When it comes to diagnosing menopause
in women, doctors have a pretty easy time of it. They can order laboratory tests to check hormone levels and track the cessation of monthly periods. But when it comes to diagnosing male menopause, a relatively newly spotlighted condition, it hasn’t been so cut and dry.
But now researchers have pinpointed symptoms that can help determine if a middle age or elderly man is going through “male menopause.” Also known as late onset hypogonadism, male menopause occurs when there is a drop in testosterone levels
In a European Male Aging Study researchers noted that 2% of more than 3,300 men between the ages 40 and 79 may have male menopause.What are the symptoms?
Research found there were three key symptoms associated with decreased testosterone that relate to sexual health. These are:
In addition to these big three, there were six symptoms not of a sexual nature.
- Lack of vigor
- Inability to bend or stoop
- Low energy
- Inability to walk one kilometer
How are these symptoms usually treated?
Testosterone replacement–hormone replacement therapy for men.
One would think by the number of prescriptions being handed out for testosterone replacement, low testosterone is a pretty common occurrence. But remember, only 2% of the men tested actually had low testosterone levels.
More than likely, the surge in prescriptions for testosterone gel has more to do with marketing the drugs than actually helping men through diagnosed male menopause. No big surprise there.
And keep in mind…Other conditions can cause related symptoms.
Obviously erectile dysfunction is not only caused by hypogonadism. Other diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes can cause ED as well. That’s why before reaching for the prescription pad to take care of a hormonal deficit, doctors should make sure they rule out any other possible cause of erectile dysfunction.Many experts take the view that the majority of sexual changes men experience as they settle into midlife come from high blood pressure, medications, diabetes, hardening of the arteries, and lifestyle factors.
Alcohol abuse, a sedentary lifestyle, and smoking are not conducive to a healthy sex life. And while it’s true that testosterone production does fall off once a man reaches the age of 40, it is a gradual process. The rate is about 1% a year.Lifestyle changes to help with male menopause.
It’s entirely possible to treat some of the problems stemming from low testosterone without hormone replacement therapy. Here are just a few:Exercise.
ED can occur when the blood flow to the penis is restricted. If you keep your heart and arteries in good shape, maintain a healthy weight, and eat a nutritious diet you can lower your risk of ED.Stop smoking.
Impotency is linked to nicotine.Check your medications.
Certain medications lead to ED and sexual dysfunction. Ask your doctor if you can switch to an alternate medication that will not deliver these negative effects.
Any time you’re dealing with depression, anxiety, and stress, sexual desire and potency are undermined. Techniques such as yoga, meditation, and breath work can help with stress reduction.
Remember that age is just a number. Nowhere is it written that sexual activity and pleasure must end just because you’ve lived an arbitrary number of years. Luckily, that’s just an outdated myth and you can continue to lead a rich and rewarding emotional, mental, and sexual life well into your golden years.