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Is Male Andropause Real?

By Tracy Shields 5 years ago 5149 Views

Last week, one of our readers asked if andropause (male menopause) is real. This is a relatively easy question to answer in that the decrease of testosterone after age 30 (Yes! You start losing testosterone that early!) is very real. In fact, after age 70, a man can lose up to half of the testosterone he had when he was 25.But loss of hormone in men happens much slower than the complete hormone loss typical in women over age 50 who experience menopause. And yet, even a slow, steady loss of testosterone can cause health problems. Here’s an abbreviated version of some of the typical signs:

• Hot flashes

• Moodiness and irritability

• Fat redistribution

• Loss of muscle mass

• Dry skin

• Thin skin

• Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)

• Reduced concentration span

• Loss of enthusiasm 2

 

More alarming is that men today have less testosterone than previous generations.   An article in Men’s Journal found “emerging evidence suggests that men have less testosterone today than their fathers did, most likely owing to increasing rates of obesity and possible exposure to environmental toxins.”3

 

But does a decline in testosterone mean andropause? The answer suddenly gets a little harder to discern. Some doctors truly believe andropause exists. Others tend to think that it doesn’t exist at all, but instead is merely a fancy term for aging. The trouble is, it’s almost impossible to test for. In a 2008 article in the Canadian Urologic Association Journal, medical doctor Richard Casey writes that the “symptom complex associated with andropause (or the “newer” term symptomatic late-onset hypogonadism) is ill-defined and shares similar characteristics with depression, normal aging and, for lack of appropriate medical terminology, just being overweight…”

 

Call it what you will; both males and females lose hormones as they age. But the jury is still out on andropause.

 

1 http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/male-menopause/MC00058

 

2 http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266749.php

 

3 http://www.mensjournal.com/magazine/the-testosterone-dilemma-20121122