What Is Andropause?

Andropause, also known as male androgen deficiency syndrome, is the male equivalent of female menopause. It results from diminished levels of testosterone in the body along with a relative increase in estrogen – exhibiting a similar symptom complex to female menopause.

The enzyme system called aromatase (found mainly in abdominal fat cells) converts a portion of testosterone into estrogen further diminishing testosterone production and availability. Because the drop in testosterone is more gradual, the symptoms of andropause appear over a longer period of time as compared to the female menopause. Symptoms present slowly, with a gradual and progressive loss of overall energy, thinning bones and muscles, increased body fat, depression, and impaired sexual function.

Testosterone deficiency is closely linked to hypertension, obesity and increased risk of heart disease. Many men with heart attacks often have lower levels of testosterone and higher levels of estrogen. Low free testosterone is an independent predictor of coronary artery disease (atherosclerosis) in men. Low testosterone is also a common characteristic in men suffering from heart failure. Testosterone replacement increases cardiac output in men with congestive heart failure.