This condition appears in some literature as “andropause”. However, this label is misleading and the definition of symptoms, causes and treatment is still unclear.
According to an article in the journal Social History of Medicine, male menopause, or andropause, was a hotly debated topic from the late 1930s to the mid-1950s, but modern researchers suggest that there are no clear boundaries. , andropause is not a useful diagnosis. .
However, aging still has effects on the male body, including testosterone levels that regularly decline.
In this article, we examine the effects of aging on hormones in men and steps you can take to reduce the effects of aging on men’s health.
Is “male Menopause” Real?
Although aging affects the levels of sex-specific hormones in men, it is not correct to link this process to menopause in women.
Some researchers instead associate the symptoms with androgen deficiency in the aging male (ADAM) or late-onset hypogonadism. This occurs naturally when the gonads, or organs that produce sex cells, begin to age and lose function.
The condition affects only 2.1% of men, while menopause is a natural part of women’s sexual development. This proliferation increases with age but is still not a standard step in male development.
A doctor will recommend a diagnosis of late-onset hypogonadism when a man exhibits three sexual symptoms and has androgen levels below 11 nanomoles per liter (nmol).
Menopause in women marks a rapid decline in estrogen and progesterone, the female reproductive hormones, dropping significantly over a relatively short period of time.
The symptoms of the conditions that people often label as male menopause tend to emerge more slowly and more subtly and less severely than menopause.
The drop in levels of the male hormone, or testosterone, is less severe than the drop in hormone levels for women during menopause.
Various signs and symptoms that some people attribute to male menopause include:
- hot flashes
- excessive sweating
- fat build-up around the abdomen and the chest
- moodiness and irritability
- loss of muscle mass
- dry, thin skin
A study in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) identifies the most common symptoms of male menopause as decreased libido, reduced frequency of morning erections, and erectile dysfunction.
Other symptoms listed in the study include lack of energy, inability to walk more than 1 km, or 0.62 miles, and difficulty completing strenuous physical tasks, such as running or lifting heavy objects.
Kneeling, bending, and stooping can also be difficult.
Changes in male hormone levels can also result in depression and fatigue.
After a man reaches the age of 30, testosterone levels gradually decline, falling by an average of one percent each year.
However, doctors are not convinced that a normal, age-related decline in testosterone levels is at the heart of menopausal symptoms in men. If it were related to symptoms, every man would experience them, which it is not.
The condition is complex and can cause different symptoms in different people. Although these symptoms are more common in older men with low testosterone, they also occur in older men with heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.
This suggests that changing levels of male hormones are not the only contributors to the condition.
Other risk factors include underlying health problems, such as:
- lack of exercise
- sleep deprivation
- alcohol consumption
Erectile dysfunction can be the result of blood vessel changes or a neurological problem.
Some men experience the psychological effects of a “midlife crisis,” in which they become anxious about professional and personal milestones. This can cause depression, which can trigger a range of factors leading to the physical symptoms of ADAM.
Lack of sleep, poor diet and lack of exercise, smoking and drinking, and low self-esteem can also contribute.
Hypogonadism is a condition in which the testicles do not produce enough hormones. In younger males, it can lead to delayed puberty. If it develops at an older age, possibly associated with obesity or type 2 diabetes, ADAM symptoms may appear.
One study described how male menopause was medicalized, not as a result of scientific research but as “a model established by laypeople and medical populists.”
A physician is unlikely to diagnose male menopause. It represents a set of symptoms on which there is little agreement.
These symptoms can be caused by various lifestyle factors or underlying diseases.
Insufficient evidence is available to define “male menopause” as a diagnosable medical condition.
However, ADAM lacks testosterone, a male sex hormone, which can have “male menopause”-like effects. The conditions involved in low testosterone levels can be complex and manifest differently for different people.
Doctors do not diagnose male menopause.
However, a balanced diet, regular exercise, and a lifestyle that minimizes tobacco and alcohol consumption are likely to increase feelings of well-being and reduce physical signs of aging in men.
It’s difficult to find experienced people on this subject, but you
seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks