A simple activity like exercising could help men overcome a fairly common, yet sometimes embarrassing and debilitating condition. There is increasing evidence suggesting physical exertion might combat andropause, a medical problem faced by many men as they age.
What is Andropause?
This malady, also commonly referred to as male menopause, occurs due to the male body’s decreased production of testosterone, the principle male hormone. Testosterone, which is produced in the testes and pituitary gland, begins to diminish after a man turns 40. Testosterone plays a major impact on many body systems and contributes greatly to a man’s sex drive (libido), his muscle and bone strength, hair growth and fat absorption. Though andropause can begin before, in most men, symptoms typically set in after they reach age 50. In addition, not all men will experience andropause.
What are the Symptoms of Andropause?
The illness’s symptoms can be divided into two categories, mental and physical manifestations. Men dealing with andropause might experience mental maladies like depression and mood swings. Physical symptoms such as decreased libido, a lack of energy, insomnia, reduced muscle mass, weight gain and a susceptibility to bone fractures are common. However, symptoms can vary from person to person in occurrence and severity.
How Can Andropause be Treated?
Treatments can vary depending upon the symptoms experienced, as well as their severity. Men with mild manifestations might choose not to take any significant medical action. Others may address the condition on a symptom-to-symptom basis. More severe cases have been treated with testosterone replacement therapy. Though hormone replacement therapy has been successful in some men, the procedure comes with certain health risks like blood clots, cardiovascular disease and the increased chance to develop prostate cancer. However, another form of therapy gaining popularity is exercise.
How Does Exercising Help Ease Andropause?
Exercise is believed to have far reaching positive effects on those afflicted with andropause and is quickly becoming a recommended treatment option. Studies conducted in recent years suggest physical activity helps tackle the root cause of the malady. The results revealed men who partook in some form of exercise, be it running, weight training or cycling saw their testosterone levels rise, in some cases by as much as 25 percent.
Exercising can also help curtail certain symptoms of andropause. Physical exertion like weight training can counteract muscle loss and help maintain bone strength. In addition, men who exercise regularly may also experience better moods and enjoy a more positive outlook.
Comprehensive Studies Examining Exercise as Andropause Treatment Underway
A number of scientists truly believe exercise is a critical component in combating andropause. A clinical trial has just recently been established which will examine the impact physical activity has on andropausal men ages 40 to 59. Those participating in the study will receive a full medical evaluation and will then each be given an individual exercise protocol. When the study is completed, evaluators will determine the impact exercise had on important medical statistics including the participants’ Body Mass Index (BMI), waist circumference, muscle strength, sexual function and testosterone levels.
The test, which is expected to be completed by August of 2018, could play a role in establishing exercise as an even greater prescribed treatment for andropause and related symptoms.