As men mature, a multitude of changes occur in the body. Most of these occurrences are caused by decreases in certain male hormone levels. Testosterone, the dominant male hormone starts to decrease gradually around the age of 30. Changes range from an escalation of body fat to declines in muscle mass. Understanding how these changes transpire will assist in slowing or possibly preventing certain body transformations.
Levels of testosterone decline at a rate of about one percent a year, and by age 70, the decrease can approach 50 percent, according to MayoClinic.com. Lowered levels of this hormone can affect increases in body fat, hair loss, mood swings and erectile dysfunction. Every male is different and may not experience all or a few of these symptoms. Therapy treatments can reduce these effects. Some of these reactions can go unnoticed for a period of time. If symptoms seem severe or become difficult to deal with, seeking medical advice is best.
Loss of Muscle Mass
Loss of muscle mass and strength as the male body matures is medically termed as sarcopenia. In a 2002 article hosted on the official website of The University of New Mexico, “this change begins around the age of forty and increases after the age of seventy five.” Sarcopenia is predominately seen in sedentary individuals but is also present in active individuals. This effect of aging can be partly reversible with a sound weight training regimen. Resistance training has been reported to influence the neuromuscular system, hormone concentrations and protein synthesis rates, resulting in maintenance or growth of lean muscle.
Increases in Body Fat
Males typically experience noticeable rises in body fat due to the effect of lowered hormonal levels. Lowered levels of testosterone lead to an unwanted cycle of abdominal fat growth. This gain of stomach girth leads to increased aromatase activity, which converts testosterone to estradiol. Most predominant in females, estradiol further reduces testosterone and increases the susceptibility of abdominal fat production.
Male menopause, or andropause, is referred to as the combination of symptoms that are an effect of plummeting hormonal levels, according to MayoClinic.com. Symptoms include changes in sexual function, sleep patterns and a variety of possible emotional differences. A medical professional can evaluate possible causes for signs and symptoms and explain treatment options. Honesty with doctors, even about uncomfortable topics such as possible erectile dysfunction, is necessary to receive proper care.
Changes in Mood
Reduced hormonal levels in men have been linked to changes in mood. Some emotional symptoms include depression, nervousness, irritability and unusual fatigue. Depleting levels of testosterone have been also linked to memory loss and difficulties in concentration.