While the menopause in women has been the subject of many researches, a parallel condition in men, called andropause, has only been recently recognized. Andropause is also known as PADAM or Partial Androgen Deficiency in Aging Male. It is caused by the decline of androgen levels in their bodies. This may start as early as thirty-five or as late as sixty-five. Most men, though, when they reach the ages of forty to fifty-five, experience hormonal changes similar to those felt by women who reach their menopause.
A man who is undergoing his andropause will show the following symptoms: mood swings or depression, weakness or decreased energy, irritability, inability to concentrate, decreased muscle mass, increased fat such as the beer belly, loss of memory, and the loss of libido or sexual drive.
Can andropause be stopped or slowed down? Not really. Andropause is a natural process. A report from the World Health Organization (WHO) states that the androgen level of man at the age of 70 is about ten percent of the level he had when he was at his prime.
With andropause, a man faces higher risks of cardiovascular diseases. Decreased androgen leads to lower production of testosterone, another male hormone. Low testosterone levels or hypogonadism can interfere or slow down the functions of many body organs. This results to fatigue, failure of memory, and passivity of an aging male towards work, social life, and sex. The aging male may develop clogged arteries, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, abdominal fat, and high blood pressure. Hypogonadism is associated with melancholia and psychiatric disturbances such as depression and psychosis. Men with low testosterone levels are prone to osteoporosis and hip fractures. Two of the most serious results of hypogonadism are impotence and dwindling libido. But the worst effect is called myocardial infarction, commonly known as heart attack.
Fortunately, such dire consequences of andropause and hypogonadism can be prevented hormone replacement therapies (HRT). Health professionals have proven that a testosterone replacement therapy is safe for aging men. This therapy will improve the cognition and libido of males. It will increase bone mineral density and body mass composition. Androgen replacement therapy can help a man cope with the symptoms of andropause.
Aside from the hormonal replacement therapies, aging men are also advised to have exercise. Stress management skills are also recommended, especially if the aging male is irritable. He should also take dietary supplements so that he will have enough zinc, selenium, and, especially, calcium.
Now that andropause is a health issue recognized by many men, they should take the necessary steps to help themselves weather such natural occurrence in their lives.