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Do Men Also Have A Hormonal Cycle?

IMS as the male counterpart of PMS? American psychotherapist Jed Diamond wrote a bestseller about the Irritable Male Syndrome (IMS). He is also the author of the book ‘Male Menopause’.

The term IMS was introduced by doctor Gerald Lincoln of the Medical Research Council’s Human Reproductive Sciences Unit in Scotland. Lincoln studied the mating cycle of Soay sheep and discovered the rams became nervous and moody in winter, when their testosterone levels were low. Naturally men aren’t sheep, but the principle is the same: the Irritable Male Syndrome is caused by a drop in the levels of the male hormone testosterone. According to Jed Diamond, the symptoms of IMS are comparable to those of PMS: mood swings, irritability, anxiety and aggression. It has to be said, however, that the scientific community is sceptical about IMS.

Male menopause

How about the suspected male menopause? Does it really exist? Men do experience a decrease of testosterone production: 1 to 1.5% a year from the age of 30. In women, however, the estrogen production decreases at a phenomenal rate: 80% within a few years. This sudden hormonal change causes quite a lot of menopausal complaints. If men experience complaints which resemble female menopausal problems, it’s often related to their lifestyle. Obesity and diabetes, for example, are risk factors. Men who suffer from the metabolic syndrome have a 50% chance of testosterone deficiency.

What’s called ‘male menopause’, is known in the medical world as late-onset hypogonadism (LOH) or testosterone deficiency syndrome (TDS). When they’re around the age of 60, about 6% of men suffer from a shortage of testosterone. These low testosterone levels could lead to a diminished libido and erectile dysfunction. Other characteristics include depression, mood swings, difficulty sleeping, osteoporosis, reduced muscle mass, hot flashes (!) and tiredness.

Is he suffering from IMS? Take the quiz on Jed Diamond’s website.

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Shen Schol

Shen Schol

nice to meet you, happy face

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