What is Andropause, types, symptoms, treatment and remedies

What is andropause?

If women go through menopause , men go through andropause, a condition characterized by low testosterone in the bloodstream .

Unlike what happens with women, who will necessarily go through the phase of ovarian failure and the consequent interruption of the hormones progesterone and estrogen, not all men develop andropause.

According to urologist Aguinaldo Nardi, from the Hospital for Rehabilitation of Craniofacial Anomalies at USP, contrary to what the name suggests, there is no pause, but a decrease in the production and, consequently, circulation of the hormone testosterone in the male body from the age of 40.

The Brazilian Society of Endocrinology and Metabology states that about 15% of men between 50 and 60 years of age have Androgenic Deficiency in Male Aging. The chances of developing the disease increases with age, with 50% for those over 80 years old.

DAEM, Andropause or simply male Menopause?

In Brazil the most used term to refer to the disease is DAEM: Androgenic Deficiency of Male Aging.

What is testosterone?

Testosterone is the main male hormone. Mostly produced in the testicles, it is responsible for adding male characteristics to the individual, such as: growth of the prostate, hair, hair, muscle mass, bone mass and voice thickening. In addition to reducing stress , it improves fitness and guarantees several other benefits to the individual.

Causes

Endocrine changes

The production of hormones is controlled by the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, which connects the central nervous system to the endocrine glands. When there is a deficiency in this axis, some glands stop performing their function, causing the testosterone level to drop.

Scotral changes

Testicular atrophy generated from surgeries or antiandrogenic drugs can be one of the causes of andropause.

Aging

The main cause of testosterone deficit is aging, because over the years the organism starts to decline, causing some functions to decrease or cease. This decrease is done slowly and gradually from the age of 30.

Depression

There are specialists who do not believe in AEMD as a physical disease, but as a psychological one, resulting from depression .

This is because, in addition to the symptoms being similar, a survey conducted at the National Institute of Health in the United States reported an improvement in the clinical status of depressed patients when being treated with testosterone.

Types

There are three types of andropause:

Primary andropause

Primary andropause is characterized by abnormal testicles. They undergo a reduction in size, which causes a drop in testosterone production.

Secondary andropause

The secondary type is deficiency in the pituitary or hypothalamus, both of which are important glands for the production of testosterone. The pituitary and hypothalamus are located in the brain, being responsible for the production of hormones. Together with the testicles, they turn cholesterol into testosterone.

Mixed Andropause

This is the rarest type, because in addition to the change in size, there is also a deficiency in the hypothalamic-pituitary axis.

Groups of risk

From the age of 40, all men are prone to manifesting andropause, however the chances are even greater for:

  • Diabetics;
  • Depressants;
  • Hypertensive;
  • Obese;
  • Alcoholics;
  • Smokers;
  • Sedentary.

Symptoms

It is important to be attentive to clinical examinations, as many of the symptoms are similar to those of other diseases and simple aging.

The most common symptoms are:

  • Fatigue;
  • Loss of bone and muscle mass;
  • Increased visceral fat (in the belly);
  • Impairment of memory and cognitive functions;
  • Changes in mood (irritability, anguish, peaks of emotion);
  • Decrease or loss of libido;
  • Decrease in the number of night or morning erections;
  • Erectile dysfunction;
  • Dry skin;
  • Fogacho (heat);
  • Anemia;
  • Hair loss and / or reduced beard growth and reduced body hair.

How is the diagnosis made?

The diagnosis of andropause must be made by an endocrinologist , through the observation of symptoms and blood test .

In the blood test, the levels of total testosterone in the blood will be evaluated, being 300 to 1200ng / dL considered normal (reference values). Below 300, the diagnosis can be of andropause. To rule out other possibilities, the doctor may order additional tests, such as prolactin and gonadotropins:

Prolactin

Prolactin, popularly known as the milk hormone, is an important hormone in the human body. It is present in men and women and is responsible for stimulating the production of breast milk, assisting the immune system, forming blood vessels and so on.

