Picture this–you are a forty year old man reading the newspaper on a Sunday morning. You used to enjoy this weekly ritual, but you feel irritable today. Actually, you haven’t felt like yourself recently. You are happy with your job and your relationships, but you feel tired and depressed and you don’t know why. You haven’t been sleeping well and your sex life isn’t what it used to be.
Before you reach for another cup of coffee, ask yourself–have I had my testosterone levels checked to see if I have andropause?
Understanding Male Andropause:
Andropause is a medical condition caused by low testosterone levels in men. Low testosterone levels affect some men in their late 20s, and all men experience the symptoms of andropause to some extent in their 40s and beyond. Andropause in men is similar to menopause in women, except the symptoms of andropause (and the intensity of those symptoms) can vary greatly. It is estimated that at least 95% of men in their fifties experience the symptoms of andropause.
Andropause has received little medical attention until recently, as doctors attributed the symptoms of andropause to old age or depression. However, andropause is a real condition and it can be treated. The symptoms of andropause vary from male to male, and the top 5 symptoms are listed below.
The Top 5 Symptoms of Andropause:
2. Sweating and hot flashes
3. Decreased libido and erectile dysfunction
5. Poor concentration and memory
Andropause may be accompanied by other symptoms. Below are additional symptoms.
More Symptoms of Andropause:
– Decreased muscle mass
– Sleep disturbance
– Body fat gain, particularly abdominal weight gain
– Aches and pains
– Loss of height
Ways to alleviate the symptoms of andropause:
There are several uniformly accepted changes to human behavior that can have a noticeable impact on the effects of the progression of andropause. Three basic, but trusted principles are:
– Exercise regularly
– Eat well
– Moderate consumption of alcohol
Andropause symptoms directly correlate with depression. Exercising will improve your mood and make you feel better by increasing endorphins. Consider these suggestions: go for a run, play tennis, make a trip to the bowling alley, or grab a basketball and head to the court.
Eating well can have a positive impact on your energy and mood. Try to incorporate Omega-3 fats, folic acid and B12, and Vitamin D into your diet, which have been shown to decrease depression. You can get Omega-3 fats from salmon, walnuts, and flaxseed, folic acid from oatmeal, broccoli, organs, and fortified whole-grain breakfast cereals, B12 from cottage cheese, lean beef, and eggs, and Vitamin D from milk.
Each body reacts differently to alcohol consumption. Be mindful of your current consumption levels and frequency of consumption and consider the following–alcohol lowers serotonin and norpinephrine levels, which acts as a depressant. Remember, depression is too often a misdiagnosis of andropause given by family doctors.
Methods of Andropause Treatment:
The most common andropause treatment is testosterone replacement therapy. Consult your physician to determine if testosterone replacement therapy is the right treatment for you–he will be able to measure the level of testosterone in your blood. If you area candidate for replacement therapy, your physician can explain the alternatives available for treatment, which include skin patches and creams among other sources.
Most men notice the benefits of testosterone replacement therapy within 2-4 weeks. The benefits are listed below:
– Reduced fatigue
– Improved quality of sleep
– Improvement in mood and sense of well being
– Increased energy
– Increased body mass, muscle strength, and bone density
– Increased male libido (male sex drive)
Too many men are being misdiagnosed and improperly treated by general family physicians. If you suspect you have andropause symptoms or want to learn more about andropause treatment, it is encouraged you do some independent research. There are several online sites that can provide information about andropause and male menopause solutions.