THE ANDROPAUSE: FACT OR FICTION?

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When us ladies want to kill someone, burst into tears or when we are lacking in energy and feeling the need to stuff our faces with stodgy carbs or chocolate, we can often just say – oh it’s hormones! When you gentlemen are feeling moody we put it down to stresses at work and money issues…could it actually be down to hormones as well?

As we all are aware women go through the menopause, and at what age this occurs and the severity of the symptoms experienced by women can differ a great deal. There is increasing evidence that there is actually an age related hormonal change in men as well – this has been referred to as the male menopause but due to the male hormone testosterone being known as an androgen (a group of hormones) the term’ Andropause’ has been coined!

As men age they have a decrease in testosterone, this can begin to happen as early as 35 but happens in different degrees from man to man and most men wont notice a difference til after 50 and then perhaps not at all. Unlike women, who having gone through the menopause, are unable to still have children men can father children into old age.
Testosterone decreases very gradually, around 1 percent per year starting around age 35. While not all men are affected by the natural decrease in testosterone that comes with aging, lots are The symptoms are remarkably similar to those experienced by women in menopause, including moodiness, fatigue, weight gain, depression, decreased sex drive, decreased muscle mass and bone loss.

The symptoms can be quite pronounced, but andropause is still somewhat difficult to diagnose. it can be mistaken for conditions like erectile dysfunction (ED) or the midlife crisis – which I’m sorry gentlemen is a psychological phenomenon, not a physical one. And erectile dysfunction occurs when communication between particular nerves, arteries and muscles breaks down, as opposed to the slow, natural decrease in testosterone that characterizes andropause.

It may seem, then, that the simplest way to treat andropause is to add testosterone but its not that straightforward. Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is the male equivalent of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in women. There are a variety of ways to replace testosterone in men, including injecting it, applying a cream and taking it orally. The goal is to get testosterone back up to a normal level but like HRT, TRT has been found to have side effects. The big one is that it can increase a man’s chance of developing prostate cancer. It also turns off sperm production and has been associated with a higher occurrence of stroke and for these reasons most doctors don’t jump to TRT as the first possible solution to the effects of andropause.

Many will advise lifestyle changes, such as exercise, a healthier diet and the elimination of alcohol. Better overall health can help alleviate the symptoms of low testosterone. So gentlemen if your nights are spent nursing a beer with your feet up perhaps it’s time to start being pro active to make yourself feel like you did 10, 20 or 30 years ago!!

Our Potential PT expert coaches can advise you on how you can make changes to your lifestyle to improve your health in every aspect. Increase your energy, feel happier, get your sex drive back and look and feel better than you have ever felt!
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