Male Menopause is unlike the Menopause that occurs in woman, as the decline in the hormones are much more gradual for men. Male Menopause is the most common term for Andropause, and it is indeed a real occurrence for men of a certain age. As you grow wiser, natural production of your manly hormones don’t come as easily for your endocrine system. This is because of normal aging, but lifestyle, diet, and physical activity levels can play major roles as well.
Age related changes in male hormone levels can cause a set of symptoms like testosterone deficiency, androgen deficiency, and late-onset hypogonadism. These symptoms can cause frustrations and distractions about “getting older”. The stresses of this new outlook can cause rash behaviors that are associated with the ever popular mid-life crisis.
The Man’s Change of Life should be a refining and maturing of his maleness. A time of emotional strength, stepping into the realm of functional wisdom, compassion, and wit! This change doesn’t take away any sex appeal, and in fact most women prefer the older man. If you have the knowledge, this time can be a great and even exciting transition. Those who tend to be less informed seem to fight it all the way, and make more of a plunge into crisis mode.
It’s important to know that there are things that you can do that can help you tremendously, so before you click “buy” on that brand new Harley you’ve spent hours online customizing- let’s take a look at some information that can make this transition a happy and healthy one!
Symptoms of Andropause:
- Hot Flashes
- Mood Swings
- Weight Gain, especially in the abdomen
- Loss of muscle
- Hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating
- Low energy
- Low libido
- Decreased strength and frequency of erections
- And more.
Andropause in men is typically between the ages of 40-60, however it’s becoming more common that men as young as 30 are experiencing some cyclical disturbances as well. Again, this could be due to lifestyle and the standard american diet. A Naturopathic Doctor takes a functional medicine approach that would integrate testing and treatment to bring balance to the whole body. A comprehensive blood panel would give great insight into how your body is performing and, it’s the perfect place for you to start working with your Naturopath to personalize a treatment plan.
Recognizing a Mid-Life Crisis:
- Buying expensive items like sports cars
- Changes in Sleep Habits
- Imbibing more often with alcohol
- Smoking or picking up a new bad habit
- Disconnecting with friends and/or loved ones
- Feelings of it being “too late” or “nothing will change”
- Being impulsive
- Major mood Changes
A midlife crisis is not a medical condition, but men can experience anxiety and depression due to a set of new overwhelming feelings and changes.
Being honest, crisis is a strong term and can perpetuate a negative stigma. While we understand that this time can be slightly stressful for men, here at Gentera we tend to stay away from terms or feelings that could create a block in the flow of proper healing. So for the sake of this article and the respect we have for men of any age, we are going to refer to these as The Male Life-Change and Mid-Life Awakening.
Now that we’ve got all the not-so-fun things outlined and addressed, let’s take a look at all of the wonderful things we can do to support your body in a Naturopathic way so that you can experience Healthy Aging and prevent making any impulsive choices!
Diet and Exercise:
These two are an equal combination of importance. A pathway for toxins to exit is created by working out, which allows better assimilation of very important nutrients. Fresh and organic fruits and vegetables provide our bodies with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, polyphenols, and more. These are key to preventing many diseases, and in some cases can promote anti-aging! We also suggest eating foods that are high in fatty acids and omega-3’s to fight inflammation and help with circulation. Go for plant protein instead of animal protein- things like peas, beans, and lentils- to help encourage lean muscle mass. These are also high in fiber which helps eliminate used up hormones and also supports healthy cholesterol levels. Keeping the weight off will help the body balance the hormones more appropriately, too! Drink at least half of your body weight in water every day, and for a healthy alternative to coffee reach for some green tea. Green tea is full of benefits and is very tasty. As far as your workouts go, do what your body can handle. Sweating is ideal, so try to sweat at least 5 times a week for 30 minutes. Don’t smoke or drink excessive amounts of alcohol. These are not hormone friendly. If you need help quitting, we have options for that as well!
Managing stress and anxiety will play a huge roll in your well-being during this life change. Tension and anxiety should never go ignored, and now that you’re in this stage of life it’s particularly important for you to stay relaxed. Luckily, there are some wonderful Naturopathic methods you can incorporate to your weekly and even daily routine with no harmful side effects. Meditation has been proven in clinical studies to create calmness and to overcome things such as depression and even substance abuse. It can be very powerful, yet so simple to incorporate daily. Here’s an idea- wake up with the sunrise and take a few steps outside. Take a nice deep breath while stretching high towards the sky. Sigh it out, keeping your feet planted into the earth. Repeat this a few times for at least 5 minutes, feeling the calmness come over you while you take in all the great benefits of the sun, ground yourself, and clear your mind. This should set the stage for a great day and help eliminate stress. You can also try things like biofeedback, acupuncture, cupping, and yoga! Talk to your Naturopathic Doctor about the best options for you to de-stress.
Maybe a Reset?
Everyday, to no fault or to fault of our own, we are exposed to toxins and free radicals that can cause a lot of damage and throw our body’s systemic interdependence off balance. In this new chapter of your life, you may be a good candidate for a professionally guided detox. A good cleanse can really help set the stage for all the new healthy lifestyle changes you will make and drastically lessen the burden of toxins in your body so that it isn’t working so hard to fight inflammation and digestive issues. Your Naturopathic Doctor will create the best detox options for you based on blood work that would test for heavy metals, chemical overload, histamine levels, and any genetic mutations that may be keeping your body from detoxing on it’s own. Then, your doctor can prescribe things like supplements, herbs, infrared sauna, castor oil packs, and maybe even enemas depending on how severely you need to detoxify. And of course, a professional will know that along with proper cleansing your body needs to be provided with a lot of nutrients so it can function optimally. This may include supplements, custom injections, and personalized IV therapy to ensure all of the necessary bases of your cleanse are covered. We highly advocate working with your Naturopath for a proper detox program tailored to you. Cleanses should always be done correctly, or you can cause more damage or reverse any progress that you may make otherwise.
More Supportive Options and Actions:
Herbs are a great way to receive medicinal support at any time! But there are some in particular that help with the decline of hormones but both reducing associated symptoms and encouraging healing of a specific system. Herbs that are beneficial to Andropausal Men are vitex, black cohosh, tongkat ali (nope, not a boxer), mugwort, and yarrow. These all have very specific benefits, providing nourishment and balance to the male cycle. Herbs are amazing because they pose almost no side effects and they’re powerful– They work!! Because of this, do work with your ND for correct dosage and interactions with any other medications you may be taking. Interactions are not common but they can occur.
Supplements that could help are omegas 3 and 6 for inflammation, l-arginine for sexual health (check with your doctor first if you have a history of any herpes virus), and a really good multi with a proper balance of b-complex vitamins to support nutrient intake.
Nothing can beat a healthy lifestyle! In this new phase of your Mid-Life Awakening, open your mind to new options and healing possibilities. Gentera Center for Regenerative Medicine takes great pride in offering modalities such as IV Therapy, BHRT, PRP therapies, and more to our male patients and have seen great success with the programs we’ve implemented with our Andropausal men. This should be an amazing and relaxing time for you to soak in all of the benefits of your life’s hard work. Gentera is here to support you in that, and help you feel better about YOU!