A man walks into the doctor's office complaining of fatigue, muscle weakness and decreased sex drive. He tells the doctor he thinks he has symptoms of andropause.
The doctor disagrees with him stating that "there's no such thing as Andropause... its a completely made-up condition."
Think the above was a joke? It's not. In fact, the above patient doctor exchange happens nearly 1,000 times per day in the U.S. alone.
One of the biggest controversies gripping todayís medical world is the subject of andropause. Doctors are taking sides with one school of thought or another and furiously debate at conventions and in papers if this male pms version of the menopause exists, what symptoms should be taken into account during the diagnose process and what treatments are effective. There is no consensus at the moment and the search still goes on for an explanation that fits all the facts.
Since the 1940s, the term andropause has been used to describe a condition that was considered to be similar to the female menopause. The blame for triggering this condition was laid on falling levels of the testosterone hormone from around the age of 45 onwards. Andropause was also considered to be the source of many problems faced by men past their prime, such as weight gain, heart disorders, mood swings, depression and plummeting libido.
However, the condition is highly debated, with doctors doubting it even exists. The main hurdle in agreeing upon a definition of andropause is the fact that there is no clear physical symptom that could be used to diagnose the condition. While the end of menstruation is the classic tell-tale for menopause, men display no such universal symptom that could clue doctors to whatís going on. Thatís why the medical world is still polarized between the two camps that argue back and forth over this issue.
Case in point... my own father.
He had been complaining about most if not all of the symptoms of Andropause: loss of muscle strength and mass, decreased erection firmness, mood swings, losing his ability to hold his temper... it was like dealing with my mother all over again!
He went to his doctor and his doc did run a testosterone level check on him. His blood testosterone levels were in the normal range, but near the bottom of the normal range. His doctor said "Well... everything looks fine." My father almost threw him through the door. My dad's not an ignorant man and he understood that even though they were within the "normal" range... they were near the bottom. This point he stressed to his doctor.
The doctor finally agreed to testosterone replacement therapy and my fathers results have been short of amazing. More energy...more strength... calmer mood. And when asked how things were in the bedroom, he simply smiled and stated...
"Go ask your mother."