Andropause, also known as male menopause or male climacteric, refers to the hormonal and physiological changes that take place in middle-aged and older men. During this phase of life, men begin to experience low testosterone levels which can lead to a myriad of symptoms ranging from depression and anxiety to weight gain and erectile dysfunction. This article explains how hypogonadism treatment, which includes the use of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), can help treat low testosterone levels and combat Andropause symptoms.
What is andropause?
Andropause is also known as male menopause or androgen deficiency in middle-aged men. This condition occurs when testosterone levels drop significantly due to age or illness. The effects of menopause for men are wide-ranging, causing symptoms like fatigue, weight gain, loss of muscle mass, erectile dysfunction, and hot flashes. Luckily, there are steps you can take to protect your health and reduce these symptoms; one of them being hormone replacement therapy (HRT). As with any treatment plan, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of how HRT works and its risks before deciding whether or not it’s right for you. Hormone replacement therapy is only intended for men who need it; self-treating might lead to unnecessary male menopause symptoms and side effects.
Symptoms of male menopause
Menopause for men(or andropause) is when male hormones decline at around age 40. Male menopause symptoms include loss of muscle mass, increased body fat, mood swings, low sex drive, difficulty getting erections, and even insomnia. Men with andropause symptoms often feel grumpy and depressed about their changing bodies — but they don’t have to! By focusing on diet and exercise to replace lost testosterone levels and working with a medical professional for hormonal treatments, you can regain your strength without sacrificing your masculinity.
What are the treatment methods for andropause?
First of all, your doctor can check whether you have reached a male climacteric by asking about your health condition, doing a physical exam, and running blood tests. Once a doctor thinks you have Andropause, he/she will prescribe some medications like Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) or medicines to help improve low T levels. Before choosing any cure for andropause, be sure to discuss it with your doctor first.
Each andropause treatment option has its own advantages and disadvantages; therefore, different people will choose different methods to manage their symptoms. For example, someone may not want to take HRT because there are many side effects while others may only care about its effectiveness. In addition, there are other management options available such as dietary supplements that enhance testosterone production in men who have normal hormone production in small amounts such as zinc and magnesium.
Changes in testosterone over the years
One of the first signs of andropause is declining levels of testosterone in men. Men are typically born with high levels of circulating testosterone – which peak during puberty and decline slowly, giving a smooth decline throughout life. Between 25 and 35 years old, it’s typical for men to experience drops in their T-levels by 1%–2% per year. This can cause fatigue and loss of sex drive but generally doesn’t present any negative health effects. After age 40, however, these declines become more noticeable and as a result, many men start searching for effective andropause treatment options. One study found that between 75%–80% of patients who undergo therapy report experiencing improvements in energy levels as well as increased sexual function. The treatments don’t come without side effects, though; testicular atrophy (shrinking) was reported in 20%–25% of all participants. It’s important to note that some men will be advised not to use testosterone therapy because they have other medical conditions such as prostate cancer or breast cancer. If you have symptoms like fatigue or decreased libido (sex drive), consult your doctor before considering hormone replacement therapy if you fall into an at-risk group.
Side effects of using testosterone treatments
One of the most common complaints associated with testosterone treatment is injection site pain. While all men may experience a little bit of tenderness at their injection site, especially during their first few injections, severe pain and discomfort can be a sign that your dosage needs adjusting. If you experience any severe side effects while using Testosterone Replacement Therapy it’s advised that you speak to your healthcare provider immediately so they can make adjustments as necessary. What Are The Side Effects Of Testosterone Use? There are a variety of potential side effects related to TRT including but not limited to:
- Deepening voice
- Hair loss in unwanted areas
- High blood pressure
- Allergic reactions (rare)
- Tender breasts (in men)
- Mood changes
Diagnosing and treating male menopause
According to a study published in September 2016 in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, male menopause affects 30% of men between ages 60 and 80. These men suffer from hot flashes, mood swings, fatigue, and depression just like women do during menopause. Andropause is caused by hormonal changes as well as lifestyle factors like stress and diet.
