Hey men – experiencing mad mood swings, sudden heat flashes and a fleeting sex drive?
You could be going through men-opause.
Women aren’t the only ones who have to worry about shifting hormones wrecking havoc as they age. Scientists say some men also suffer from andropause – a menopause-like condition – as they get older.
Scientists at the Centre for Men’s Health in London found that 20% of the 10,000 men over 50 were affected by a hormonal imbalance, the Daily Mail reported.
Much like the fairer sex, men experience dips in hormone levels as they age. Testosterone deficiencies cause some to experience similar symptoms to menopause, including energy loss, diminished libido, memory loss and night sweats.
But while the condition may be more pronounced in women undergoing hormonal changes, male symptoms are often much more gradual. Erectile dysfunction is one common indicator – a condition some men are embarrassed to get checked out.
Others are hesitant to believe they might be undergoing andropause at all, according to Dr. Malcolm Carruthers, who runs the Centre for Men’s Health.
“Testosterone deficiency syndrome is a common and serious condition that is not being diagnosed or treated,” he told the Daily Mail.
Men aren’t the only ones reluctant to admit there might be a problem. The World Health Organization refuses to recognize andropause as a medical condition, the Daily Mail said, and other doctors are hesitant to get onboard with the diagnosis.
But while some might doubt the seriousness of andropause, some scientists say that there’s more at stake than just grumpy mood swings. Carruthers said that lower testosterone levels can lead to a slew of other health problems, including heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
And unlike women, whose symptoms tend to wane after menopause, andropause can continue well into old age, the Daily Mail reported.
Whether or not andropause actually exists, there are treatments available to combat testosterone deficiency including testosterone implants and replacement therapy.
“By ignoring the problem we’re putting men, and their wives, through needless misery,” Carruthers told the Mail.