Male Menopause: Can Men Really Go Through the Change?
Can men really go through the “change of life” also known as “menopause?” Don’t laugh because doctors are saying it might be a possibility!
Men all over claim to be suffering from weight gain, “sexual dysfunction,” fatigue, depression and other symptoms, as they approach the middle years. And blood test results for some of these men show low levels of testosterone, prompting medical professionals to believe that low testosterone levels and the symptoms mentioned above directly correlate with something called “late-onset hypogonadism” or in much simpler and understandable terms: “male menopause.”
Read all about this crazy, new medical discovery below:
Male menopause, as it has been dubbed, is controversial. First there’s the name, which experts dislike because it draws an inaccurate parallel with the female experience. (The accurate term for men is late-onset hygonadism.) What’s more, the disorder itself is not universally accepted, with some saying there is weak evidence for a link between symptoms and decreased hormone levels, and questioning whether benefits outweigh the risk and unknowns of testosterone prescriptions.
“I think the question that arises is how much of this is related to hormones and how much of it is the facts of life that we experience as we age,” said Dr. Thomas Walsh, an assistant professor and director of male reproductive and sexual medicine at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine in Seattle. Walsh, a urologist, prescribes testosterone after what he describes as “heavy informed consent.”
“There is still a lot of controversy, and I don’t think we have all the answers yet. You have to take the data at hand and apply it to the individual,” he said. Up to four million men may have low testosterone, with most caused by age-related declines. However, only a minority receive treatment, according to Walsh. That number of men affected is expected to rise.
‘Male menopause’ may grab attention, but experts dislike the term, because it glosses over the significant differences between the hormonal changes men and women experience as they age. “Nobody doubts female menopause, and nobody doubts the mechanism by which it happens, that’s not the case for male menopause,” said Dr. Ike Iheanacho, editor of the journal Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin, which in June published a review on using testosterone to treat so-called male menopause. “That epithet is unhelpful, because it deters people from doing what we [have] done, which is look at the evidence.”
The review, which reflected the journal’s opinion, found weak causal evidence that age-related hormone declines cause symptoms in men, a lack of long-term data, and at best, mixed results for short-term treatment. For a woman, menopause marks the end of fertility and occurs when progesterone and estrogen, produced by the ovaries, drop off. Symptoms can last several years, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). Hormonal changes in men are quite different. Testosterone levels can decrease by about 1 percent to 2 percent each year after about the age of 40. While menopause is a universal experience for women, testosterone does not decline in all men. Other factors besides aging, like obesity or injury, are associated with low testosterone.
For many years, long-term hormone replacement for women was considered protective for all kinds of ailments, until study results in 2002 revealed it increased risks of heart disease, stroke, blood clots and breast cancer, according to the NIH. This history has implications for men with low hormones and symptoms, Walsh said. “You are seeing today far more caution on the part of clinicians and investigators.”
Source: Live Science
WOW!!! What will they think of next???
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