by Dr. Rebecca Chatfield, Naturopathic Medical Doctor, The Mobile Health Doc
Menopause is a time in a women’s life when a natural decline in reproductive hormones takes place. Most people have heard of female menopause and are familiar with the symptoms associated with it, but a far less recognized age-related hormone shift happens for men, too.
Male menopause, or clinically known andropause, is a result of lower testosterone production that takes place for most men in their 40s and 50s, and the symptoms are less well defined than those seen with female menopause.
This biologic transition encompasses physical, psychological and sexual changes. Some common signs and symptoms associated with lower testosterone levels include:
- Lowered energy levels
- Mood swings
- Lack of motivation
- Poorer sleep quality
- Decreased muscle mass
- Lowered sex drive
- Erectile dysfunction
There are a variety of approaches that can help increase testosterone production and optimize male hormone health. As conventional medicine offers few options for men experiencing the effects of andropause, many are turning to natural treatments to find relief from their symptoms.
- Pausinystalia yohimbe increases libido and sexual function by increasing blood flow to the genitals.
- Withiania somnifera, commonly known as ashwagandha, helps improve stress response by reducing cortisol and acts as an aphrodisiac by increasing testosterone.
- Heavy weight training and interval training increase endorphins and human growth hormone — both of which can reduce andropause symptoms.
Whole Foods Diet
- Eat a nutrient dense diet high in fruits, vegetables and healthy fats and low in processed foods and sugar. Some important nutrients for testosterone production that can be derived from food include zinc, magnesium and vitamin D. Obesity and high BMI have a high correlation with low testosterone levels.
- A study by the University of Virginia Medical School revealed growth hormone levels increased 2,000% in men who ate no calories for 24 hours. Growth hormones levels are correlated with testosterone levels.
Even though it is a natural part of life to experience changes in your body as you age, you do not have to accept symptoms that interfere with your physical vitality and ability to live a satisfying existence.
For assistance in optimizing male hormone balance seek out an integrative health care provider.