Could You Be Suffering From Andropause?
For decades, both doctors and researchers have studied the transition that occurs in women when their ovaries stop producing eggs. Hot flashes, migraines, increased heart rates, fatigue, and irritability are synonymous with idea of menopause, and many women are looking for ways to combat these symptoms. While there are countless books, over-the-counter drugs, and medical treatments all devoted to menopause and the women going through it, little is spoken publicly about andropause. Until now, that is.
Simply put, explains Jonathan Williams MD of Radiance Anti-Aging and Body Sculpting, andropause is the alternative to menopause that occurs in men. Although this is certainly not a new condition—it was first documented in the 1940s—not a lot of focus has been placed on the changes that men experience during their mid-lives.
Andropause, says Dr. Williams, is caused by a drop in testosterone, but because men don’t know about it or don’t show clear signs, it can sometimes be harder to detect than menopause in women. Whereas women feel sudden hot flashes or severe mood swings, the transformation in men tends to be much more gradual.
Just because a person may not notice the changes taking place, however, does not mean that they aren’t happening. All men will experience andropause, explains Dr. Williams, because it is hormone-related. Common symptoms of andropause, he continues, start as early as age 30 and expand over the following decades. These include changes in mood, decreased agility, fatigue and loss of sex drive.
Luckily, at Radiance Anti-Aging and Body Sculpting, a med spa in Albany, GA, Dr. Williams is able to educate men on the processes they are going through and offer them real solutions. Many times, he says, if men do pick up on the symptoms, they think that their weight is to blame, so they visit Radiance Anti-Aging and Body Sculpting for consultations because they think they need Laser Lypo. It is during the consultation, however, that Dr. Williams is able to confirm what is really going on.
Nothing is left to chance though, and if Dr. Williams suspects that andropause may be to blame for the symptoms the patient has been feeling, he will order a series of lab tests to confirm a testosterone deficiency. Once the labs are studied and the patient’s symptoms are taken into consideration, the necessary hormone replacement therapy treatments can be prescribed. Afterward, Dr. Williams says, a lot of men are surprised at the positive changes they feel.
Because the condition is hormone-related, followup visits are often necessary. There are so many outside factors that can affect a man’s hormone levels, such as stress, that if a patient ever starts to feel some of the symptoms again, the hormone replacement therapy can be tweaked to meet his needs.
At first, says Dr. Williams, patients are asked to come in for checkups after three months, six months, and then just once a year. This is a lifestyle change, he adds, that can only be made with the help of this prescription because testosterone will not replenish itself.
If you haven’t been feeling like yourself lately, then it may be time to have your testosterone levels checked by a doctor. Studies show, says Dr. Williams, that andropause can put men at risk for heart disease and bone loss, so the sooner you correct the deficiency, the better you will feel on a whole.
*Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate healthcare provider.