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  • Writer's pictureDr. David Della Morte Canosci

ANDROPAUSE UNEXPECTED SYMPTOMS: UNVEILING SURPRISING CHANGES IN MEN'S HEALTH

Andropause, also known as male menopause, is a natural and gradual decline in the production of male sex hormones, particularly testosterone.


While many people associate andropause with the typical symptoms of decreased libido and sexual dysfunction, there are actually several unexpected symptoms that can occur during this phase of a man's life.


In this article, we will delve into the lesser-known effects of andropause and shed light on the surprising changes that can impact men's health.

uomo con andropausa sintomi

THE SCOPE OF ANDROPAUSE

Contrary to popular belief, andropause is not experienced by all men in the same way, and it can even be asymptomatic in some individuals.


It is essential to understand that andropause is not equivalent to female menopause, which involves a sudden and dramatic cessation of estrogen production. Instead, andropause is more accurately described as "partial androgen deficiency in the aging male."


It affects approximately 2.1% of the male population and can manifest in various areas, including somatic, sexual, and psychological aspects of a man's life.


UNEXPECTED SYMPTOMS OF ANDROPAUSE

While the decline in testosterone levels during andropause can certainly impact sexual function and desire, it is crucial to recognize that the effects extend beyond the realm of sexuality.


Some unexpected symptoms that may arise during andropause include changes in mood, such as fatigue, poor concentration, and even depression.


Additionally, andropause can have implications for the cardiovascular and nervous systems, leading to issues like insomnia, increased sweating, and alterations in physical appearance, including abdominal obesity, thinning skin, gynecomastia, and muscle loss.


DIAGNOSING ANDROPAUSE

Diagnosing andropause involves a thorough analysis of symptoms by a healthcare professional, who may also order blood tests to measure testosterone levels and perform a specialized examination if needed.


It is crucial for individuals experiencing any of the symptoms associated with andropause to consult a doctor or specialist, such as an andrologist or endocrinologist.


This is especially important because certain symptoms, such as erectile dysfunction, may be indicative of underlying cardiometabolic conditions like high cholesterol, hypertension, or diabetes. Early diagnosis and intervention can make a significant difference in preventing cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes.


PREVENTION AND LIFESTYLE MEASURES

While it is not possible to prevent the natural decline in testosterone levels associated with andropause, adopting a healthy lifestyle can help mitigate the impact of this process.


It is crucial to address risk factors that can accelerate the reduction of testosterone through habits that promote hormone production. Managing underlying conditions like diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, and hypertension is vital, as these conditions can exacerbate andropause symptoms.


Additionally, maintaining a healthy lifestyle by engaging in regular physical exercise, following a balanced diet, controlling weight, avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, and getting enough sleep can contribute to overall well-being during andropause. In some cases, individuals may also benefit from psychological support to manage symptoms related to mood changes.


THE AGE OF ONSET

Unlike menopause in women, andropause does not have a definitive onset age. The decline in testosterone production begins around the age of 30, with a gradual decrease of approximately 1-2% per year.


However, the noticeable effects of andropause typically become more pronounced after the age of 45. It is important to note that the significant reduction in testosterone levels usually occurs in men over the age of 60 or 70.


It is worth mentioning that the onset and progression of andropause can vary among individuals, and some men may experience symptoms earlier or later than others. Regular monitoring of testosterone levels and close communication with healthcare professionals can provide valuable insights into managing andropause-related symptoms.

uomo con sintomi da andropausa dal medico

FACTORS INFLUENCING ANDROPAUSE

Several factors can influence the onset and progression of andropause symptoms. While the natural decline in testosterone is inevitable, certain lifestyle choices and health conditions can expedite the process.


Obesity and sedentary behavior, in particular, can accelerate the reduction of testosterone levels. Excess adipose tissue, especially in the abdominal region, contains an enzyme called aromatase, which converts testosterone into estrogen.


This enzymatic activity is further amplified by factors like insulin resistance (a precursor to type 2 diabetes) and alcohol abuse. Other risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and stress can also contribute to the early onset of andropause symptoms.


These risk factors not only hasten the decline of testosterone but also increase the likelihood of developing atherosclerosis, which can lead to vascular-related erectile dysfunction and other unexpected symptoms.


UNVEILING UNEXPECTED SYMPTOMS

While the most commonly recognized symptoms of andropause revolve around sexual function and desire, it is important to acknowledge that other surprising changes can occur during this phase.


Beyond the well-known decline in libido and sexual performance, men may experience a range of unexpected symptoms. These can include a decrease in morning erections, changes in erectile function and rigidity, reduced intensity of orgasms, elongated refractory periods, and even changes in physical appearance such as hair loss and reduced muscle mass.


It is crucial to recognize that these symptoms, which may be initially attributed to aging, can be indicative of underlying hormonal imbalances and should be addressed by healthcare professionals.


RECOGNIZING THE COMPLEXITY

Given the multifaceted nature of andropause symptoms, it is essential to approach diagnosis and treatment with a comprehensive understanding of the individual's unique situation.


While testosterone decline is often associated with these symptoms, it is important to consider other potential causes, including psychological factors and underlying health conditions. This complexity underscores the need for a thorough evaluation by healthcare professionals, who can assess the interplay of various factors and develop tailored treatment plans.


Effective management of andropause symptoms requires a holistic approach that addresses both physiological and psychological aspects, ensuring the best possible quality of life for men during this transitional phase.


CONCLUSION

Andropause is a significant phase in a man's life, characterized by the natural decline in testosterone levels. While many are familiar with the expected symptoms of andropause, it is equally important to be aware of the unexpected changes that can arise.


From mood swings and altered physical appearance to cardiovascular and sexual health concerns, the impact of andropause extends beyond what meets the eye. By understanding these lesser-known symptoms, individuals can seek appropriate medical guidance and take proactive steps to manage andropause-related challenges.


With the support of healthcare professionals and a healthy lifestyle, men can navigate the complexities of andropause and maintain optimal health and well-being as they age.



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