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Male Menopause: The Silent Epidemic That Makes Millions of Men Suffer

Male Menopause: The Silent Epidemic That Makes Millions of Men Suffer

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By now most of us are familiar with the menopause and the misery it causes so many women.

A a successful awareness campaign by celebrities and doctors in recent years has shed light on the stage of life more than 1 million American women in their 50s face each year when their estrogen levels plummet and their reproductive years end.

But now doctors want to draw attention to a “silent epidemic” affecting men with extremely low testosterone levels – male menopause.

Like women, the term is used to describe the period in an older man’s life when his hormone levels crash, causing a host of symptoms that shatter sufferers’ confidence or are downright debilitating – including erectile dysfunction, depressionanxiety and rapid fat accumulation.

Like women, male menopause is used to describe the period in an older man’s life when his hormone levels collapse, causing a host of potentially life-changing and debilitating symptoms, from erectile dysfunction to depression, anxiety and rapid fat accumulation

Testosterone levels peak in young adulthood, around age 20, but decline by about 1% per year after age 30

Testosterone levels peak in young adulthood, around age 20, but decline by about 1% per year after age 30

Male menopause, which doctors say is a bit of a misnomer, is medically known as andropause. Unlike the menopause that women experience, andropause is characterized by a more gradual change.

Dr. Bob Beruhim, a New York urologist and director of Male Fertility and Microsurgery at Lenox Hill Hospital, told DailyMail.com: “In men, the decline in testosterone levels usually happens more slowly and can occur at any age and most men are less likely to present with a sudden onset of low testosterone symptoms.

“I think the name hurts men’s chances of coming in for care. The term can be considered debilitating to some, and these symptoms are often uncomfortable for men to talk about at first.

“That being said, when patients come in and I’ve diagnosed them, I call it ‘Manopause’ to get a smile out of them!”

Male babies are born with testosterone. Their T levels rise rapidly during puberty, causing boys to develop deeper voices, bigger muscles, and body and facial hair. The hormone also helps the testicles produce sperm, which is crucial for reproduction.

Testosterone levels typically peak around age 20, followed by a slow decline throughout the rest of adulthood. Peak testosterone levels should be between 300 and 1200 ng/dL. After men reach their mid-thirties, testosterone levels begin to decline by at least one percent per year.

TRT has received high praise from podcaster Joe Rogan, who regularly talks about its benefits on air

TRT has received high praise from podcaster Joe Rogan, who regularly talks about its benefits on air

Jeff Bezos

The billionaire is said to have undergone testosterone replacement therapy to achieve his new svelte physique

Jeff Bezos is rumored to have undergone testosterone replacement therapy to achieve his new fit physique

Actor Dax Shepard, 46, is also a proponent of TRT, crediting it with helping him gain 24 pounds of muscle

Actor Dax Shepard, 46, is also a proponent of TRT, crediting it with helping him gain 24 pounds of muscle

Urologists consider testosterone levels too low when they fall below 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). This happens most often in men aged 40-50.

Grades from the University of Wisconsin show that low testosterone affects approximately 12 percent of men in their 50s, 19 percent in their 60s, 28 percent in their 70s, and 49 percent in their 80s

Testosterone in men is produced in the testicles and stimulates sexual development. Regulates sex drive, bone mass, fat distribution, muscle mass and strength, and red blood cell and sperm production.

It also acts on the brain and spinal cord as an important regulator of neurological functions. Low testosterone levels are associated with depression and anxiety.

Low testosterone can mean a problem with the pituitary gland, a pea-sized gland located at the base of the brain that monitors and regulates countless bodily functions through the hormones it produces.

Age-related hormonal changes in men are gradual, and while they do not render the male reproductive organs dysfunctional, the change can cause sexual complications.

Unlike women, the hormonal change does not make men infertile. Although testosterone is the hormone that governs male fertility, people with low testosterone levels can still produce healthy sperm, although the number and quality of sperm usually decrease.

