Approximately 25 percent of men have testosterone levels that fall below normal in middle age known as "male menopause. Let’s take an insight into its diagnosis and treatment.
Many women approaching menopause can relate to symptoms like sweaty, sleepless nights, inexplicable grouchiness, weight gain, headaches, and no sex drive. But, so can Shankar Rao.
Last year, a string of restless nights sent the 48-year-old store manager from Mumbai, to his doctor. After a blood test, Rao was informed that his testosterone levels were below normal, and were likely to be causing the symptoms he had been experiencing.
The condition isn’t very rare. Approximately 25 percent of men have testosterone levels that fall below normal in middle age, and in some cases this transition causes a collection of symptoms that has come to be known as "male menopause; also known as “manopause” or “andropause.” Let’s take an insight into the diagnosis and treatment of male menopause.
Signs and Symptoms of Male Menopause
Research teams, experts and health authorities appear to have different views when identifying the signs and symptoms of male menopause.
According to the National Health Service, UK, the following are the most common signs and symptoms of male menopause:
- Hot flushes
- Moodiness and irritability
- Fat redistribution
- Loss of muscle mass
- Dry skin
- Thin skin
- Excessive sweating
- Reduced concentration span
- Loss of enthusiasm
The researchers ruled out the following problems: getting up from a chair, anxiety, nervousness, poor concentration, feeling of worthlessness, and changes in sleeping patterns.
Diagnosing Male Menopause
The doctor is not going to say "You are going through the male menopause and the treatments for this are...." There could be a lot of causes for the set of symptoms talked about here such as- low testosterone or some other underlying diseases, mental issues, obesity, and several lifestyle factors.
To make the diagnosis of male menopause, the doctor will perform a physical exam and ask about symptoms. He or she may order other diagnostic tests to rule out any medical problems that may be contributing to the condition. The doctor will then order a series of blood tests, which may include measuring testosterone level.
Treating Male Menopause
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, see your GP. Treatment for male menopause depends on what is causing it.
MNT (Medical News Today) recommends the following treatment options for menopause, depending on its causes:
Depression or anxiety - the patient may benefit from behavioural therapy, antidepressant medications, or both.
Obesity - the patient will be advised to lose weight, become more physically active and eat a well balanced and healthy diet.
Heart and cardiovascular disease - the disease will have to be treated.
Diabetes type 2 - as with heart disease, it will require proper treatment. Patients with good glucose control tend to have fewer problems and complications.
Low testosterone - the doctor may recommend testosterone therapy. An article published in Drug Therapeutics Bulletin questions whether testosterone therapy is effective in treating male menopause. Testosterone therapy also raises the risk of blockage of the urinary tract and prostate cancer. It may also aggravate ischemic heart disease, epilepsy, and sleep apnoea.
If you are considering androgen replacement therapy, talk to a doctor to learn more. Your doctor may also recommend certain lifestyle or other changes to help with some symptoms of male menopause. These include: diet, exercise program and medications, such as an antidepressant.
Image Courtesy: Getty Images
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