It’s considered common knowledge that at a specific point in a every woman’s life, when she reaches a certain age, she is bound to go through and experience the effects of menopause. However, less commonly considered and talked about are the experiences and effects of a similar condition which happens to men. Male menopause, or andropause as it’s dubbed in the medical world, happens to older men as frequently as menopause happens to older women.
Andropause is clinically described as the loss of testosterone; as men age (much like with women), their bodies become more and more inefficient and less equipped to produce the same levels of the hormone testosterone as compared to their youth. In addition to the reduction in production of testosterone, the bodies of middle-aged to senior-aged men also experience a decrease in the production of dehydroepiandrosterone.
Unlike women, men do not experience a physiological shutting down of their reproductive capabilities; instead, the transition into andropause involves a much more emotional and psychological adjustment, consequence of the reduction in production of the commonly referred to, male hormone testosterone. For men, andropause is almost a reversal of the puberty experience, resulting in a decrease in energy, depression, sexual drive, and bone density.
Because the effects and influences of andropause on men are still being uncovered and explored in the medical world, most men experiencing symptoms of andropause are often misdiagnosed. Many who seek out help from their physicians regarding depression, weight gain, or loss of libido are often prescribed anti-depressants, sexual stimulants, or weight loss pills. Consequently, these misdiagnosed men find themselves having repeat appointments with their physicians because the true issue has gone unnoticed and, most often than not, been exacerbated by the pills prescribed to them for problems they didn’t really have.
Like women with menopause, to counterbalance the effects of aging on the male body, most physicians who accurately diagnose their male patients with andropause prescribe testosterone supplements. However, most men considering testosterone replacement therapy are urged to first have their PSA levels checked, for the testosterone replacement therapy can increase the risk of the male patient contracting prostate cancer. Patient’s responses to the therapy have shown mixed results; some experience a spike in energy levels and libido, while others walk away feeling the emotional and psychological effects of introducing the testosterone their bodies can no longer produce into their bodies.
Nonetheless, andropause, like menopause, is a natural phenomenon of the aging process. A woman experiencing menopause is no less of a woman than the young girl experiencing her first mentral cycle; likewise, a man going through the bouts of andropause is no less a man than the young boy sprouting his first chest hairs. The physiological effects of the syndromes can be easily treated and coped with through the help of your physician. And to help your body increase its ability to produce adequate levels of testosterone, stay away from the grapefruit and consume more zinc and Vitamins C and E. This is the most natural way of coping with the symptoms and effects of andropause without having to take a trip to the physician’s office.