And while women’s transition happens somewhat dramatically—within a few years—men experience a decline in testosterone every year from around age 40 into their older years.

Dr Kevin Campbell, a urologist at the University of Florida, told DailyMail.com: ‘There’s no set plateau that guys suddenly break out of.

“Over time, what happens is that our bodies will get some kind of insult where they’ve stopped producing the same amount of testosterone.

What is “male menopause”

The term “male menopause” is used to describe the period in an older man’s life when testosterone levels decline.

In fact, “menopause” is a misnomer, doctors say.

Menopause is generally understood as a dramatic change in hormone production that tends to occur over a relatively short period of time.

Deficient testosterone levels can cause low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, unexplained loss of muscle mass or sudden accumulation of body fat, body hair loss, osteoporosis, and depression.

In men, declining testosterone levels usually occur more slowly and can occur at any age, and most men are less likely to experience a sudden onset of low testosterone symptoms.

Testosterone in men is produced in the testicles and stimulates sexual development.

The hormone regulates sex drive, bone mass, fat distribution, muscle mass and strength, and the production of red blood cells and sperm.

Low T in men is very common. In fact, about 40 percent of men over 45 and 50 percent of men over 80 are affected.

Men with low T may choose to start hormone replacement therapy to combat symptoms and replenish hormone levels.

Testosterone replacement therapy comes in many forms, from topical gels to intramuscular injections.

“Over time, our bodies will start to become less optimized and we start to produce less testosterone or use it less efficiently. And this can lead to a constellation of symptoms colloquially thought of as male menopause.

Doctors usually run numerous blood tests on patients with these symptoms to determine what is causing the testosterone deficiency and how to treat it. For example, low testosterone is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular and fatty liver disease.

Dr Bobak said: “The blood test is absolutely key to the diagnosis. It is important to note that this blood test should be done within three hours of waking up, as testosterone peaks in men around this time. A late night test will show an artificially low level.

A complete blood count is the gold standard for determining the cause of low testosterone if men start to notice any symptoms. But many men either neglect to report their symptoms or experience no symptoms at all.

Dr Campbell said: “Some people will have a family history or have someone close to them who is being treated for testosterone deficiency, so then it makes more sense for them [to get tested]they are a bit more aware of the condition to come and be screened for it.

Men with low testosterone may choose to start hormone replacement therapy to combat symptoms. Testosterone replacement therapy comes in many forms, from topical gels to intramuscular injections.

TRT helps restore blood levels of this hormone, reversing the symptoms of low testosterone.

Doctors also want men to know that exercise is known to increase marker testosterone levels. Resistance exercises such as weight lifting have been proven by research to help increase short-term and long-term T levels.

Certain foods, such as magnesium-rich dark leafy greens, eggs, and oily fish, can also raise T levels. Meanwhile, research shows that ultra-processed foods and foods that are not nutrient-dense can decrease testosterone levels.

Dr. Bobak said, “I generally consider testosterone replacement therapy in men with a testosterone level below 300 ng/dL and the presence of symptoms. Generally speaking, there is no clear evidence that a simple laboratory result warrants treatment if patients do not have symptoms.

“The decision on how to treat it, whether with topical gels or injections or otherwise, depends on a number of different factors. Men should know that actual testosterone replacement is very likely to reduce the sperm count significantly, in many cases to zero.

Many men who start testosterone replacement therapy will see good results. 2019 survey reported that therapy can improve libido and treat symptoms of sexual dysfunction. Additional research in 2019 found that TRT can help maintain bone density, while previous research in 2016 said helped improve cognitive function and attention span.

TRT has received high praise from podcaster Joe Rogan, who regularly talks about its benefits on air. Amazon mogul Jeff Bezos is also rumored to owe his new fit physique to TRT. And actor Dax Shepard, 46, revealed on his Armchair Expert podcast that he put on 24kg of muscle during quarantine using “heavy testosterone injections”.


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