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  » Men's health  »  Aging Male Syndrome

Rob was 42 when he divorced his first wife and married a woman 10 years younger than he. He was looking forward to starting a new life, with a new wife and a new job, in a new area. After twelve years of marriage, the dream was becoming a nightmare. He was 35 pounds overweight and feeling "fat and old." He felt his career was stalled, and he didn't feel any fire for what he might want to do in the future. He alternated between passive withdrawal and angry outbursts. He had difficulty sleeping and would get up four our five times a night to urinate. His sex life had greatly diminished and what remained, seemed more often, done out of habit than passion. He admitted he was having erection problems and told me, with terror in his voice, that for the first time in his life, it seemed that he was finding reasons not to have sex, even when his wife was interested. There was constant conflict at home with his wife and children. It seemed, he said, like his wife was critical of everything he did, and he felt more like one of the unruly kids than a husband and father. (From Male Menopause by Jed Diamond)

Rob fits the profile of a man with aging male syndrome (AMS), also called male menopause, andropause, viropause, male climacteric, and late onset hypogonadism . Men go through AMS between the ages of 35 and 65 (normally between 40 and 55) when their hormone levels (especially testosterone) go down. Testosterone is a hormone that helps maintain sex drive, sperm production, pubic and body hair, muscle, and bone. Testosterone levels decrease over time. This decline is normal in healthy males as they age. Unlike women who lose their fertility (ability to get pregnant) when they reach menopause, men do not lose their fertility. All men have different experiences— some men’s hormone levels go down more than others, and some have more symptoms than other men.

 

A decline in testosterone can affect a man’s body. AMS has many signs:

  • Feeling fat/weight gain
  • Problems sleeping
  • Less interest in sex
  • Feeling irritable or angry
  • Loss of motivation
  • Loss of drive at work
  • Erection problems
  • Nervousness
  • Problems with memory and concentration
  • Indecisiveness
  • Lower self-confidence
  • Tiredness
  • Muscle loss
  • Increased urination
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Loss of energy
  • Bone loss
  • Hair loss