The origin of the word andropause is the combination of “andras,” human male, and “pause,” meaning cessation. Sometimes referred to as “male menopause,” andropause is the onset of emotional and physical symptoms in middle-aged males, often associated with low testosterone levels.
At What Age Does Andropause Start?
The onset of andropause symptoms in men typically starts in the late 40s to early 50s, which is why it is often called “male menopause.”
However, unlike females who experience the cessation of ovulation and plummeting hormone levels for a short period of time, male production of testosterone and other hormones declines slowly over time.
On average, testosterone levels decline 1% a year after 40, with most men maintaining normal range levels, according to the Mayo Clinic. In other words, there is no true “male menopause.”
“True andropause”(similar to the plummeting hormone levels women experience) could be caused by loss of testicular function because of disease, accident, or medical castration, according to a 2013 study published in the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism.
The onset of andropause symptoms has more to do with lifestyle factors that result in stress, depression, and anxiety.
What Are The Symptoms of Andropause?
Male menopause or not, andropause systems are very real, with the ability to impact organ function and the quality of life, according to the 2013 study.
According to the UK’s National Health Service, andropause symptoms include depression, loss of sex drive, erectile dysfunction, and other physical and emotional symptoms such as:
- mood swings and irritability
- loss of muscle mass
- reduced ability to exercise
- fat redistribution (including a large belly)
- a general lack of enthusiasm or energy
- difficulty sleeping (insomnia) or increased tiredness
- poor concentration and short-term memory.
Are There Natural Treatments Available For Andropause?
For men with clinically low testosterone levels, testosterone replacement therapy is a holistic treatment option.
However, the most effective natural treatment for andropause is making changes to your lifestyle. Symptoms are often related to lack of sleep, a poor diet, lack of exercise, drinking too much alcohol, smoking, and low self-esteem. These behaviors tend to lower testosterone levels.
Improving sleep, diet, and exercise habits, in addition to quitting smoking and limiting drinking, are all lifestyle choices that can boost testosterone levels, offer relief, and improve self-esteem.
Consuming more zinc (in combination with B6 and magnesium, which help the body to absorb zinc), may also help to increase low testosterone levels, as can getting outside and taking in more Vitamin D.
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