Whether you believe in male menopause or not (also known as Andropause), if you are over 45 you should ask your doctor to order a reading of your androgen/testosterone level. This is a simple blood test and may give you the answer to why you are experiencing symptoms that you have consciously of unconsciously, considered to be attributed to the aging process.
The male testosterone levels begin to slowly decline somewhere around 30 years of age. This is usually not noticeable at this point and most men remain in their prime for several years to come. However, by the time men reach 50 years of age, the decline in testosterone levels become more rapid and often produce signs and symptoms that may be associated with the hormone decline. Many times these events are brushed off as a part of the aging process, but what men may not know is that there is treatment available to give them back some of their youthful energies and improve their quality of life.
It is common for men to associate their testosterone level with their manliness. This type of reasoning is thought to be the number one cause of men not having their levels checked. Although a low testosterone level at 19 may be reason for concern, a declining level later in life is absolutely, normal and in some fashion, happens to all men regardless of their manliness.
Symptoms of testosterone deficiency may include, reduced sex drive, erectile dysfunction, loss of body hair, muscle weakness, changes in sleeping habits, mood changes, anxiety, and depression. It is also around the age of 50 that men may be said to be having a “mid-life crisis”. You know, the sudden need to buy that Corvette, the little red convertible, the thoughts of a hair piece or Rogaine, the interest in girls young enough to be daughters, and for some reason, 50 seems to be the perfect age to buy that Harley you have always wanted.
It is estimated that 13 million men in the U.S. have a testosterone deficiency; however, only about 10% are being treated. This statistic is proof that an educational opportunity exists and more information needs to be provided to inform the 90% of untreated males that relief and treatment is readily available. This is not to assume the 13 million males with the deficiency have pronounced symptoms or would benefit from treatment; however, the knowledge needs to be readily available so informed choices can be made.
As with most conditions, health insurance plans with prescription riders usually provide coverage for treatment of testosterone deficiency. Unlike hormone replacement therapy for women, testosterone treatment does not have the adverse side effects or the controversial warnings. Treatment is available in a daily patch, gel, or monthly injection.
Make a note to ask you doctor at your next appointment to check your testosterone levels. If your quality of life can be improved, why wouldn’t you want to take the steps to be your old self again?