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Why Men Can Have Hot Flashes Too

Oct 6, 2007
For years women have struggled with menopause symptoms and the challenges aging takes on their bodies. There has been some media coverage about how the tables have turned or in this case possibly equal between the sexes.

Men began reporting symptoms of manopause which resembled those of menopause many years ago to their doctors who scoffed at the symptoms at first, but have since realized that manopause is a real condition. So, what is manopause and why is it so important now?

Manopause has been dubbed the term to describe what some consider as male menopause. The scientific term for manopause is andropause. The word andropause is formed by combining two Greek words - andro meaning male and pause meaning stop. Andropause is a term used to describe low testosterone or male menopause. It begins with hormonal, physiological and chemical changes that occur in men between the ages of 40 and 55.

In some cases it can occur as early as 35 or as late as 65. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates that four to five million American men may suffer from low testosterone, but only 5 percent of them are currently being treated.

The notable difference between menopause and manopause is the decline of testosterone is gradual in comparison to women where the decrease in estrogen is sudden and ceases in a matter of years. Unlike female menopause, manopause can last for years because of its gradual onset. By the age of 50, 10 percent of men have low levels of testosterone and their testosterone levels will drop over the course of five years. By age 70, more than half of the men are testosterone deficient.

In fact, men lose about one to two percent of their testosterone every year, beginning at the age of 30. Some men suffer hot flashes because their testosterone levels have sunk so low. Physicians report that millions of American men suffer the symptoms of manopause without ever knowing it.

The following symptoms are common in manopause, but are often dismissed as a normal sign of aging: loss of energy, fatigue, hot flashes and night sweats, joint aches and stiffness in hands, changes in hair growth and skin quality, anxiety, memory loss, loss of libido, muscle mass decline, erectile dysfunction, irritability and mood swings, sleep deprivation, increased body fat, reduced muscle mass and strength, decreased bone density and depression.

Some research even suggests that a number of men also suffer from hot flashes much like menopausal women if their testosterone level is unusually low. Other complications associated with manopause include an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.

It should be noted that testosterone levels and these symptoms cannot predict whether men will benefit from treatment. There are many conditions that can cause the symptoms associated with low testosterone. For example, alcohol abuse, thyroid and other hormonal disorders, liver and kidney disease, heart failure and chronic lung disease can all cause similar symptoms. Depression can cause many of these symptoms in men who have normal levels of testosterone.

Men should regularly have their doctor measure their testosterone levels to ensure that they do not become too high, which can increase the risk of dangerous side effects such as blood clots, heart attacks and stroke.

One of the treatments available to men is TRT (Testosterone Replacement Therapy). The most significant concerns regarding TRT (which is available by prescription only) are the potential effects on the prostate. Increasing testosterone levels can lead to an enlarged prostate and possibly prostate cancer.

Additionally, if being treated with TRT, men should have regular physical examinations and blood tests to monitor for potential damage to their liver, blood and prostate. Sleep apnea has also been found to be a potentially life-threatening side effect of TRT.

Alternative treatments for low testosterone promote efforts to balance out hormone levels. This includes for example, increased weight-bearing exercises, losing weight, reducing stress, eating healthier with smaller meals, taking calcium supplements, and the possible use of TRT. Keep in mind that all hormones have side effects. The realization is that nature may have a reason for the decline in some of these hormones.

So what should you do if you have symptoms that may show testosterone deficiency? If you are older than 50 and have symptoms, see your doctor. The doctor should first determine whether the symptoms may be caused by other conditions. If not, the doctor should measure blood levels of total testosterone. The tests should be done in the morning, when testosterone levels are the highest, and repeated at least once to ensure accuracy.

Medical Disclaimer
Information in this article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to act as a substitute for medical advice provided by a qualified health care provider, nor is any information on this topic intended to diagnose, treat, care or prevent any diseases or conditions.

It is important when using herbs and vitamins to pay attention to our bodies' responses and to remember that natural doesn't mean we can take large amounts of a substance without thinking of side effects. It is recommended to obtain advice from someone who is familiar with herbs and vitamins for the correct dosages.
About the Author
Janice Willingham is an Internet marketer who likes travel and dabbling in health and wellness products. To find out more information go to:
YourHealthMatters
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