To the vast majority, the term andropause might be new. However, its synonym – male menopause is quite popular. Although it is often a word used light-heartedly, it is actually a recognized medical condition. Some men refer to it as “Low T”, hypogonadism, or testosterone deficiency among other names. All are used to describe the symptoms that are associated with low testosterone.
What is Andropause?
Andropause is similar to menopause in some regards and different in others. It is usually correlated with natural aging in men and can produce symptoms that are easily tolerated and some that are not. For some men, lowered testosterone levels brought on by age aren’t a big deal. For others, the decline can cause symptoms that really do decrease their quality of life.
At What Age Does Andropause Start and What are the Symptoms?
Typically, andropause occurs between the ages of 40 to 60 years. However, this is not always the case. Some men experience andropause as early as 30 years old. During this phase testosterone levels gradually decline. The decline is so gradual that most men rarely experience a noticeable effect. It is a certain percentage of men whose testosterone drops faster that experience symptoms. About 2% of 40-year-old men to as high as 30% in 60-year-olds experience symptoms of andropause. At 80 years old, the andropause prevalence rate is almost 90%.
Moreover, andropause often comes with both behavioral and physical changes. Some of the most prevalent symptoms of lost testosterone are:
- Reduced bone density and body mass
- Erectile and sexual dysfunction
- Reduced sex drive
- Increased body fat
- More frequent physical weakness bouts
- Male infertility
- Depression and lack of motivation
How to Treat Andropause?
Andropause is recognized through diverse symptoms that affect psychological mood, body, libido, erectile dysfunction, and emotional stability among other symptoms. These symptoms often lead men to discuss these issues with their doctor and low testosterone will be confirmed by a blood test.
After a proper diagnosis has been done, it is important to embark on certain lifestyle changes. These should help boost testosterone levels in the body. Your doctor may recommend that you adjust your lifestyle to include:
- Proper diet: This includes foods such as salmon, tuna, oyster, beans, shellfish and low-fat milk fortified with vitamin D. These are testosterone boosting foods.
- Decrease stress levels, get enough rest and exercise: The human body secretes the stress hormone (cortisol) to help us deal with stress. Cortisol suppresses testosterone levels. So, it is important to get enough rest and exercise.
- Supplements: Should food intake be insufficient in balancing testosterone levels; supplements might be prescribed. These can include any of the following DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) which is a steroid, Maca which is a root known to improve libido, stress relief, increased energy, increasing sperm count (improving fertility), and helping with erectile dysfunction (ED). Vitamin C and Zinc are also beneficial.
- Testosterone Replacement Therapy: Hormone therapy can be done to treat andropause. This can take different forms including injectables (testosterone cypionate, testosterone enthanate), topical gels (AndroGel®), or patches (Androderm®). Your doctor will help you determine which testosterone replacement therapy is right for you.
To learn more, visit our page on testosterone replacement therapy. Our medical specialists can help you feel like yourself again. If you are in the Mesa, Arizona area, you can schedule an appointment with us today!