Low T…… Is there a Male Menopause?

Do you feel like you’re reliving the movie Grumpier Old Men? Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau are reunited. So what is different about them now? Well, obviously there are physical changes including increased body fat, reduced muscle bulk, strength and endurance. And underneath it all decreased bone density. Swollen or tender breasts and loss of body hair are also possible. Changes in sleep patterns can also occur. The inevitable erectile dysfunction and fewer spontaneous erections are part of the sequelae of male menopause.
The grumpy part can be a result of low testosterone and may contribute to a decrease in motivation or self-confidence. There may be feelings of sadness or depression or difficulty concentrating and remembering things. Some of these signs and symptoms are typical with aging. However, others can be due to side effects from medication, thyroid problems, depression and excessive alcohol intake.
The best way to determine if low T (testosterone) is the problem is through a blood test which will reveal a reduction in the bioavailability of testosterone.
Encourage your partner to be honest with their doctor so that they may determine whether the signs and symptoms listed above are secondary to medication side effects or other issues. Healthy lifestyle choices will help to improve energy levels, strength and increase lean muscle mass. Regular exercise can improve mood and promote better sleep. Be careful of herbal supplements which have not been proven to be safe and effective for aging related low testosterone. There is not enough scientific evidence to show that DHEA will be helpful and might even increase the risk of prostate cancer.
Depending on your partners age group and health status, testosterone replacement therapy may be an option. Just as in women there are benefits and side effects. Encourage your partner to ask their physician whether testosterone replacement may be the treatment indicated for them.