Men, just like women, go through hormone changes as they age. Even though the term male menopause is often used for this phenomenon in men, the more accurately called andropause is really quite different from menopause in women.
Let’s Call It What It Is
When women go through menopause, they no longer ovulate and their hormone production quickly plummets. In men, however, production of testosterone and other hormones drops over several years and the consequences are so gradual that it can be hard to pinpoint when they began. But rather than calling it male menopause, most physicians call it andropause, testosterone deficiency syndrome, androgen deficiency of the aging male (ADAM) or late-onset male hypogonadism (LOH).
Common Symptoms of Andropause or Low Testosterone
In addition to the symptoms mention above, there is a whole list of symptoms that may indicate that you are going through andropause. You may have heard of some of these symptoms, but others may surprise you.
- Reduced sex drive
- Fewer spontaneous erections
- Reduced muscle mass and strength
- Increased body fat
- Night sweats
- Loss of hair
- Loss of self-confidence
- Inability to concentrate
- Memory loss
Keep in mind that not all of these indicate andropause. Some are just a by-product of aging and others may point to a different illness or condition. And some may be side-effects of medications you are taking. This is why it’s important to see a physician to be sure you know the cause of your symptoms.
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How Is Andropause Diagnosed?
Often the biggest challenge in treating andropause is talking to a physician about your symptoms. Many men are too shy or uncomfortable discussing sexual topics with a physician. A physician can check your testosterone levels with a simple blood test.
Here are some recommendations of how to handle andropause:
- See a physician for a check-up. Discuss your symptoms, any medication you take regularly, lifestyle changes, and treatment options.
- Make healthy lifestyle choices. Include physical exercise in your daily routine and clean up your diet.
- Consider bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT).
What Is Bioidentical Hormone Therapy?
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can help relieve the bothersome symptoms of andropause. Bioidentical hormones are an exact match to the hormones your body produces naturally. This means your body can absorb and use them much more easily and with a lower chance of any negative side effects, which is the exact opposite of how synthetic hormones act in the body.
But, like all health issues, relief starts with a candid conversation with a physician. If you think BRHT might be right for you, request an appointment to determine why your testosterone level is low and what you can do about it.