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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    Men going through 'change-of-life malaise' often find that testosterone therapy provides relief

    By Shari Rudavsky for The Indianapolis Star
    March 14, 2005

    Excerpted article

    The symptoms: Loss of energy, irritability, forgetfulness, decreased sex drive, weakness, fatigue, all stemming from hormone levels shifting as the person enters middle age. The treatment: Hormone therapy to restore the body to its previous vigor. Sound like menopause, the experience women undergo as they enter the later years of their lives?

    It's the male version -- nicknamed "manopause," "andropause," or "viripause."
    Change-of-life malaise is no longer a diagnosis limited to women. Doctors are now using testosterone to treat an increasing number of men whose hormone levels wane as they age.

    Estimates vary as to how many men could benefit from testosterone replacement therapy.

    Studies suggest that about 50 percent of all men have reduced levels of testosterone according to a test that measures "bioavailable testosterone," says Dr. Jerald Bain. He is president of the Canadian Society for the Study of the Aging Male, a group of professionals who study the topic of older men. As many as half of the men who have lowered testosterone levels could suffer symptoms, he says.

    Replacing testosterone does more than alleviate the visible symptoms, advocates say. Men who have reduced testosterone levels are likelier to suffer osteoporosis, predisposing them to fractures, Mulcahy says.

    And testosterone therapy may help address other problems. One 2004 study by University of Buffalo researchers showed that about a third of men who had Type 2 diabetes also had low testosterone levels.

    Many of these men find that exercise will not improve their muscle mass, argues Fisch, a professor of clinical urology at Columbia University. Treat them with testosterone, combined with exercise and diet, however, and they will see a marked improvement, he says.

    "They say, 'I try to exercise but I can't,' because their tank is empty. If you don't have testosterone you can't exercise," Fisch says.

    "I find that men have a real difficult time in losing weight if their testosterone is low. In my experience, it's impossible."

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