In addition to these purposes, prolactin is also the hormone that regulates sexual functions. So when it is high, testosterone levels drop.

In the case of andropause, the prolactin test is requested when the man has only decreased sexual desire or infertility.

Gonadotropins

This test is performed to identify the existence of possible germ cell tumors in the testicles.

Spermogram

The spermogram is performed to analyze the man’s ability to reproduce and the conditions of the prostate. The test is done because testosterone is essential in the production of sperm, and altered results may indicate problems with this hormone.

Is andropause curable?

Since the disease is caused by decreased testosterone production, many people believe that just replacing it chemically is enough to get rid of the disease. Unfortunately it is not quite like that: andropause is incurable .

When performing the appropriate treatment, the patient reduces the effects of the disease, but does not cure it, as aging reduces the levels of the hormone more and more.

What is the treatment?

The treatment of andropause is hormone replacement , which will accompany the man until the end of his life, since it is a disease without cure. This replacement can be done through:

Stickers

This is a painless and less invasive way of receiving testosterone. The patch is glued to the skin of the arms, thighs, abdomen or back. The hormone slowly enters the body throughout the day.

Gel

This option requires a little more care, since the gel solution can be transmitted from one person to another. In this case, if your doctor recommends this treatment, always remember to wash your hands properly after application. The method of application is done directly on the skin.

Pills

Taken orally after meals, the tablets serve as daily doses of testosterone. Not all men can take them, as they have several contraindications for patients with liver, heart, kidney disease or with high levels of calcium in the blood.

Injections

Very popular in Brazil, injections are given once or twice a month. Like pills, they have contraindications for men with advanced stages of heart disease, kidney disease or with too much calcium in their blood.

The good news for those who wish to receive treatment via injection, but are in the group of contraindications, is that not all injections have the active ingredient that affects other functions.

Just avoid injections that contain testosterone cypionate and testosterone enanthate.

Natural treatment

In addition to the use of medications, many men resort to natural treatments to relieve andropause symptoms.

However, these methods said to be natural are not scientifically proven and are subject to risks as undesirable side effects.

Some commonly used natural remedies are:

Tribulus terrestris

To replenish testosterone naturally, a good option might be Tribulus terrestris tea . Drinking two to three cups of tea a day, the level of testosterone in the blood increases, it also helps with sexual impotence.

Catuaba

The catuaba is used not for hormone replacement, but as an aphrodisiac. The tree grows mainly in the Amazon rainforest, and the first to take advantage of its capabilities were the Tupi Indians.

The plant increases blood flow in the genital region, which makes it more sensitive to stimuli and increases libido.

Marapuama

Used to maintain testosterone levels and erectile dysfunction , Marapuama is still under study, soon new perspectives on the plant are expected.

Peruvian Maca

It is not for nothing that the plant has this name. It develops between 4 and 5,000 meters of altitude, in the Central Andes of Peru, where the temperature reaches minus 25 degrees. It is used by men and women, when it comes to increased sexual desire and control and prevention of osteoporosis .

Ginseng

Known as Korean, Chinese or Asian Ginseng, much has been heard about the properties of this herb. Orientals believe that it has anti-aging, immunological, mental and mainly physical stimulating properties.

Drugs for andropause

It is necessary to remember that every situation must be evaluated by a doctor, as each individual has a specific need. These are the commonly prescribed medications:

  • Durateston ;
  • Androxon ;
  • Deposteron ;
  • Nebido .

Attention!

NEVER self-medicate or stop using a medication without first consulting a doctor. Only he will be able to tell which medication, dosage and duration of treatment is the most suitable for his specific case. The information contained in this website is only intended to inform, not in any way intended to replace the guidance of a specialist or serve as a recommendation for any type of treatment. Always follow the instructions on the package insert and, if symptoms persist, seek medical or pharmaceutical advice.

