Is male menopause real?
BY: Michael CastlemanThat depends on who you ask. Some researchers argue that men over 50 undergo hormone-related changes similar to female menopause. Others insist that male menopause (or andropause, as it’s also called) is a myth that encourages doctors to prescribe testosterone, which may cause harmful side effects, including possibly accelerating the growth of prostate cancer, causing liver disease, and aggravating sleep apnea and congestive heart failure.
However, both sides agree that as men age, testosterone production gradually declines, and some men do suffer symptoms similar to female menopause, including loss of libido, depression, fatigue, insomnia and mental fuzziness.
So what should you do if you think you’re experiencing male menopause due to diminishing testosterone?
The Male Menopause Debate
Dr. Alvaro Morales, a urologist, professor and expert on male sexual function and conditions associated with aging in men at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, says male menopause is “an irrefutable fact” and advocates treating the condition with testosterone to reverse the effects of hormone loss.
Others disagree: John B. McKinlay, an expert in epidemiology and male endocrinology, and chief scientist at the New England Research Institutes in Watertown, Mass., contends that the “purported syndrome” should be “buried” and that symptoms resulting from aging can be relieved by adopting a healthy lifestyle, daily exercise and a diet low in animal fat and rich in fruits and vegetables.Consider the two sides of the male menopause debate, then talk to your doctor and decide what’s best for you.
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Michael Castleman has been called "one of the nation's leading health writers" (Library Journal). He is the author of 11 consumer health books and more than 1,500 health articles for magazines and the Web. Michael is a frequent contributor to Live Right Live Well.