What Is the Male Menopause – Andropause
Andropause – What Is It?
As men grow older, they may begin to experience symptoms due to a reduction in the levels of testosterone, a process known as andropause. There is a low general awareness of andropause. Often men dismiss their symptoms as part of growing older. Studies suggest that as many as 1 in 5 men experience symptoms due to andropause.
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Andropause symptoms are experienced by some older men and attributed to a gradual decline in testosterone levels as they age.
What Are The Symptoms?
Andropause is a collection of symptoms which can include:
- breast enlargement
- decreased motivation
- decreased self-confidence
- difficulty remembering things
- increased nervousness
- reduced muscle mass and strength
- reduced body hair
- decrease in libido
- hot flushes
- night sweats
- loss of self confidence
- Gym workouts may not be as effective and find it difficult to gain muscle despite doing exercise
- Anger or short temper
The symptoms can be wide ranging and effect all parts of the body.
It’s commonly thought that low testosterone leads to problems, such as decreased libido and erectile dysfunction. The most common symptoms are fatigue, hot flushes, energy loss, loss of self-confidence and nervousness.
Our brain functions are heavily dependent upon the Testosterone. With lower levels of testosterone, men may experience, difficulty concentrating and disturbed sleep, all of which can have negative impact on relationships and job performance. Other symptoms include loss of bone density, joint pains, stiffness, heart palpitations and ringing in the ears.
Is There An Andropause Test?
Yes, a simple blood test by Dr Shirin can diagnose lower than usual testosterone levels. The results are usually back within a few days.
Does Andropause Affect Men’s Mental Health?
Changes in mood may also occur. Men may find it increasingly difficult to manage stress, whether that be in their job or homelife, and experience anxiety, even if they have coped well with these pressures in the past. It is quite common for men to have seen a psychiatrist for depression before being referred to the clinic for hormone therapy.
Effecting Men’s Appearance
Men’s appearance can significantly be affected by Andropaus. Lower testosterone levels can affect the skin and hair and making skin look older and can also cause hair loss. A common symptom is putting on weight around their stomach and gynecomastia, an increase in breast tissue.
What Are The Causes?
Andropause is a natural process during aging, much like the female menopause. The endocrine system which produces hormones reduces production as men age. The endocrine system is made up of the pituitary gland, thyroid gland, parathyroid glands, adrenal glands, pancreas and testicles. The reduction is due to our evolutionary biology, as we get older our bodies primary focus of procreation becomes less important and we see a decline in hormone production. However, since we now men live to an older age, the symptoms of andropause become more apparent.
What Is The Typical Age?
For some men, symptoms can start as early as their 30s. This is particularly common in men with stressful jobs or in men who lead unhealthy lifestyles.
Andropause is different from the menopause women experience. In menopause, the production of female hormone drops suddenly. In men, there’s a gradual decline in hormone levels. When men reach about 40, testosterone levels usually begin to drop by about one percent a year approximately.
Do All Men Experience Andropause?
All men experience andropause, just to differing levels of symptoms. Levels of testosterone will gradually decline in all men. Symptoms of low testosterone can be mistaken for normal signs of aging such as feeling tired, demotivated or gaining weight.
How Can Hormone Replacement Therapy (TRT) Help Treat Symptoms?
TRT is a safe method to balance men’s testosterone levels.
Bio-identical testosterone is identical to the testosterone produced in the body. As TRT does can be personalised, the effects are gentle. It is always prescribed in the form of a cream or sweet and is absorbed directly into the blood stream. All symptoms of andropause are a result of low testosterone, therefore testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is an effective treatment and will be prescribed at the appropriate dose of each individual.
How Else Can You Boost Testosterone Levels and Treat Andropause Naturally?
Whilst age is the most important factor for declining testosterone levels, research shows that lifestyle factors, such as diet and sleep quality, can impact testosterone levels.
Several studies have shown that the following are associated with lower testosterone levels or faster rates of decline:
- High body mass index (BMI)
- Onset of diabetes
- Moderate to high intake of alcohol
In addition to having a healthy diet, regular exercise is also beneficial for maintain and boosting testosterone levels. Resistance training, such as weight lifting, is the best type of exercise to boost testosterone in both the short- and long-term High-intensity interval training (HIIT) can also be very effective, although all types of exercise should work to some extent.
A lifestyle involving a balanced diet, regular exercise, and minimal tobacco and alcohol use is likely to boost a sense of wellbeing and reduce the physical symptoms of aging in men. Improving the following can reduce symptoms:
- Exercise – Doing thirty minutes or more of intense physical activity will encourage your body to produce testosterone. So it is recommended that you stay active and regularly practice a sport such as weight training or swimming (or any other sport that uses most of the muscles in your body) to promote testosterone production. Doing physical exercise is also the best way to stay healthy.
- alcohol consumption – Alcohol lowers testosterone levels in the blood, which can have negative, sometimes long-term effects, on your sex drive and erectile function. Alcohol consumption for men should not exceed 15 drinks a week distributed over 7 days, i.e. 3 drinks a day.
- stress – Stress releases cortisol, a hormone that reduces the production of testosterone. Learn to relax through breathing exercises and meditation when you’re stressed.
- Diet – Make sure you’re getting a balanced diet. The proportion of fats, sugars (energy source), and proteins you eat affects your testosterone levels. Be sure you’re getting enough nutrients such as zinc (red meats, mushrooms, spinaches, broccolis, etc.), omega-3 (nuts, canola oil, salmon, sardines, chia seeds, etc.), vitamin D, and calcium (dairy products, soya drinks, etc.). Avoid foods that are too sweet or salty, caffeine, and bad fats that can cause the body to slow down, impeding hormone production
- sleep deprivation – Testosterone is produced mainly during REM sleep, so it’s important to get a full night’s sleep, i.e. eight straight hours. If you have difficulty falling asleep, talk to your pharmacist for advice.
- Smoking – reduce smoking
If you would like more information on Andropause or to book in for a consultation, please call the clinic on 01322381205 to arrange an appointment with Dr Shirin. We are based near Ebbsfleet International Station in Kent and only 17 minutes from St Pancras Station.