Men and Andropause: Part 1
In a recent article regarding andropause, the author stated that “any man that is feeling the signs of andropause, should definitely see a doctor and get help.”
The author further states: “Although with age, a decline in testosterone levels will occur in virtually all men, there is no way of predicting who will experience andropause symptoms of sufficient severity to seek medical help. Neither is it predictable at what age symptoms will occur in a particular individual. The author does not identify the “signs of andropause” nor does he explain when the symptoms are severe enough to seek medical help.
The purpose of this article is to define andropause and to identify the symptoms of andropause. It will also be recommended that all men, whatever their age, should have lab tests done by a competent physician trained in bioidentical hormones if they have any signs of testosterone deficiency. Further, this article will explain why all men who have “suboptimal levels of free testosterone” should consider restoring these levels to more optimal levels for prevention reasons and for quality of life reasons.
Andropause-the Male Menopause
Menopause, the time in a woman’s life of distinct hormonal changes, can be very stressful to women, both on an emotional and physical level. During this time, many women suffer from mood swings, hot flashes, body aches and other effects of declining estrogen and progesterone levels. All women endure changes caused by declining hormone levels.
However, just because a man may not feel the dramatic changes a woman often undergoes doesn’t mean that he does not experience hormonal changes. As men reach their 40s (and sometimes much earlier), most will start noticing physical and emotional changes. Abdominal fat often takes the place of formally hard muscle, even with regular physical exercise. Eight hours of uninterrupted sleep are less frequent as nocturnal visits to the bathroom to urinate increase in frequency. The thick head of hair that once covered the head becomes gray and thinner. Every night sex may turn into once a week to every-other-week sex as both interest and ability to perform decrease. Drive and ambition may also begin to fade along with libido and lean muscle mass and strength.
Many physicians state that these changes in men are an inevitable part of “normal” aging. The idea that there is such a thing as andropause is still thought of as a myth by most mainstream medical doctors. They state that since men don’t have a physical signpost (such as the cessation of menstruation seen in women), andropause does not exist. However, even though women have a clear-cut physical demarcation in their lives, other changes of menopause take place over several years. In the case of andropause, it is thought that the majority of physical, mental and emotional changes take place over 10-to-15 years.
These changes, which include declines in libido, sexual function, muscle mass and strength, increase in prostate size leading to benign prostatic hypertrophy, along with fatigue and depression, begin around age 40 for most men. It has been estimated by some researchers that today as many as 25 million American men between 40 and 55 are experiencing signs and symptoms of andropause. It has been our experience that most men over the age of 40, and many men younger than the age of 40, have low levels of free testosterone.
By NBH, Education Director and CEO of NBH Lifetime Health, which specialized in austin hormone replacement