Audio Version (08:34)
When we hear about midlife transitions, it’s often in the context of women going through menopause. However, men also experience significant hormonal changes during middle age, a phase sometimes referred to as ‘andropause’.
Andropause, much like menopause, can bring about a range of physical and emotional changes.
As I delve deeper into this topic, I’m learning that many men are being diagnosed with stress, anxiety and depression. Their doctors are prescribing anti-anxiety and anti-depressant meds, which simply are not helping. If that’s the case for you or your loved one, it could be due to low testosterone!
Although I did do an article on this a year ago, as I’ve done so much content around menopause lately, I thought it essential to cover this topic again, as men’s health is every bit as important as women’s.
In this article, we will delve into the concept of andropause, exploring its causes and symptoms and how men can navigate this important life transition.
To watch the extended YouTube version, click here.
I. What Is Andropause?
Andropause, often called “male menopause,” is a term used to describe the age-related decline in testosterone levels in men. It typically occurs in middle age, starting around the late 40s to early 50s, although it can begin earlier or later for some men.
Unlike menopause in women, andropause is typically a more gradual process, and testosterone levels do not drop suddenly.
II. Understanding the Hormonal Changes
To understand andropause better, let’s take a closer look at the hormonal changes involved:
Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone responsible for various bodily functions, including muscle mass, bone density, red blood cell production, and sexual function.
As men age, their testosterone levels gradually decline. This decline can lead to a range of physical and psychological symptoms.
While estrogen is typically associated with women, men also produce small amounts of estrogen, primarily through the conversion of testosterone.
As testosterone levels decrease, the estrogen-to-testosterone ratio may increase, potentially contributing to some symptoms of andropause.
III. Common Symptoms of Andropause
Andropause is a multifaceted condition with a wide range of symptoms. It’s important to note that not all men experience these symptoms, and their severity can vary.
Following are some common symptoms of andropause:
Fatigue and Low Energy: Men with andropause may experience unexplained fatigue, low energy levels, and a general lack of vitality.
Mood Changes: Mood swings, irritability, and feelings of sadness or depression can be associated with andropause. Many men may be misdiagnosed with depression and anxiety when, actually, it’s the reduction of hormones producing the symptoms.
Forgetfulness/Poor Memory: Having issues with memory loss and or poor memory recall can be an issue, as can brain fog, decreased cognitive functions and a decline in concentration levels.
Reduced Muscle Mass: Declining testosterone levels can lead to a loss of muscle mass and strength. Men may notice a decrease in physical performance and endurance.
Increased Body Fat: Andropause can contribute to increased body fat, particularly around the abdomen. This change in body composition can affect self-esteem and overall health.
Changes in Sexual Function: Reduced libido (sex drive) and changes in sexual function can be symptoms of andropause.
Sleep Disturbances: Sleep problems, such as insomnia or disrupted sleep patterns, may become more common during andropause.
Bone Health Concerns: Declining testosterone levels can increase the risk of bone density loss (osteoporosis) and fractures in older men.
IV. Coping with Andropause
Navigating andropause involves adapting to the physical and emotional changes it brings. Here are some strategies for coping with andropause effectively:
Seek Medical Evaluation:
If you suspect you may be experiencing andropause, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider. A doctor can assess your hormone levels and recommend appropriate treatment if necessary.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT):
In some cases, testosterone replacement therapy may be prescribed to address low testosterone levels.
As HRT (hormone replacement therapy in menopausal people helps manage low estrogen and sometimes progesterone levels), TRT can help alleviate some physical and emotional symptoms associated with andropause.
Again, this is why visiting your doctor and asking for a blood test is so important.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial during andropause. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate sleep can help mitigate symptoms and improve overall well-being.
Seeking support from a therapist, coach, or counsellor can be beneficial, especially if you’re experiencing mood changes or emotional challenges during andropause. I frequently coach male clients with these types of issues, creating a safe and confidential place to discuss their concerns.
Open and honest communication with your partner about the changes you’re experiencing can help maintain a healthy relationship.
Effective stress management techniques, such as mindfulness, relaxation exercises, and hobbies, can help reduce feelings of anxiety and irritability.
The Wrap Up
Andropause is a significant life transition for men that is often overlooked or misunderstood. While it shares some similarities with female menopause, andropause is a distinct experience with its own set of symptoms and challenges.
It’s essential for men to be aware of the changes that may occur during andropause and to seek appropriate medical guidance if necessary.
By understanding and addressing the physical and emotional aspects of andropause, men can continue to enjoy a fulfilling and active life as they age.
With the right support and strategies, andropause can be a manageable transition, allowing men to maintain their physical and emotional well-being throughout middle age and beyond.
Next week, I will be releasing an interview that I’m doing with Justin Powlesland. Justin has experienced an extreme case of low testosterone with almost devastating effects. He read my previous Andropause post, reached out to me, and has been kind enough to share his story with my viewers.
He has such a powerful story that it’s not one you want to miss! So, head over to my YouTube channel @JoBanks and make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss it. FYI, if you subscribe, I don’t get your email details; it’s completely confidential, you can remain anonymous (if you want to), and it doesn’t cost a thing.
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As always, thanks for your continued support.