifties, men's hormonal "transition" or androgen decline may be much more gradual and expand over many decades. Attitude, psychological stress, alcohol, injuries or surgery, medications, obesity and infections can contribute to its onset.
Although with age, a decline in testosterone levels will occur in virtually all men, there is no way of predicting who will experience andropausal symptoms of sufficient severity to seek medical help. Neither is it predictable at what age symptoms will occur in a particular individual. Each man's symptoms due to low testosterone may be also different.
Is Adropause (Male Menopause) a new phenomenon?
Yes and no. In fact, andropause - now frequently called "male menopause", was first described in medical literature in the 1940's. So it's not really new. But, our ability to properly diagnose it and to treat low testosterone symptoms in men is. Sensitive tests for bioavailable testosterone weren't available until recently, so andropause has gone through a long period where it was under-diagnosed and under-treated by physicians. Now that men are living longer, there is heightened interest in andropause and the treatments available for male menopause - and this will help to advance our medical approach to this important life stage in men which was identified so long ago.
Increased diagnostic capability of male menopause
Another reason why andropause has been under-diagnosed over the years is that symptoms can be vague and can vary a lot among individuals. The gradual decline of testosterone levels in men also allow many men to overlook the symptoms of testosterone deficiency. Some men find it difficult to admit that there's even a problem. And often, physicians don't always think of low-testosterone levels as a possible culprit of adverse health issues. So in the past, these factors often led doctors to conclude that symptoms were related to other medical conditions (i.e. depression), poor diet, overwork, or were simply related to aging and often encouraged their patients to accept that "they were no longer spring chickens" and their symptoms were simply part of old age.
This situation is changing significantly. New blood testing methods that can detect precise hormone levels are available and there is an increased interest in mens' aging among medical researchers. So much attention is now being focused on andropause and on the causes and affects of androgen deficiency in men - that major efforts are underway to quickly share emerging scientific information with the international medical community. Age management medicine and anti-aging physicians are conducting bio-identical hormone medical studies and trilas and are working on a variety of progressive testosterone hormone medication delivery systems.
Causes of Low Testosterone Levels in Men
Starting at about age 30, testosterone levels drop by about 10 percent every decade. At the same time, another factor in the body called Sex Binding Hormone Globulin, or SHBG, is naturally increasing. SHBG traps much of the testosterone that is still circulating in a man's system and makes it unavailable to exert its effects in the body's tissues. What unbound testosterone is left over does the beneficial work and is known as "bioavailable" testosterone.
Andropause is associated with low (bioavailable) testosterone levels. Every man experiences a decline of bioavailable testosterone but some men's levels dip lower and faster than others. And when this happens these men can experience andropausal symptoms.
These low testosterone symptoms can impact their quality of life and may expose them to other, longer-term risks of low-testosterone. It is estimated that 30 percent of men in their 50s will have testosterone levels low enough to be causing symptoms or putting them at health risk. Andropause is also referred to as (LOH) Late Onset Hypogonadism in aging men.
To learn more about Testosterone Therapy and Testosterone Injections for the Replacement of Low Testosterone: Visit, Testosterone Therapy: Testosterone Replacement Therapy
The Antiaging Group of Hormone Physicians are Medical Experts in Treating Male Menopause, Andropause Treatments, Hypogonadism, Erectile Dysfunction, Male Menopause Symptoms, Testosterone Replacement & Hormone Therapy