Male Andropause – How to Recognize and Treat It

by Laura Ramirez on August 5, 2011

Male andropause is similar to menopause in women in that declining hormones (in this case, testosterone) cause physical and psychological changes that can adversely affect quality of life. While the change of life for women is more abrupt, the change in men can happen more slowly over time (usually starting around the age of 45) and maybe more difficult to pinpoint.

Some of the symptoms of andropause that you might recognize in yourself are erectile dysfunction, loss of sexual desire, loss of mucle mass and strength, increased body fat, sleep problems, depression, moodiness, quick to anger, increased anxiety, memory loss, frequent urination, more aches and pains and lack of energy and focus.

Obviously, suffering from these symptoms can make you feel like less of a man, but much more than that low testosterone can lead to high cholesterol, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases associated with age-related decline.

Andropause is in many ways simply male-menopause and often referred to as “man-opause.” In short, the condition can be explained very easily as it exists simply on the basis of declining androgen production within the body; most notably testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone and to a degree the increase in Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin (SHBG); direct androgen production is however the primary concern. While menopause and Andropause share some strong similarities there is one very distinctive difference that must be noted. When a woman goes through menopause the onset of the condition is almost instant, the drop or decline in adequate hormonal production is very quick and can become quite bothersome almost overnight. Andropause is however in most cases a little different; Andropause is something that will typically not manifest itself in such a quick and dramatic fashion but rather hormonal decline is slow and steady over a period of many years.

The good news about male menopause is that you do not have to suffer with the symptoms. The key, of course, is in acknowledging that something is wrong and that you don’t feel the way you used to feel. Getting tested to see what your hormone levels are at is the next step. You can do this by going to your doctor who will send you for a lab test where they will draw blood or do a saliva test. Or you can order a saliva test kit and send it in yourself. It takes about a week to get back the full report.

Next, you can supplement with an over the counter hormone cream, patch or pellets that will bring your hormone levels back into balance. As your hormone levels return to balance, the symptoms will subside and you will regain what you have lost. The key is to get treatment as soon as possible after recognizing the symptoms because if low testosterone behaves anything like low estrogen in women, then living with low levels for an extended period of time can actually decrease the number of testosterone receptors in your brain, making it more difficult for treatment to be effective.

The other solution a lot of men are turning to is using HGH levels to increase the amount of human growth hormone in the system which increases production of testosterone and can reverse some of the effects of aging. One product that achieves this is called Provacyl.

Lifting weights and believe it or not, even watching t.v. has also shown some benefits with regard to increasing testosterone in men. Basically, anything that do that relieves stress can help with hormone production.

What are your most troubling symptoms of male andropause and how are you treating them? Let’s start a conversation and help other men start talking about the realities of midlife transition.

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