Andropause and You
Testosterone levels begin to decline around age 40- that much is certain. At this time they begin to drop an average of 1% per year. Reduced testosterone levels can result in symptoms such as poor libido, low energy and stamina, reduced muscle mass, and mood imbalance. The reduction in male sex hormones, however, occurs so gradually that the symptoms are not usually fully realized until many years after the decline begins. In fact, a man may not notice them until age 50 or even 60- and even then they may be very subtle.
So is andropause the right name for the natural decline in testosterone due to aging? Not really. When compared to menopause, the symptoms are far more gradual and less drastic. As mentioned before, a man may not even really notice these effects until 10-15 years after the decline begins. Women going through menopause generally experience more pronounced symptoms within a shorter time frame.
However, an estimated 15-25% of men will experience a more drastic decline in testosterone which will cause symptoms to be more severe and appear sooner than usual. This could qualify the name “andropause”, but the exact medical term used to describe it is early onset hypogonadism. Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) is usually prescribed for men who have severely low testosterone levels due to hypogonadism. Although effective, this method does come with some risks to cardiovascular health as well as gynecomastia, sleep apnea, acne, and could possibly exacerbate existing prostate cancer.
TRT is generally not offered to men whose testosterone levels are lower due to natural aging. Fortunately, men who are not eligible for TRT or are not interested in risking the negative side effects have other options available to them. Herbal extracts used traditionally for men’s health such as Tribulus or Ginseng are still around today and can be found nearly everywhere natural health products are sold. Multi-herb blends and herbal therapy products such as Pure Plaisir can provide even more beneficial effects because they are designed to address both physical and emotional aspects of men’s health.
Neither TRT nor herbal therapy can completely remedy the effects of low testosterone and aging, however. The first step in improving your quality of life must be making the conscious decision for a lifestyle change. This doesn’t just mean making a healthy diet and increased exercise driving factors, it also means cutting ties with unhealthy habits. Cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs must most certainly be the first ones to go- but another type of addiction is on the rise and can pose just as many threats to mental and physical health in men: screen addiction.
Screen addiction is a growing problem for both men and women of any age. Whenever we use our smart phones or tablets, we experience a rush of dopamine in our brains. This presents an addiction that can be likened to any other drug dependency and as such comes with its own negative impacts. Screen addiction can cause retinal damage, weight gain, mood imbalance, anxiety, poor concentration, low productivity, difficulty sleeping, and increased aggression. Cutting this poor habit can greatly improve both your quality of life and relationships with those around you.
No man can totally escape the effects of father time, but that doesn’t mean he has to throw up his hands in defeat. Andropause may be a jarring word to hear, but for most men it does not present itself with the angst that its name implies. For men who aren’t on TRT the best options available are natural therapy and adopting a healthier lifestyle. Both of these methods together can help improve your quality of life as you reach middle age.