Your man could be unpredictable sometimes but if he becomes irritable for long periods of time, he might be experiencing andropose. This condition happens in men usually between the ages of 40 and 60 years old. Male menopause also known as andropause is similar with menopause in many ways. Like menopause, andropause is a natural degenerative process of the body. Also like menopause in which low estrogen is the culprit, andropause is also resulting from depleted levels of testosterone the body. In contrast to the female’s menopause, the males’ sperm does not determine the male’s andropause. Testosterone is the male hormone produced in the male’s gonads or testes. Andropause (a layman’s term) is a state interchangeable with the more medical term – late onset hypogonadism or ADAM.
How the ticking time bomb starts:
If there is a low level of testosterone, it can cause behavioral changes in the character of the person. Due to hormonal imbalance , irritability occurs. Mood swings is a common side effect of aging and andropause. Yes, in contrast to the popular myth that only women can have mood swings, men can have mood swings too! Men are also emotional beings. The generation of toughness, the fear of weakness and too much Superman cartoons made the society overlook this fact. The mood swings in men is described as irritable male syndrome. Normally, aside from low level of testosterone, this occur because of increasing levels of estrogen and high levels of cortisol (a stress hormone.) Other factors that can be partly responsible for andropause-related mood swings involves weight gain. Weight gain because of cortisol can develop adipose tissues which produce estrogen from testosterone thereby worsening the condition. IMS then, is generally the result of increased cortisol levels in the body. Men respond to these changes in different ways. They can act out their emotions or others bottle-up these feelings ending up sometimes in clinical depression which is a serious condition. If a man acts out, this results to a state known as irritable male syndrome as mentioned above. Majority of men doesn’t understand the changes of his personality causing him to be depressed. Normal levels of cortisol can help us handle stress without any health consequences. However, men are naturally poor in handling stress compared to women. Coupled with high cortisol levels, this can be devastating to a man’s body. Men usually denies that there is something wrong with him and usually blames others for his misbehavior.
Sign and Symptoms of IMS:
Signs and symptoms include unexplained irritability and hostility, worry and tension, frustration, dissatisfaction, being impatient, showing anxiety symptoms, aggressiveness, unloving and withdrawn. He can also throw child-like tantrums if his demands are not met instantly. This could be dissapointing to their partners and to the man himself because he himself doesn’t know why these emotional outbursts happens. Physiological symptoms also occurs in IMS, such as hot flashes and night sweats, insomnia, decreased libido and erectile dysfunction which is considered the most depressing of all. Fatigue and decrease in bone mass due to high cortisol levels detroying the muscles and bones of the body are also depressing factors.
What to do:
Partners and other people close to the man must suffering from IMS must help him accept that he needs help. A visit with his physician or endocrinologist to check his hormonal levels wont hurt. If his outbursts or depression is extreme, he should opt for a hormone replacement therapy or testosterone therapy. HRT is the medical administration of hormones either through pills or other forms to replace deficient hormones. Other natural remedies for stress are catharsis, herbal medicines, meditation, relaxation technique, deep breathing exercises and being optimistic. Natural mood enhancers are eating, exercise and sleep. Midlife crisis is not so bad if you know how to deal with it. Be attentive to your partner and be open-minded about him or her. For more information about IMS, consult your doctor.