5 million men suffer from male menopause

Aug. 23, 2010 at 5:45 PM
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CHICAGO, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- Some 5 million U.S. men suffer from male menopause -- fatigue, mood swings, less sex desire, hair loss, lack of focus and weight gain, researchers say.

Male menopause, technically known as male hypogonadism occurs when the testicles do not produce enough of the male hormone testosterone. If the level of this hormone drops, men can experience significant mental and physical changes.

"This is a highly prevalent disorder," Dr. Robert Brannigan, a urologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital says in a statement. "Unfortunately, we estimate that 95 percent of cases are undiagnosed and therefore untreated. When ignored, symptoms can seriously disrupt one's quality of life."

Hormone variations are a normal aspect of getting older, in females, ovulation comes to an end and hormone production declines in a relatively short period of time, but men experience hormone shifts more slowly, with testosterone levels dropping around 1 percent each year beginning in a man's late 30s, Brannigan explains.

By age 70, a male's testosterone level can drop down to 50 percent compared to baseline levels, the study says.

Treatment involves hormone replacement therapy via absorbable pellet implants, topical gels, patches and injections. HRT can restore sexual function and muscle strength and increase energy levels, the study says.

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