What's the male "manopause" and how are you going to fight it after the age of 40?

“Manopuase” is a term used primarily by the media as a catchphrase to explain how the physical and mental performance of middle-aged men declines, but while manopause seems like a derogatory term, it makes sense - and it is let's face it, it sounds a hell of a lot better than "hypogonadism"; the medical term for those who suffer with little or no sex hormone production. "Muscle & Fitness" spoke to Dr. Jeff Foster, a men's health specialist and medical director at H3 Health in the UK, to find out what we should know about manopause as we approach our 40s and beyond, and what the latest treatments are. 2021 so that we can # befitover40 with both our body and our mind.

What is "manopause"?

Testosterone increases gradually in men until they are around 30 years old, then it begins to decrease at a rate of around 1 percent per year. Your testosterone levels are affected by lifestyle factors like diet, stress, and genetic makeup, but once your levels start to drop, you are likely to lose more than just your sex drive.

In women, menopause means the drop in estrogen, and in men, manopause, or hypogonadism, basically means a decrease in testosterone production. Whether you prefer “manopause,” “hypogonadism,” “andropause,” or some other term, it is important to be aware of what they all essentially mean. Due to a lack of awareness, many men suffer from easily treatable symptoms from low testosterone levels because they simply attribute them to the aging process, when in fact there is so much we can do to improve our quality of life. Testosterone offers metabolic benefits such as muscle mass, bone density, cognitive skills and many aspects of our personality, it also reduces the likelihood of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, so it makes sense to have an optimal "T" level!

Testosterone-Blood-Test-Results-Low-HormonesJarun Ontakrai

What are the signs of manopause and low testosterone?

Signs of low testosterone levels include low sex drive, difficulty getting or maintaining an erection, low sperm volume, hair loss, fatigue, loss of muscle mass, increased body fat, mood swings and memory problems, and "brain fog".

In the United States, a low T-value is diagnosed when the level drops below 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng / DL). In England, where Dr. Foster practices, the British Society of Sexual Medicine uses a different scale where a target of 15-30 nanomoles per liter (nmol / L) is the ideal test range. In theory, low testosterone levels can be diagnosed by a simple blood test, but treating the problem is more complex because an underlined medical condition such as asthma or depression can cause your levels to drop. This is where the advice of a men's health practitioner comes in handy.

“What we really want to know is the level of free testosterone; the real or "bioavailable" testosterone in our blood, "says Foster. “A fit and healthy man only has about 3% usable testosterone at any given time and the rest is bound to other proteins, mainly sex hormone-binding globulin and albumin. This means that some men have normal testosterone levels, but in fact the amount they can actually use is less than it should be. This is why it is so important to see a men's health specialist, and not just rely on an online test or even a regular doctor, as you may be told your readings are normal if not. "

Know this before starting testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).

Foster shares this: "Perhaps less conscientious clinics give men with low testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), but there are two things we should always do before starting therapy."

  1. Find out why the values ​​are low. Other medical problems can cause low testosterone levels, such as thyroid disease, type 2 diabetes, anemia, problems with our pituitary gland in the brain, and some medications or lifestyle factors.
  2. Decide whether treating the cause can restore the levels. For some men, a combination of poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, little or no sexual activity, obesity, poor sleep, high levels of stress, and some medications (such as asthma, blood pressure, and antifungal drugs) can affect our testosterone levels.

“We can't ignore these things,” says Foster. “We always need to treat patients holistically by addressing the underlying cause. Research their lifestyle and then you can add TRT if that is still needed. Interestingly, while this is true, some people find that they find themselves in such a negative spiral that it can be almost impossible to change these bad habits. For these men, we give them testosterone early on as it provides the energy and motivation they need to lose weight, eat better, sleep better, and improve their mental health. These men may be able to completely discontinue testosterone once their lifestyle or other medical problems are resolved. "

Man-With-Plastic-Gloves-Using-Testosterone-CreamMarc Bruxelle / Shutterstock

The latest advances in the treatment of testosterone deficiency

Thanks to advances in technology, TRT can be given in the form of a topical preparation or as an injection. For some, daily use of a cream or gel is the way to go; others prefer injections as this can mean several weeks between treatments. It is already known that maintaining a healthy weight, staying active, reducing stress, improving the quality of sleep, and consuming less alcohol all have positive effects on test values, but there are other advances made by experts like Dr. Foster at his clinic in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire.

"We're now using a combination of testosterone replacement and daily tadalafil (a drug similar to Viagra, but with a longer half-life)," says Foster. “This seems to produce better results for many patients than using testosterone substitutes alone. Tadalafil is cheap and very effective and can have other heart benefits in addition to better sexual function. "

Despite our tendency to proclaim ourselves "over the mountain" by age 40, the existence of a low test can affect any age group. “My clinic has more than 150 men treated and my youngest patient is 26 and my oldest is 92,” says Foster. “It can affect any man and we already have almost 1 million men in the UK diagnosed with low T values. (It is believed that at least one in four men over 30 in the United States has low testosterone levels, and that number is increasing due to our older life expectancy and other environmental factors.) The key is listening to your body and following. look for the symptoms and don't just accept them as & # 39; normal for my age & # 39 ;. “Good advice!

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