Andropause is the menopause equivalent for men. Its symptoms coincide with the decrease in a class of male hormones called androgen. This is the transitional period for men when they experience what is termed as ‘midlife crisis.” This period usually starts from age 40 to 45. Unlike women, men do not have a clear-cut external signpost such as the cessation of menstruation to mark this transition. Both, however, are distinguished by a drop in hormone level. The cause of Andropause is a decline in hormones, primarily testosterone, thyroid, growth hormone and DHEA. The decline in hormones normally begins around age 25 and continues till men reach andropause. Symptoms can manifest around age 35 and worsen with age.
The bodily changes occur very gradually in men and may be accompanied by changes in attitudes and moods, fatigue, a loss of energy, sex drive and physical agility.
Andropause is caused by lower levels of testosterone and its consequences as men age. Testosterone, “the male hormone” is a substance produced in the testes and in the adrenal glands that has a unique effect on a man’s total body. The hormone helps to build protein and is essential for normal sexual behavior and produce erections. It also affects many metabolic activities such as production of blood cells in the bone marrow, bone formation, lipid metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism, liver function and prostate gland growth. Studies show that this decline in testosterone can actually put one at risk of other health problems like heart disease and weak bones.
Symptoms of Andropause:
• Lethargy or decreased energy; the feeling of being totally “burnt out”
• Decreased libido or interest in sex
• Erectile dysfunction with loss of erections
• Muscle weakness and aches
• Thinning of bones or bone loss
• Trouble with memory