Women aren’t the only ones who experience a hormonal imbalance as they age. Men also suffer from fluctuating hormone levels and testosterone deficiencies that lead to the physical and mental changes associated with aging, a condition called andropause or male menopause.
While men don’t experience hormone changes the same way women do—with sudden symptoms like hot flashes and drastic mood swings—they do experience symptoms that have a significant impact on vitality and virility.
The symptoms of andropause occur gradually, and are the direct result of an age-related decline in testosterone and progesterone, and an increase in estrogen production. Symptoms can be exacerbated by the decline in thyroid, growth hormone and DHEA that often accompany andropause.
- Body fat gain, particularly abdominal
- Loss of lean muscle tissue
- Hair loss
- Wrinkling and drying of skin
- Decreased libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Hot flashes, blushing, sweating
- Aches and pains
- Poor sleep quality, insomnia
- Nervousness, anxiety, irritability
- Memory lapses
- Reduced exercise endurance
- Reduced motivation, apathy
Men often attribute these symptoms to stress at work or financial pressures at home, but andropause is a medical condition, and treatment with BHRT as part of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is available.
While changes to physical appearance can be dramatic, the most dangerous effect of increased estrogen is the amplified risk of enlarged prostate, heart attack or stroke.
It is important to check hormone levels and treat the symptoms when the appear, also to have routine physical exams.