Are you not feeling like yourself? Has your wife made jokes about male “menopause”? It may not be in your head. Like women and menopause, andropause is an unmistakable sign of the natural aging process for men.
Men’s bodies simply make less testosterone than they once did, and the symptoms can be bothersome if they appear. The clinical term for andropause is hypogonadism or androgen deficiency, and according to the National Institutes of Health, about 20 to 40 percent of older men experience the condition.
Symptoms of andropause may include reduced libido or erectile dysfunction, reduced muscle mass and strength, increased body fat, low bone mass, depressed mood and fatigue. While these symptoms can be distressing on their own, andropause is often linked to other potentially serious conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, osteoporosis and metabolic syndrome.
If you suspect andropause, discuss your symptoms with your doctor. Your doctor or a specialist can determine the appropriate tests to screen for andropause and rule out other potential causes of your symptoms.
Treatments commonly consist of hormone replacement therapies, which are available in numerous forms. If you are diagnosed with andropause, remember: It’s not a myth and it’s treatable. However, it is vital to discuss the risks and benefits of therapy with your doctor in order to determine the best course of treatment for you.
Source: National Institutes of Health