Sex hormones can start to drop in late 20s for some men, screen for male menopause: U of A pharmacy researchers

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‘Manopause’ is striking more men than are being treated, leaving them increasingly fatigued, overweight and disinterested in sex with each passing decade, say two pharmacy researchers at the University of Alberta.

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But the pair of Edmonton researchers have recently published new guidelines to help pharmacists treat testosterone deficiency as men age.

While women’s menopause tends to occur over a few years in their 50s, men’s sex hormones can start to drop as early as the late 20s, with symptoms progressing over subsequent decades.

Tiredness, weight gain and low libido are just some of symptoms middle-aged and older men face as testosterone levels decline — but many men are unaware of what’s going on with their bodies, says lead author Cheryl Sadowski, professor in the Faculty of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences.

The new guidelines, published in the Canadian Pharmacists Journal, give pharmacists more tools to screen patients, address risk factors, initiate and counsel for lab testing, and collaborate with primary care doctors to manage treatment, said co-author Nathan Beahm, assistant clinical professor.

“Pharmacists may see patients more often than physicians and interact with them more,” Beahm said. “Pharmacists can engage in screening and ask some initial questions to identify patients who might benefit from treatment and might otherwise slip through the cracks of the system.”

The pair say evidence so far indicates that 50 per cent of men will experience some ‘manopause’ symptoms at some point, but more study is required to determine the exact prevalence of late-onset hypogonadism.

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