Male menopause is actually caused "testopause" as what occurs during this aging process is the decline of testosterone and associated hormones (androgens) that are produced by the testicles and adrenal glands.
In females, it is the estrogen and associated hormones that decline, whereas in males it is the testosterone and associated hormones which begin to diminish and create physiological and psychological changes in the individual. When testopause occurs men may experience somewhat similar physiological and psychological changes as females do.
The loss of physical muscle strength, decreased energy, sometimes change in mood, a decrease of sex drive and weight gain, can all be a part of the hormonal changes in males that occur during the normal aging process.
The same self-care that supports a healthy transition for females during menopause applies to males in testopause. Daily exercise, decreased stress, good nutrition and adequate sleep all contribute to an easier transition during this natural phase of maturity and aging.
While hormone replacement has become popular solution to menopause, and now testopause, there are important factors to be considered before considering beginning hormone replacement, which should only be undertaken while in the care of a physician.
The upside of testosterone hormone replacement is that it is now evidenced that testosterone, when taken under a prescription, has shown to enhance the following:
- Bone density
- Fat distribution
- Muscle strength and mass
- Red blood cell production
- Sex drive
- Sperm production
This can translate to better heart health, weight control, cholesterol and triglyceride regular and glucose metabolism.
There are also risks to taking testosterone, as with estrogen replacement. These include the following but are not limited to testosterone:
- Contributing to sleep apnea — a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts
- Causing your body to make too many red blood cells (polycythemia), which can increase the risk of heart disease
- Causing acne or other skin reactions
- Stimulating noncancerous growth of the prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia) and possibly stimulate growth of existing prostate cancer
- Causing enlarged breasts
- Limiting sperm production or cause testicle shrinkage
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