There is a time in life for many men when a lot changes. The body gradually refuses to obey and men experience appetite disorders, mood swings, problems with sleep etc. If these happen, we are dealing with andropause – it is the male equivalent of what is known as the menopause in women.
Andropause, which is also known as viropause, male climacteric or male menopause, is a gradual process which takes many years to happen. It doesn’t afflict every man, however the number of men affected by this condition increases with their age.
It starts at a different age (at the age of 40–55), and its course is different depending on many factors. It is connected with androgens deficiency, especially with the reduction of testosterone production, where testosterone is responsible for many metabolic processes in a man’s body. A man is not given a clear signal that he is starting to experience andropause. There is no clear determinant showing that it has started, so many men ignore their worsened general feeling and many disorders common for this phase.
Whether these andropause symptoms will occur, and whether a given man will experience them or not is determined by many factors. Genetic predisposition is believed to be the main factor, however one’s lifestyle, diet and physical activity also play a significant role.
When diagnosing andropause many factors are taken into account. These are mostly the biological and psycho-physical condition, as well as the hormonal balance. The initial diagnosis is carried out basing on the Morley questionnaire (also known as „ADAM” questionnaire – Androgen Deficiency in the Aging Male) – andropause is suspected when the answer to three or more questions is positive.
As far as menopause in women means the loss of reproductive functions, andropause causes only their impairment. All of the remaining symptoms may significantly lower the quality of one’s life. This is why it is worth to see a doctor, who will carry out the diagnostics and help finding an adequate treatment, which can help successfully lessen the symptoms of ageing.
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