Wed, May 21, 2014 - Page 4 News List

‘Male menopause’ affects work: doctor

By Huang Hsu-lei and Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Doctors are reporting more mature men with problems such as dwindling energy levels, decreased sex drive, inability to focus at work and a tendency toward angry outbursts, which they said could be due to a drop in secretion of the male hormone testosterone.

More men above the age of 45 are becoming more impatient and easily agitated, leading them to believe they are entering a “mid-life crisis.”

However, doctors said the problems likely stem from physiology and a hormone deficiency.

Lee Wei-chia (李偉嘉), attending physician of the Urology Department at Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, said mature men and women enter “menopause,” at which females cease menstruation, while the signs in males are not as clear.

Male menopause is also known as “andropause,” but it is not recognized by the WHO.

“In Taiwan, we have an old saying: ‘When one enters old age, it is accompanied by three bad things — getting more tired and sleepy, insomnia and lacking in ambition at work.’ These could be due to hormonal imbalances,” Lee said.

Lee said that some athletes use steroids to boost their energy levels and strength, but workers do not need steroids to raise their hormone levels.

“When men find that their libido is waning, their career ambition is dwindling or they are suffering from chronic anxiety and bouts of depression, then they must boost their nutrition to counter the effects of male menopause,” the doctor said.

He said that testosterone stimulates the brain to prompt erotic arousal, with males aged from 15 to 30 having the highest levels of testosterone. From ages 30 to 40, the level flattens out and starts to diminish when men reach about 40, with a subsequent average decline of between 1 and 2 percent each year.

Lee said there are three ways to replenish testosterone in males: through half-monthly or monthly injections, oral supplements — which are metabolized through the liver — and by topical medication, which is absorbed through the skin.

Patients who take oral supplement must have follow-up checks to monitor their liver, Lee added.

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