Everyone knows about menopause and how it can wreak havoc in a woman’s life. However, not too long ago, experts discovered men can also suffer from a condition similar to menopause.
Male menopause or andropause as medical experts call it, is an age-related hormonal decline in men. Unlike menopause, andropause is a gradual occurrence. At the age of 30, hormones may start to drop at a rate of one percent per year. Therefore, by the age of 50, a man may have a 20 percent decline in hormones. Though, the starting age and the percentage of decline may vary. Hormone levels may start to drop later in life and may drop at a higher percentage as the years go by.
A man’s hormones may start to drop early due to many factors. Environmental hazards, excessive consumption of phytoestrogens and xenoestrogens, certain health conditions, and an unhealthy lifestyle can all cause abnormally low testosterone levels in the body.
Similar to menopause, andropause comes with physical and psychological symptoms,such as the following:
- Unexplained Fatigue or Lack of Energy
- Loss of Muscle Mass and Strength
- Loss of Muscle Density
- Weight Gain
- Hair Loss
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Low Libido
- Decreased Pleasure During Orgasm
- Hot Flashes
- Mood Swings
- Difficulty Focusing and Concentrating
If you are experiencing the following symptoms, see your doctor or a naturopath. A test maybe necessary to
determine andropause and to explore the possible treatments.
One popular treatment of andropause is hormone replacement therapy (HRT) which is also used to relieve menopause.
It involves the use of synthetic hormones to replace the insufficient natural hormones the body produces. However, HRT has become controversial after several health concerns emerged regarding its use.
Undergoing hormone replacement therapy may increase a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer, heart disease, liver problems and poor testicular function. Another option is the use of progesterone USP cream,which menopausal women also use. TheUSP cream can effectively improve the symptoms of andropause, but it’s not too efficient when it comes to sexual dysfunction problems, unlike HRT.
In additionto these options, here are the top fivenatural ways to cure male menopause:
1. Herbal Remedies Work
Several herbs have been used as traditional medicine for improving a man’s sexual health and function. Today, these herbs are made into teas, powders and capsules for the same purpose.
Tongkat Ali: A reproductive specialist from Kuala Lumpur initiated some studies to determine the effectiveness of Tongkat Ali in boosting natural hormones in the body.
The first study included adult men from different age ranges aimed to determine Tongkat Ali’s effect on testosterone. After receiving a 100mg supplementation of Tongkat Ali every day, all 30 men showed elevated testosterone levels. In fact, 91 percent of the men reported improved libidos; 82 percent said they felt emotionally better and 73 percent of them had improved sexual function.
- Horny Goat Weed: Horny goat weed is an herb used as traditional Chinese medicine for erectile dysfunction and low libido. Horny goat weed increases dopamine,which is a neurotransmitter that stimulates the liver to produce more testosterone. The herb also helps dilate arteries for improved blood flow to the brain and the sex organs.
- Yohimbine: Men with andropause may suffer from erectile dysfunction. Yohimbine helps dilate blood vessels, thus, increasing blood flow to the penis to aid erection. Before taking yohimbine, check with your doctor first. It contains substances that can cause allergic reactions, can interact with your medications and other adverse effects. Taking the right dosage is also important.
- Black Cohosh: The root of the black cohosh plant is a popular remedy for menopause and may work for male menopause, too.
The root is known to reduce night sweats, hot flushes and mood swings brought by fluctuating hormones.
Experts agree that herbal remedies can improve sexual issues in men with andropause;however, they do not address the root cause of the problem.
2. Reprogram Your Diet
Making healthy lifestyle choices, such as improving your diet can have a huge impact on relieving your andropause symptoms. Your doctor may provide you with a customized diet plan, along with supplements to improve adrenal functions and hormone production and utilization.
These diets commonly include vegetables and fruits with less meat and other high-protein sources. You should also avoid soy, as it is one of the rich sources of phytoestrogens.
If you are overweight, you will need to follow a diet to help you lose and maintain a healthy weight, because excess fats in the body can act as storage for estrogen.
High estrogen production can overwhelm testosterone levels. You should also watch out for xenoestrogens or estrogen-like substances present in processed foods and the fast food products you consume.
3. Focus On The Quantity And Quality Of Your Sleep
A lack of sleep can further mess up your hormone production, so make sure you get enough quality sleep. If you’re a night owl, it’s time to change that habit. No more movie marathons until dawn.
No more frequent staying out late with your buddies in a bar. It’s not easy changing a sleeping pattern, but you should make an effort to jump into bed earlier, even if you think you won’t fall asleep immediately.
4. Get Some Regular Exercise
Staying physically active through regular exercise can benefit men with andropause in many ways.
Exercising regularly increases the release of endorphins, the neurotransmitter that gives you feelings of euphoria to help battle depression and mood swings due to andropause. Endorphins are also known to be serious stress-fighters.
Regular exercise before andropause helps build and tone down muscles to minimize loss of muscle mass due to declining hormones. It also boosts the production of growth hormones and improve metabolism, which is necessary for decreasing symptoms of male menopause.
Moreover, some studies show that rigorous exercise such as weight training can cause a sudden rise in testosterone levels.However, this does not mean your exercise routine should be intense. There is no denying that your body isn’t the way it was. Do what you can and what works for you, building up as you get stronger.
5. Love Your Liver
Hormones are synthesized in the liver; therefore, keeping the liver healthy can help you’re your hormone levels in check. Cleanse your liver to ensure its proper function. Alcohol is one of the top causes of liver problems, so limit your intake.
Just like women, men will experience age-related hormonal decline called andropause, which brings similar symptoms. There are several options for treatment: advanced and natural.
Advanced treatments such as synthetic hormone therapy is effective in alleviating the symptoms; however it comes with serious side effects. Natural options, on the other hand, work but won’t give immediate results.