If you thought only women experienced awful symptoms as they age due to their menopause, you better think twice. Men also get their fair share of awful symptoms and unpleasant physical and psychological changes as their hormones decline with age. Unfortunately, not many men nowadays know much about the way their own physiology is affected by hormonal decline, let alone how to fix it. This article will shed some light on the topic, hoping to educate the many gentlemen out there who are either currently experiencing unpleasant symptoms that seriously affect their quality of life, or who will experience them sooner or later at some point in time. Gents, there is hope! Don’t despair! The solution starts first with getting educated about the problem and about the options you’ve got available! So do carry on reading.
You may have witnessed in silence your wife’s or partner’s painful experience with menopause, feeling helpless about it, and not knowing how to provide her with some comfort or relief to her suffering, all while secretly thinking in your mind: “Damn! Thank God I’m not a woman!”
Right! Well, I have news for you: you’re not a woman, but you have hormones too just like she does and so you are destined to experience both the joyful ride these hormones provide when they’re balanced and produced by your body in their daily healthy amounts; and the nightmare your start living when their optimal levels decline with age.
While women’s hormone decline that occurs with age is called menopause, men’s menopause, is called andropause. And just as women’s menopause starts with perimenopause at around age 30, men’s andropause also starts at around the same age too.
In 2002, the medical journal The Aging Male defined andropause as follows: “This is an absolute or relative insufficiency of testosterone or its metabolites in relation to the needs of that individual at that time in his life”.
Studies have confirmed that 30% to 60% of men in their 70’s are hypogonadal. What does that mean? It means that their testes or “gonads” are already underperforming, and thus, producing much less testosterone than in their teenage years or in their twenties. This is a similar situation as the one that women experience when their ovaries or “gonads” start producing less estrogen as they begin to age and shrink.
The Journal of Endocrinology & Metabolism of 1990 showed that half of the healthy men out there between the ages of 50 and 70 years of age suffer from a decline in testosterone which is much inferior than the lowest levels seen in healthy men who are in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s. The Massachusetts Male Aging Study of 2002 demonstrated that by the young age of 30, total testosterone in men averages 48%, and a decline in free testosterone, 85%. This shows that young men in their 30s are now experiencing the unwanted and unpleasant symptoms of the male menopause, their andropause.
What are the symptoms of andropause, you may be thinking?
Well, some of the most common symptoms are:
• Fatigue, tiredness, or loss of energy
• Depression, low or negative mood, anxiety
• Irritability, anger, or bad temper
• Loss of memory, poor concentration levels
• Loss of sex drive / libido
• Decreased intensity of orgasms
• Loss of erections or problems during sex
• Weight gain
• Back ache, joint pains or stiffness
• Loss of fitness
• Decrease in job performance
• Bone loss
• Increased risk of heart disease
• Increased risk of insulin resistance, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome
So again, why are these symptoms occurring?
They’re occurring because the testes are underperforming and their production of testosterone has diminished. I will come back to you to dive deeper into the causes of low testosterone production by the testes soon.
But let’s briefly talk about testosterone.
The hormone that gives you, gents, that SUPERMAN type of powers that you love to experience and also to show off, like big muscles, strength, sexual performance, energy and vitality, healthy erections, mental focus, a happy mood, and so forth…. is testosterone. Apart from turning your secret identity as Clark Kent into the sexy Superman in you that is capable of flying bravely over the hurdles of life and go and save your Loise in distress any time she needs you, testosterone also helps you regulate cholesterol, maintain a strong immune system, keep your optimum mental concentration, improve your mood, prevent Alzheimers’ disease , and avoid platelet aggregation, otherwise known as atherosclerosis.
Something that I personally think is absolutely fascinating is the fact that you gents have got receptors for testosterone all over your body and in places you cannot even imagine, like your eyes and your skin! These receptors are found also in your muscles, bones, adipose tissue, bone marrow, and kidneys, to name a few other sites where testosterone is needed. This means that proper levels of testosterone have a direct and strong effect on the health of these organs, and that without proper levels of testosterone, men simply cannot have a normal and happy life.
Whilst testosterone is the main hormone in men’s health and wellness, the male’s endocrine system produces other hormones as well, like pregnenolone, progesterone, estrogen, DHEA, other androgens, cortisol, thyroid hormones T4 and T3, and so on. It is of the utmost importance that men keep all of their hormones in balance, not just testosterone. Men’s vitality and wellness is generated only when all their hormones are in perfect balance.
The absolute best way to correct perimenopausal, menopausal, postmenopausal and andropausal symptoms and their resulting major health problems like osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer, arthritis, auto-immune disease, and more, is by changing your diet, improving your lifestyle, reducing and managing stress, and if you can afford it, by replacing your lost hormones with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT).