Male menopause explained

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by KING 5 HealthLink

NWCN.com

Posted on December 27, 2010 at 6:40 PM

Updated Monday, Dec 27 at 6:58 PM

New cars, new clothes, new wives.  Some men hit 40 and dive into a wild midlife crisis, while others don't have the energy to move off the couch.  That's the first sign of andropause, otherwise known as male menopause.  Here's how to recognize it and move past that midlife angst.

Alarm clock, fridge, coffee maker, breakfast - Joel Phillips had the same routine for so long, he barely noticed the change.

"Well, you know there's always denial. We don't want to get old," said Phillips, suffered from andropause.

His total lack of energy was the tipoff.

"When you have a good quality of life, you want to preserve it," he said.

A talk with his doctor revealed the real problem: andropause, more commonly called male menopause. It affects half of all men over 50, or about 25 million men.

"The men's symptoms, a lot of the times with andropause, it's more of an insidious onset.  It's a slower onset," said Dr. Benita Swartout, BodyLogic.

In fact, male testosterone levels fade slowly, one percent per year after age 40. The sudden drop in estrogen highlights menopause in women. For men, this means a maddening lack of sleep, energy, libido, weight gain and more.

"There is a little bit of a reluctance if, for no other reason than just embarrassment or shyness, to speak of it," said Swartout.

Swartout says hormone replacement is one solution, boosting testosterone.

"There's a total difference. I feel more like the man I used to be, was I 25 to 40," said Phillips.

Joel says hormone replacement worked for him. Now, the only grind in his morning is that cup of coffee, just the way he likes it.

There are side effects to testosterone therapy, which include swelling, high blood pressure, even congestive heart failure.

Men with prostate cancer or breast cancer should not use the treatment since it can encourage tumor growth.

Andropause typically affects men in their 40's and 50's, but it can hit as early as age 35.

 

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