Prognosis

Symptoms can vary from case to case, so many men experience this problem negligently. For a favorable prognosis, a fast and efficient diagnosis is necessary.

Medical follow-up will ensure a maximum of a better quality of life, but it is necessary to remember that each situation requires specific medical guidance.

Living together

The best way to live with andropause is to always be well informed, since unlike women, men never know whether or not they will go through andropause.

Keeping an updated medical routine is also part of the adaptation process.

Each man with andropause faces the disease in a different way, however psychological counseling is recommended, as it is necessary to be patient and know how to deal with the decline of some body functions as age advances.

The most reported annoyance is premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction. It is important to talk to your partner about this and remind her that it is not something optional but biological. Here we see again the importance of psychological counseling.

Complications and contraindications

According to experts, there is no effective cure for andropause, so the treatment aims to mitigate its effects. Hormone replacement poses a risk only for cancer patients, as it benefits their evolution.

Without treatment, the andropause carrier can be affected mainly by:

Sexual impotence

The lack of testosterone leads to sexual impotence which, when caused by andropause, can be cured. The ways to carry out the treatment vary from medications for hormone replacement to the placement of a prosthesis.

Premature ejaculation

A topic of constant taboo in offices, premature ejaculation is the release of sperm before the completion of the sexual act.

Memory loss

More than an indication of aging, memory loss can be caused by andropause, since testosterone influences cognition.

Prostate cancer

The prostate is an organ in which part of the sperm is produced, and is located in the lower part of the abdomen and in front of the rectum. Since testosterone is its main influencer, problems with this hormone can aid in the development of a tumor.

Irritability and insomnia

Insomnia and irritability are inconveniences that can occur at any age, but are even more severe for individuals with andropause.

Falling libido

The drop in libido is the unwillingness to have sex. Since the desire to have sex is closely linked to testosterone, the lack of this hormone inevitably leads to a drop in libido.

Decreased muscle mass

As previously read, testosterone is responsible for muscle growth, so if your production drops your muscles tend to decrease.

Hair loss

Heredity and andropause are the main reasons for hair loss from middle age.

Osteoporosis

According to the Brazilian Society of Endocrinology and Metabology (SBEM), between 40 and 70 years of age, bone density in men decreases by 15%, the problem is accentuated in men with andropause.

How to prevent andropause?

 

As with any disease, it is necessary to avoid situations that may aggravate the stage of the disease. As the main cause of andropause is age, there is not much to be done about it. However, some tips for preventing andropause are:

Getting rid of addictions

Addictions are highly harmful to health, that is, the first step towards a quality of life is to end addictions, such as: Smoking , alcoholism , physical inactivity and irregular diet.

Healthy habits

Leading a healthy life and playing sports helps prevent numerous diseases and with andropause it would be no different. Other good habits combined with the practice of sports are:

Take care of the food

Balanced food is good at all stages of life. Upon entering middle age, this becomes even more evident. A great example of what to eat are eggs and seafood, as they are rich in omega 3 and vitamin D. These nutrients are excellent agents in favor of fighting osteoporosis, one of the complications of andropause.

Stay hydrated

In addition to keeping the skin hydrated, which is already an advantage for vain men, drinking at least two liters of water increases physical resistance, improves digestion and controls blood pressure.

Sunbathe every day

Taking sun every day is enough to guarantee the right amount of vitamin D. In addition to fighting osteoporosis, it helps in absorbing calcium into the intestines and kidneys.

Taking care of mental health

As important as taking care of the body is taking care of the mind. As andropause is gradual, it can sometimes be confused with a midlife crisis or depression.

This is because some symptoms are similar. It is worth noting, too, that men with depression are more likely to manifest the disease.


The Brazilian Society of Urology (SBU) says that most men have not even heard of Andropause. If you suspect the disease, seek specialist medical evaluation.

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