Most people have heard of menopause and have a fairly good idea of what it is. However, its relative andropause on the other hand is probably nowhere as well known. Andropause, as the ‘andro’ suggests, is more commonly referred to as male menopause. It’s used to describe the hormonal changes that occur in men as they age. Typically, these changes include reduced testosterone production and sometimes a corresponding decrease in libido, or a degree of erectile dysfunction.
Whilst some of the symptoms of andropause are similar to menopause in women, there are some significant differences. Most women going through menopause experience a sudden drop in hormone production whereas in men, the decline is gradual. For most men, it starts around 40 and from there, hormone production drops by an average of a percent each year. Most hardly notice the effects until they reach their 60’s.
Around one half of men aged 80 and over has low testosterone levels – around 200 nanograms per deciliter compared with 1000 ng/dl in young men. Then there are men who retain normal testosterone levels until well into old age. A blood test is the only reliable way to know if someone has low testosterone levels.
Some of the symptoms of andropause are:
- Reduced libido
- Reduced muscle bulk
- Reduced strength
- Night sweats
- Reduced body hair
- Loss of height
- Sleep problems
- Lack of concentration
- Memory loss
- Lack of self-confidence
- More body fat
- Development of ‘man boobs’
Whilst erectile function does reduce naturally with age, ED, even in older men, is more typically associated with certain types of medications. The likelihood of developing some of the conditions that require these medications also increases with age – high blood pressure for example.
For someone going through andropause, there are several recommendations for dealing with it. Seek medical advice to discuss your various treatment options and lifestyle choices may help. Exercise more – physical activities release endorphins, which in turn improve mood. Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Get help for undiagnosed depression. This is another issue that can afflict older men, causing them to become withdrawn, irritable, work too much, drink too much and even take unnecessary risks for the thrill factor.
If erectile dysfunction is a problem, there are natural products available that may help. The Mike Wolfe ED Pill is one of these products – the pills contain a range of aphrodisiacal herbs and minerals that help support normal erectile function. Some of the more potent herbs can also act as 5alpha-Reductase inhibitors.