Male menopause, also known as andropause, is the result of a gradual decline in testosterone levels. Testosterone is an important hormone that helps the male body produce blood cells, regulates liver and prostate function and is essential for men to achieve an erection. Typically, testosterone levels begin to drop when a man enters his 30’s, and continues to decline at a rate of about one to two percent a year.
Decreasing levels of testosterone can affect the body in many ways. Here are some of the symptoms of low testosterone brought about by male menopause.
- Erectile dysfunction
- Night sweats
- Muscle loss
- Loss or decrease in libido
- Weight gain
- Hair loss
According to a recent study by the US Census Bureau, about 4.5 million American men have symptoms of low testosterone and only 5-10% will seek treatment. Most men do
not experience all of the symptoms of andropause, but rather a combination of symptoms.
The symptoms of male menopause can strongly resemble other diseases or disorders such as a thyroid disease, prostate cancer or clinical depression, making diagnosis and treatment problematic. A doctor may recognize symptoms of depression in a patient
and prescribe an antidepressant. However if that patient suffers from low testosterone as the root of the disorder, an antidepressant can actually accelerate the loss of testosterone. Symptoms of male menopause can also be associated with stress levels, nutrition and fitness habits and environmental factors.
Historically male menopause was commonly underdiagnosed and undertreated. A growing body of evidence in recent years however, has led to a more comprehensive understanding of the disorder. Today, male menopause can be diagnosed by examining testosterone levels in the blood. Treatments such as Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) have shown promise in treating this disorder.
Talk to your doctor today if you are concerned about andropause and want to learn more.