ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WUSA) -- Mood swings, low sex drive, forgetfulness - sounds like menopause right? Actually it's also MANopause.
The official term for manopause is andropause. Men with this condition suffer from lower-than-normal levels of testosterone. According to various studies, this condition affects 20 to 30 percent of all men. Unlike menopause, which usually runs its course in a few years, andropause can last for decades.
91 percent of men with this condition suffer from low libido. Another common complaint is unrelenting fatigue. Titus Abraham, M.D. of Anne Arundel Medical Center, says andropause can lead to more serious conditions.
Dr. Abraham says, "Low testosteorone can lower the libido, or sexual interest. It can cause bone loss and in some cases cognitive dysfunction, in the sense that men may have less visual, spacial abilities and maybe mild forgetfulness."
Jack Maio of Edgewater, Md., suffers from chronic fatigue. He visited Dr. Abraham and was diagnosed with andropause. Jack didn't suffer from low libido like most andropause patients, but his lack of testosterone contributed to a larger problem.
Maio says, "I had been diagnosed with osteopenia which is a precursor to osteoporosis, so I obviously have some bone-thinning which concerns me. I don't want to have any problems with my bone structure."
Dr. Abraham says there are several treatments for low testosterone. There are bi-weekly injections, a patch, and the most popular treatment, a testosterone gel. Some men can be allergic to the gel, which is known to produce side effects such as depression, rage, nausea, and changes to skin color. Dr. Abraham says it is very important for those using the gel to report any side effects to their physicians.