Cwynar Article Archives

2012 | Newsletter archives

Q: My husband seems to be having hot flashes. Is that normal?

A: Most men experience hot flashes vicariously, if at all. But men are not immune. Hot flashes aren’t just a “woman’s problem.”

Men began reporting symptoms of manopause, which resembled those of menopause, many years ago though most doctors initially scoffed at the symptoms at first. They have since realized that manopause is a real condition.

So, what is manopause and why is it so important to understand?

The scientific term for manopause is andropause, a word 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. 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 that the decline of testosterone is gradual whereas the decrease in estrogen in women 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.

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 are an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.

Other symptoms common in manopause include: 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.

Men should have their doctor measure their testosterone levels regularly and seek possible Testosterone Replacement Therapy.