If you haven’t heard the term “Andropause,” you’re not alone. Most men have never heard of it. But they may have heard the term “male menopause,” “manopause,” and other names. They’re all related to the loss of testosterone in the body, which happens to all men as they age.
Testosterone is the hormone responsible for your muscle mass, facial hair and voice changes as you go through puberty and grow older. Along the way, it provides a boost to your libido. At age 30 and older, your testosterone levels begin to drop and as you age you begin to develop symptoms that can include:
- fatigue and lack of energy
- mood changes, depression, irritability
- loss of muscle mass and overall strength,
- low sex drive
- hot flashes
- hair loss
- increased body fat
- enlarged prostate
These are the symptoms that most men have in common, but different men will have different symptoms at different times. How common are they? By age of 60-70, about 30% of the male population has low testosterone levels. That jumps to a whopping 70% for men aged 70-80. Unfortunately, “andropause” doesn’t stop with these debilitating symptoms.
If you have an enlarged prostate, may experience other symptoms including frequent urination, waking up during the night multiple times to urinate, a feeling of incomplete emptying of your bladder, interrupted urine stream, straining to urinate, and many others. Having low testosterone levels can also increase your risk of cardiovascular problems and cause osteoporosis, also known as brittle bones.
The question most men ask is, “what can we do about it?”
For low testosterone levels, or “andropause,” there are treatments like testosterone replacement therapy, or “TRT,” to consider. TRT may able to boost testosterone levels in men. However, it should only be administered under the supervision of a licensed physician who specializes in hormone replacement therapies.
The bottom line is that as you age, you’re going to be faced with some symptoms of low testosterone levels in your body. But there are things you can do to alleviate the intensity of the symptoms, which increase in severity if you smoke, are overweight, or have high blood pressure.
If you smoke, stop! Not just because your low testosterone symptoms will increase if you continue smoking – but for your overall health as well. Get on an exercise program and see a nutritionist if you’re overweight. Exercise can help with high blood pressure as well.
There are also oral supplements and herbs you can take to combat andropause. Some herbs, like Tribullus terrestris and Suma, are natural aphrodisiacs that will help with libido issues. Others, like Avena Sativa, are energy boosters and may help activate the production of testosterone in the body.
You’ll also find over-the-counter supplements that contain multiple herbs and ingredients designed to help eliminate or lessen the symptoms of low testosterone. The best advice: talk to your health care professional for advice on what is best for your individual situation.