Andropause, also known as male menopause, is a condition which occurs in men usually when they reach their late 40s to early 50s. This condition primarily develops due to lack of testosterone in the male body. As men age and get older, the testosterone producing capabilities in their bodies diminish and start having visible effects on their lives. Many men have often complained of suffering from a mid-life crisis when they cross the 40 years mark, and after 50 years of age this mid-life crisis actually begins to take shape visibly.
Unlike menopause, the symptoms of andropause that occur due to a lack of testosterone are not restricted to older or middle-aged men. Even younger men in their 20s or 30s are prone to this condition.
The sudden surge of adrenaline that rushes through the body at various points in time, the growth of hair on the body, the deepness of the voice, and the larger reserves of stamina compared to women, etc., attribute to the presence of testosterone in the male body. The lack of this hormone lowers all these characteristics in male. The following are the commonly seen symptoms.
- The most common of all is the loss of sex drive in men. A decreased libido, lowered levels of stamina, a visible disinterest in the act of sex, and erectile dysfunction is clearly noticeable.
- An overall reduction in energy levels and strength levels after a certain age can also be a possible sign of this condition. If this lethargy and constant sense of tiredness persists without any visible disease or illness, it could be because the body is just not producing any testosterone anymore, or is doing so at an incredibly lowered rate.
- If a middle aged man is finding it very hard to concentrate on his tasks and his attention keeps wandering easily, it could well be an indication of male menopause. Even a reduced or impaired memory can indicate the onset of this condition.
- Similar to menopause, the symptoms also include extreme bouts of sudden sweating that are referred to as hot flashes. Sudden and inexplicable sweating can also be attributed to the lack of testosterone in the male body.
A decreased sense of agility, strength, virility, memory
, muscle strength, and other similar characteristics are all classic symptoms of andropause. This is a condition that cannot be avoided in males, and every male will go through it at some point in time. It is a natural process that is inevitable as bodily functions and hormone secretions start diminishing slowly but steadily.
If a man is suffering from andropause, he is examined by a doctor to rule out any diseases, because type 2 diabetes and hardening of arteries also trigger the andropause symptoms. A series of blood tests are required to be carried out to ascertain the testosterone level in the body. If the levels are low, a man does not have to worry as there is treatment available. A lot of men have favourably responded to hormonal replacement therapies that were administered to them to increase their testosterone levels.
In the last decade, there has been fourfold rise in the demand for testosterone therapy. However, these treatments may have some potential side effects on the body. If you are a prostate cancer patient, have undergone treatment for it, or have a tendency of prostate cancer in your family history, it is advised that you do not take such testosterone-increasing therapies as they may instigate or worsen the cancer. Other side effects include prostate enlargement, acne, thinning or loss of hair, sleep apnoea and infertility.
Other treatments include, making healthy lifestyle changes, adopting a nourishing diet to increase energy levels and a good exercise regime that is appropriate for the man's age. You may also take psychiatric treatment to cure mood swings or depression. However, it is best to stay away from medications that may further disrupt the chemical changes in the body.
A point to remember
If you have abdominal fat around your belly, you will suffer from andropause sooner than your slimmer friends or colleagues. This is because fat converts testosterone to oestrogen, so you are at the risk of depleted testosterone levels sooner. Just like menopause hits some women at a late stage, you may also delay the onset of menopause
in your body by adopting a wholesome lifestyle for a robust body.