Michael Andruzzi’s body was telling him that something wasn’t right. “I was always tired, it didn’t matter how much sleep I got, I constantly wanted to take a nap,” said Andruzzi, 40.

He was subsequently diagnosed with male hypogonadism, also referred to by the unofficial term male menopause.

Massage therapy benefits menopausal women in many ways, from effecting relaxation to pain relief, during a time when hormone levels change. (See MASSAGE Magazine’s September issue for a special package of articles on massage therapy for menopause.)

Hypogonadism is a condition that occurs when the testicles do not produce enough testosterone, the hormone that plays a key role in masculine growth and development, according to a press release from Northwestern Memorial Hospital, which treats hypogonadism patients. When hormone levels drop, men can experience significant mental and physical changes.

Just as in women, hormone changes in males can cause symptoms of fatigue, mood swings, decreased desire for sex, hair loss, lack of concentration and weight gain. Experts estimate that more than 5 million men are affected; yet they believe the number may be considerably higher since symptoms are frequently ignored.

Treatment options for male hypogonadism include hormone replacement therapy (HRT) via absorbable pellet implants, topical gels, patches, and injections. Through HRT, doctors can restore sexual function and muscle strength. In addition, men often experience an increase in energy and an improved overall sense of well-being.

“Once I began treatment, I felt better very quickly,” said Andruzzi. “My energy level shot back up; I regained strength and felt I could concentrate much better.”

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