Male Andropause (Menopause):
Symptoms and Solutions
Around the age of 40-50, starting even as early as the thirties, men begin to go through hormonal changes. Their bodily changes are accompanied by changes in attitudes and moods, especially when the realization hits them — they are aging. During this time men frequently begin to question their values, accomplishments, and life direction. The entire pattern of these changes has led to the notion of the mid-life crisis.
Health research results show that a mid-life crisis is physical. It is a gradual and subtle shift in hormone production in the male body. Unlike a women, there is no medically defined marker, like the cessation of menstruation in women, which says a man is in male menopause also known as andropause. Science has known about andropause since the 1940s, but only until recently have there been accessible and easy to administer hormone tests. Now more than ever, there is interest in the aging process of me. Researchers are learning that letting male hormone imbalance go untested and untreated can lead to some serious physical health risks. Emotional issues also occur with this imbalance that can add stress to health and well being.
It is a fact that men go to the doctor 50% less than women, and are just not as verbal with their physician as are women. Some deny that there is even a problem. Therefore the symptoms of andropause go unexpressed which adds to the difficulty that men often have in understanding the changes in the body and mind.
There is a basic set of identifiable symptoms which signal changes in male hormone balance. These symptoms include some of the same symptoms women experience:
- Diminished sexual drive
- Urinary changes
- Lack of energy
- Decrease in strength and/or endurance
- Lost height, back pain
- Decreased enjoyment of life
- Irritability, anger, and grumpiness
- Depression or withdrawn
- Erections less strong
- Deterioration in sports ability
- Falling asleep after dinner
- Decreased work performance
- Joint aches and stiffness of the hands
- Premature aging
- Changes in hair growth and skin quality
- Loss of physical fitness, weight gain, and beer-bellies
- Hot flashes
- Increased anxiety
- Loss of self esteem
- Decreased memory and/or concentration
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, solutions are not difficult. Most often men can experience relief from many of these symptoms quickly. Suggested solutions to male hormone imbalance symptoms incluIde:
- Hormone testing (saliva)
- Drink plenty of clean water
- Make healthy dietary changes that increase health not weight
- Exercise to increase metabolism, and reduce body fat
- Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy
- Supplements and herbs
- Reduce stress in your lifestyle
Hormone tests are saliva tests that are both easy to administer and relatively inexpensive. You can complete the test in the privacy of your own home with complete instructions included. And envelope is provided to send the saliva sample directly to the lab and they in turn will send the results to us which, in turn, we will email to you. Theire is a good synopsis provided with each test and we highly recommend taking the test to a trusted health practitioner.
Water is the foundation to good health and every cell in your body is bathed in water. Most people do not drink enough water, but instead get their water through sugary drinks, caffeinated drinks or chemical laden drinks. I highly suggest making your own clean and safe water by using the Wellness Water Carafe. The Carafe is easy to take with you to work, while traveling or to put the water in your own water bottle.
Healthy diet is imperative for good health and well-being. If your diet is poor, your health will eventually show the overall lack of proper nutrients.
Exercise is more than simply getting fit. Regular exercise boosts your oxygen levels, increases the immune system, and helps the body fight disease more effectively. It energizes us, helps us relax, improves sex life, and gives us an overall feeling of health and well being. Excess body fat from poor eating habits can be eliminated with a consistent program of activity.
BHRT (natural progesterone), is also good for men going through andropause. Bioidentical progesterone is safe and non-toxic. Saliva testing your hormones will show if bioidentical progesterone is a good fit for your hormone concerns. The goal is to achieve hormonal balance, not to go from one concern to another. This is why it is always good to seek out advice from a trusted healthcare professional.
Supplements and herbs can aid in overall health. Studies have found Vitamins C, D, E and zinc, selenium, flaxseed, milk thistle and garlic are beneficial.
Reducing stress is a key element to improving health and wellness. Your hormones can become unbalanced just by the body managing too much stress. Hormone imbalances are stress in of itself. By using bioidentical progesterone cream and following all of the above solutions, you can reduce your the stress on your body. In addition, look at life on the positive side, take up mediation, and create a list of affirmations for those times when you need a reminder to let things go.
Many physicians may not know the latest research on andropause, and end
up treating the symptoms with Viagra, synthetic testosterone and/or an
antidepressant. This only treats the symptoms not the cause. The health
risks of neglecting hormone imbalance include increased risk of heart
disease, osteoporosis, and prostate cancer.
Testosterone and Estrogen in Men – John R. Lee, MD
It is well known that the estradiol level in 55-year old men, for example, is usually a bit higher than that of a 55-year old woman. The man, however, does not develop breasts because he has a higher testosterone level than women do. As men age, their estradiol levels gradually rise, whereas their progesterone and testosterone levels gradually fall. The hormone balance changes. These gradual changes lead to reduction in testosterone benefits and eventually to estrogen dominance. That is, his estradiol effects emerge since his testosterone level is not sufficient to block or balance them. Estrogen dominance stimulates breast cell growth and endometrial cell proliferation in women. In men, estrogen dominance stimulates breast cell growth and prostate hypertrophy. Estrogen dominance is
responsible for the majority of breast cancers and is the only known cause of endometrial cancer in women. Since the male prostate is the embryonic equivalent of the uterus, is should not be surprising that estrogen dominance is also a major cause of prostate cancer.
Testosterone supplementation is the obvious treatment for men with testosterone
deficiency relative to their estradiol levels. If the estradiol, progesterone, and
testosterone balance that prevails in younger men (when they do not get prostate cancer) is
a healthy one, why not restore the hormone levels in older men to that same healthy
Loretta Lanphier, NP, CN, CH, HHP is a Naturopathic Practitioner, Clinical Nutritionist, Clinical Herbalist and Holistic Health Practitioner in The Woodlands, TX and CEO/President of Oasis Advanced Wellness. A teacher, educator and author, she counsels Oasis Advanced Wellness clients on the aspects of getting the body healthy and keeping the body healthy. As a stage 3 cancer survivor, she is able to relate extensively, both as a patient and a practitioner, to clients suffering from disease. Loretta is dedicated to helping people create lasting changes in their health and enhancing well-being through whole body nutritional balancing including physician strength supplementation.