Male menopause or andropause means that over time, men slowly begin to lose testosterone.
But a recent article from CNN suggests andropause is happening earlier than most of us think, in fact, more young men are showing symptoms.
“In my practice, I’ve noticed that an increasing number of younger guys are complaining of sexual concerns, such as diminished libido and erectile problems, more commonly seen in older men,” wrote author and psychotherapist Ian Kerner.
“Some clinicians believe that factors like obesity, stress and inadequate sleep probably play a role in such issues. This isn’t purely a lifestyle issue; these factors are also possible causes of low levels of the hormone testosterone, which can influence sexual function.”
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He continued that on average, some experts estimated the average 80-year-old man had 50 per cent less testosterone as he did as a young man.
“As a result, men may experience problems such as insomnia, weight gain, decreased muscle and bone density, anger and depression, as well as decreased libido and other sexual problems.”
What is male menopause?
Dr. Gidon Frame of Anti-Aging Medical and Laser Clinic in Vancouver, previously wrote while male menopause is not like female menopause, it can lead to other problems like lack of energy, increased body fat or even sometimes a hot flash.
“In fact, testosterone gradually declines about one per cent a year after age 30. While women lose their ability to produce hormones altogether, the testes, do not run out of the substance it needs to make testosterone in men. A healthy male may be able to make sperm well into his 80s or longer,” he wrote.
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Live Science noted it is also common for older men to have fewer erections, but erectile dysfunction is often the result of medical or other causes, not just aging.
Coping with andropause
Often lifestyle changes, therapy and treatment options are recommended.
For young men, Kerner said exercise and diet are incredibly important.
“Endurance cardio exercise, such as running marathons, actually lowers testosterone production. On the other hand, lifting weight using large muscles such as those in the legs and back can increase testosterone.”
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Diet-wise, Clinicbe, a treatment clinic which focuses on body, skin and hair treatments in the U.K., added men should choose healthier options to improve or reverse the effects of male menopause.
“This would require small changes in diet such as eating lean meat, red meat, chicken, salmon, and fish can increase the production of testosterone. Some of the vegetables that are also good for testosterone production are beans and soy protein.”
Quitting smoking and cutting back on alcohol can also help.
The Mayo Clinic explained while the term male menopause is still debated, even in the medical world (others call it testosterone deficiency syndrome, androgen deficiency of the aging male and late-onset male hypogonadism), the most important thing men can do is speak with their doctors, whatever their age may be.
“Work with your doctor to identify and treat any health issues that might be causing or contributing to your signs and symptoms — from medication side effects to erectile dysfunction and other sexual issues.”