The female menopause gets a lot of press and attention and generates discussion but male menopause is also garnering its fair share of interest nowadays.
When the levels of the male hormone, testosterone, decrease because of conditions such as high blood pressure or obesity or diabetes, male menopause results.
Normally as men age the testosterone levels reduce and since these diseases are common in men over the age of 40 male menopause can be said to begin then.
The testes produce testosterone and the production is directed by the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus.
So if any damage occurs to these parts of the brain or to the testes the production of testosterone is directly affected and levels decrease.
Damage can occur because of surgery, injury, radiation or infection.
Men can feel the effects when the levels of the male hormone decrease just as women do.
- Erectile dysfunction
- Muscular weakness
- Increased irritability
- and loss of libido are some of the symptoms.
They can be caused by obesity, smoking, increased alcohol consumption, medications, lack of exercise, and psychological problems.
Most men, however, do not experience drastic drops in the level of testosterone the decline is gradual and need not be treated. Hormone replacement therapy is a possible option for significantly decreased levels of testosterone.
However, HRT has also been linked to a risk of prostate cancer so take your doctor’s guidance on this. HRT can be dispensed with oral medications, injections and implants.
How can you cope with the changes in your body and life?
Well, make changes in your lifestyle and diet and incorporate exercise into your daily regimen.
This will also help you to relieve stress and reduce obesity. Make sure you get your proper quota of sleep.
Increase your intake of water and decrease alcohol and caffeine consumption.
Join a support group or talk to close friends who might be going through something similar.
Also, while these two terms are often used interchangeably, male menopause is not the same as the male mid-life crisis. So take treatment for the menopause on your doctor’s advice.