The symptoms of male menopause can make it hard to pinpoint a precise cause. With some patience and testing, however, you and your doctor will be able to work out if your symptoms are a result of low testosterone levels or another medical condition. The following tests may help: Testosterone Test: As a man gets older, his testosterone levels start to drop. If they fall too low – below 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) – the resulting symptoms are sometimes called andropause or hypogonadism. Low-T is often difficult to diagnose because its signs vary widely between individuals.
In addition, many doctors use different ranges for what counts as low. But by measuring your blood testosterone levels, your physician should be able to figure out whether they’re at healthy levels for someone of your age. An alternative way to test testosterone involves checking multiple hormones associated with reproductive health.
These include luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), prolactin, and sex hormones like estradiol, progesterone, and DHEA. Estradiol Measurement: Although most studies on hormonal imbalances in ageing focus on women’s estrogen level, research shows that men lose estrogen as well as progesterone around middle age.
Treating Male Menopause requires a close examination of what is happening in your body so that you can pinpoint your specific symptoms and find exactly what treatment will help you get back on track. No two bodies are exactly alike, which means finding what works for you might take some trial and error; don’t be afraid to try out different male menopause treatments until you find one that helps ease your symptoms. Below we examine three common andropause treatment options: Lifestyle Changes, Hormone Replacement Therapy, and Diet.
Hormone replacement therapy
When you think of hormone replacement therapy, you might not necessarily link it to men. However, a growing number of adult males are using HRT for andropause treatment. Andropause is a natural decline in testosterone that occurs during midlife; approximately 40% of men over 40 years old show signs of andropause. The good news is that symptoms are typically treatable with hormone replacement therapy. If your testosterone levels aren’t normal, which can cause symptoms like weight gain, decreased libido, muscle loss, and depression; you should talk to your doctor about a potential cure for andropause. Consultations with specialists can help ensure your male menopause treatment success.
Making healthy lifestyle changes is one of a few treatment options for male climacteric. Lifestyle changes can be used to effectively treat low testosterone levels, in conjunction with medication. Making healthy choices will not only improve your health but also boost your energy levels and feelings of well-being. The most important change you can make is to stop smoking, which will help not only yourself but also those around you. Following a healthy diet that emphasizes whole grains, fruits and vegetables is another way to support optimal health naturally. Working out regularly such as weight lifting or brisk walking are great ways to stay active both physically and mentally and maintain good overall health.
If you have menopause for men or age-related hormonal changes in men, your doctor might recommend a low-fat diet as part of your treatment. In general, low-fat diets are high in fibre and vitamins and can help reduce cholesterol levels. Doctors often also recommend reducing foods that contain saturated fats (like red meat) to help manage cholesterol and weight. If you’re at risk for heart disease, talk to your doctor about which foods are best for you. If diet alone isn’t enough to improve your symptoms, prescription medications may be an option. Before taking any supplements or medication, be sure to discuss it with your doctor first!
Frequently asked questions
- How long does andropause last? As the body adjusts to reduced testosterone production, the unpleasant consequences of male menopause can persist for 15–20 years.
- How do you treat andropause naturally? Make sure you’re receiving enough minerals such as zinc, vitamins C and E, and calcium. They are all important natural therapies for andropause. You can also increase your testosterone levels by exercising.
- At what age does andropause start? During middle age, andropause occurs as men’s bodies produce less testosterone. Also known as late-onset hypogonadism, it affects between 5% and 10% of men in their 40s and 50s, and with an ageing population worldwide, that number is likely to grow.
- Does andropause cause hot flashes? Andropause can be caused by a number of factors, but it is also associated with hot flashes in males.
Simona LeVey did her degree in psychology at Tel Aviv University. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.
The articles we publish on Psychreg are here to educate and inform. They’re not meant to take the place of expert advice. So if you’re looking for professional help, don’t delay or ignore it because of what you’ve read here. Check our full disclaimer.