Most people, particularly men, don’t think that they will go through a stage where they will experience symptoms such as weight gain, loss of muscle mass and even mood swings. If you are one of them, then it’s time to educate yourself. Yes, men, including you, go through a process called aging. This means your body will undergo natural changes that even a proper diet and exercise can’t fix it. This is called andropause.
The question now is what is andropause? How is it any different with female menopause? Is there something you can do about it? Read on to learn much more about andropause.
Andropause: A Definition
One of the important hormones produced by your body is testosterone. In fact, it is responsible for your deep voice, facial hair, and your sex drive, as well as your muscle mass and other sexual and reproductive functions.
The levels may vary from man to man, but the bottom line is, the lower your T levels are, the more problematic it can be.
Apparntly, testosterone drops gradually as part of the natural aging process. Once you reach the 30 mark, your T levels start to drop by one percent every year. By the time you reach 50, your body lost around 25 percent, compared to the levels you have when you were 20.
This is what andropause is all about. It is a drop of hormone levels in men accompanied with physical, emotional and mental changes in your body. This condition is not a new phenomenon. In fact, experts discovered this as early as the 1940’s. However, the ability to diagnose andropause properly is new and continuously evolving.
Some men may have it, some men don’t. If you don’t see any changes in your body by the time you reach 50, then that’s good news. Otherwise, here are some of the things you should know and remember about andropause.
Andropause: Know the Symptoms
The good news is,there are symptoms that will tell if you are entering the andropause phase or not. The symptoms include, but are not limited, to the following:
- Physical Symptoms – The physical symptoms include the loss of muscle mass and bone density, loss of body hair, hot flashes, fatigue,
premature aging of skin, weight gain, increase in body fat, reduced physical energy and difficulty in getting and maintaining erections. Other physical symptoms include high cholesterol, osteoporosis and increased risk of heart disease.
- Mental Symptoms –The mental symptoms including the loss of memory, difficulty in concentration, anxiety, sleep disturbances, depression, anxiety, mood swings, anger and irritability, loss of sense of wellbeing, and lack or loss of sex drive.
- Emotional Symptoms – The emotional symptoms range from a decrease in self-confidence to less motivation.
You may refer to this as mid or late life crisis and not even worry about it. If you noticed any of these symptoms, don’t brush it aside and seek professional help. This may lead to something more serious so make sure to get yourself checked.
Also, some of these symptoms are caused by underlying factors other than low T levels. If you are taking prescription medications or have thyroid problems, these symptoms will show, as well. It’s better to get yourself checked as soon as possible. Once you are able to identify the problem and provide treatment for it, a boost in your testosterone will follow.
Andropause vs. Female Menopause
Many people do not believe that there is such a thing as male menopause. This is because female menopause and andropause are two different concepts, although both are under the same umbrella.
Women go through a process where hormones drop suddenly, no warnings given. At the same time, they lose their ability to get pregnant by the time they reach the 40-mark. On the other hand, the aging process on men is simpler.
Testosterone levels on men drop gradually, which explains why you experience the symptoms gradually. By the time you reach 50 or 60, your T levels are not the same when you are in your 20s.
At the same time, you don’t lose the ability to get someone pregnant. It may take a lot of boost to get your man up without taking V vitamin but fathering a child at 60 is not impossible.
Andropause and Male Menopause
Now that you know the difference between female menopause and andropause, the next question you need to ask is, is andropause the same as male menopause?
Some people, even experts, refer to andropause as male menopause. For this group of people, male menopause refers to the decreasing levels or reduction of testosterone’s bio availability because of aging.
Although the manner and timing of hormones drop are different on men and women, there are still similarities in symptoms, which is safe to say that andropause is also male menopause.
But not for everyone.
Testosterone bioavailability and hormone production decreases over time. However, the consequences of this phase in a man’s life are still unclear. If that is the case, what is the best way to describe male menopause? The correct term is andropause – and it is not a sudden condition.
Most doctors use the term andropause to describe hormone changes in men due to aging. You may call it testosterone deficiency syndrome, late-onset male hypogonadism or androgen deficiency of aging male. Whatever you want to call it, one thing is for sure: aging is something you cannot run away from, no matter how much you drink from the fountain of youth. That’s just how your body works.
Put Andropause on Pause
Despite all of this, the good news is there is something you can do about andropause. Drugs or prescriptions meds could help, but if you are the type of dude who prefers natural methods first, then here are some of the things you can do right now:
Switch To A Healthy Lifestyle. Quitting smoking and alcohol are not enough when you decide to make healthy lifestyle choices.
In fact, you have to do more than that.
This includes healthy diet every day and increasing your intake of zinc-enriched foods to boost the production of testosterone.
You are what you eat, so they say.
If you want to be healthy inside, then make sure what goes inside your body is healthy, too.
- Exercise Regularly. One of the symptoms you will experience at this stage is loss of muscle mass. This is where exercise comes in. You don’t have to lift heavy weights or do mile-long sprints everyday. Walking, jogging and biking are only some of the workout routines you could do and incorporate in your lifestyle to make sure that your muscle mass remains lean. It helps maintain your strength and energy, too.
- Be Careful With Herbal Supplements.Herbal pills that claim to boost your T levels are popular these days. It may work but there is no guarantee that you are safe. Some supplements might even be dangerous and have no proven long-term benefits. Before you buy herbal pills, ask recommendation from your doctor first. It’s better to be safe than sorry, guys.
Seek Professional Help.One of the symptoms of andropause is depression. Generally, men don’t get depressed easily. If you are feeling blue lately, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Resorting to alcohol or other substances to make yourself feel better won’t help. Plus, suppressing your feelings won’t do you any good.
- Keep Your Prostate Healthy. The risk of prostate cancer is higher once you get older. Therefore, it is important to keep it healthy at all costs. Making a switch to a healthy lifestyle pays off if you want to keep it healthy. Supply your body with essential nutrients such as zinc and magnesium will help in keeping your prostate functioning well.
- Have Sex, And Lots Of It.Yes, you read that right.
The saying, “Use it or lose it,” is applicable when it comes to you and your hormones.
If you continuously say no to sex and do not even make an effort to initiate some sexy time with your wife,then you will not get your libido back.If you are having problems with getting it up or maintaining an erection, be patient.
Your sex drive will come knocking at your door if you teach and program your mind and body that you will get some action every night.
- Talk To Your Doctor. Doctors are there for a reason: to help you. Therefore, be honest about everything you feel and experience. Symptoms of andropause may be because of low testosterone. What if it’s not? What if there is something serious that you are not telling? Be honest so the doctor will be able to identify the proper treatment for your condition.
Andropause may not sound like a matter of life and death situation. However, it won’t hurt if you take time to bring yourself to a doctor and get yourself properly checked. Don’t confuse any of the symptoms with andropause, since there may be underlying conditions that have to be addressed and treated, as well.