Andropause is a condition exclusively for middle-aged males that is synonymous to menopause in women. It manifests itself as an imbalance in androgen and testosterone which results to some abnormalities in an otherwise healthy body. Andropause has been characterised as a silent affliction: while the symptoms and manifestations are mild, it can have a lasting effect on men if ignored.
All men normally experience a decline in the bioavailability of their testosterone as they age. In fact, the levels of testosterone in the body normally drop by 10% for every 10 years the man ages starting at age 30. However, some men experience it earlier than others and at drastic declines. That’s what makes andropause a big problem: a radical drop in the levels of testosterone produced by the body can affect its performance in some important functions like:
Facilitating sexual arousal and erection
Blood cell production
The production of lipids and carbohydrates
Serum protein production by the liver
Impact of Andropause in Our Normal Functioning
As you could see, these are all very vital processes that keep us healthy and strong. Lipids and carbohydrates are important to the body, which are synthesised by the liver from the food we eat. Deterioration in the body’s ability to produce means that we are not getting what we actually need from the food that enters our body. This manifests itself as fatigue since our body is not producing enough carbohydrates to fuel our activities.
The reduced capability of producing blood cells can have lasting impacts as well. Anaemia is just one effect of this, among others.
Erectile dysfunction can also be a problem especially if it comes too early for the man. This can result to issues in relationships, as well as in the man’s appreciation and confidence in himself. It can also result to depression as a result of the man’s reduced self-esteem and appreciation.
Testosterone has been touted in several studies as being responsible for maintaining the balance between the breaking and regenerating of bone tissue. Ideally, this occurs in equilibrium but as men grow older, their bodies experience a reduced bone density by 15% between 40 and 70 years old. This means that andropause in men significantly raises the risk of osteoporosis brought about by weaker bones. Osteoporosis is a serious and debilitating condition and, since it is caused by lower testosterone levels, makes androgen something that should not be ignored.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Fortunately, the medical technology of the current age makes it possible to diagnose and treat andropause for men. Diagnosis is facilitated by measuring the unbound testosterone in our bloodstream. These are the testosterone that are not bound to either globulin or albumin, and are the culprits behind the symptoms of andropause.
Once identified, andropause is then treated using hormone replacement therapy. This therapy consists of either natural or synthetic hormone medication, a great number of which is now available worldwide like Viagra. Most people prefer the natural hormone replacement medication since it does not have side effects, although the medication takes effect slower than synthetic medication.
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