Last week we introduced ourselves to the concept of male-menopause, that is medically known as andropause. Today we shall discuss symptoms and management of male-menopause. In a format of “Plans A & B – Self help”.
What do we know about male-menopause?
♥ Unlike the clearly defined female menopause, the whole concept of andropause, the “male-menopause”, is controversial. Nevertheless, increasing numbers of men are reporting puzzling symptoms that appear when they are 45 and disappears by 75.
♥ More research is needed, but scientists are beginning to take seriously the possibility that, these symptoms could be due to less efficient production of the male hormone – testosterone.
♥ Over the donkey-years, I have been in the medical practise, as I sit down daily, asking my male patients several questions. I have noticed, especially amongst those more than 40 years, symptoms that are similar, and look as if some hormones were deficient.
♥ If male-menopause is a genuine phenomenon, then all men will go through it, in the same way that women go through menopause, but that is not the case. Most men as they age show symptoms of decrease in testosterone(male hormone), but they still remain very sexually active and could still father children till they are 80 years and above.
What are the symptoms of andropause (male-menopause)?
Reported symptoms include;
■ Low energy levels.
■ Impotence and declining libido.
■ Night sweats.
■ Mood swings.
■ Joint pains. And
■ Digestive upsets.
Plan A – Self Help & Prevention of male-menopause. From 40 years and above.
1) Women cannot prevent menopause, and neither, if it is real, can men prevent menopause. However, there are a number of steps you can take to ease, your transition from youth, through the mid-life, to the older years.
2) Eat small amounts of food regularly, rather than big meals, with large gaps between them. This will guard against swings, in your blood sugar levels, which in turn, aggravate many symptoms.
3) Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, but avoid sugar and sweet foods, fatty foods and refined white flour – all can cause havoc to blood sugar levels.
4) Avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine, which can aggravate symptoms. Take de-caffeinated coffee, green tea, fruit juice and water.
5) Make sure you are getting regular exercise, but not excessive jogging, or anything else that could cause jamming, as your joints at that age are not as robust as those of a younger man.
6) Relaxation techniques can be an invaluable tool, for easing stress at this time.
Plan B – Treatment of male menopause.
1) If you are persistent and manage to persuade your doctor to accept the notion of andropause, you may be lucky enough to be placed on testosterone replacement therapy.
2) However this is not widely available on the doctor’s prescription list. So you may have to be more willing to accept the notion that male menopause is not an infirmity, but only a reduction of male hormones as one ages. A desideratum.
3) Herbal doctors offer herbs to reduce symptoms of andropause, but these have their own problems since dosages are not regulated.
4) The significance of a decrease in testosterone levels is debated, and its treatment with replacement is controversial. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA), stated in 2015 that neither the benefits nor the safety of testosterone have been established for low testosterone levels due to aging. The FDA has required that testosterone pharmaceutical labels include, warning information about the possibility of an increased risk of heart attacks and stroke.
5) The best remains to see a specialist doctor, if you start witnessing, the enumerated symptoms above. All treatments are individualised, what is good for you might be harmful to others.
God help us as we age.
Dr Ojum Ekeoma Ogwo.