By the time men are between the ages of 40 and 55, they can experience a phenomenon similar to the female menopause, called andropause.
As with women, andropause in males begins at a time when life often offers some of its greatest rewards. But unlike women, men do not have a clear-cut signpost such as the cessation of menstruation to mark this transition.
Andropausal body changes occur very gradually in men and may be accompanied by changes in attitudes and moods, fatigue, a loss of energy, sex drive and physical agility.
Men. Do You Suffer from Male Andropause?
- Loss of Muscle
- Loss of Strength
- Declining Energy
- Declining Libido
- Increased Fat
- Heart Disease
- Loss of Ambition
- Loss of Motivation
- Loss of Drive
- Declining Testosterone
- Declining HGH
- Declining DHEA
- Increased Estrogen
Low testosterone levels for men can mean high health risks. After decades of research and hype surrounding female menopause and hormone replacement therapy, men have recently started receiving some attention about their own age-related hormonal decline.
In many instances, testosterone replacement in men with andropause can be highly effective and beneficial. It's not for every man, of course. Even those who show symptoms may have other health problems at the root of it all. You should discuss with your doctor if you would be a good candidate for testosterone replacement therapy.
In various clinical studies, very good responses to testosterone have been reported for men with low testosterone, and they include:
- Improvement in mood and sense of well-being
- Increased mental and physical energy
- Decreased anger, irritability, sadness, tiredness, nervousness
- Improved quality of sleep
- Improved libido and sexual performance
- An increase in lean body mass, a decline in fat mass
- An increase in muscle strength (hand grip, upper and lower extremities)
- Potentially, a decrease in the risk of heart disease
Other potential benefits include maintenance or improvement in bone density, improved body composition, muscle mass, and muscle strength, as well as improvement in visual-spatial skills.
Male pattern baldness (Androgenic alopecia )
Male pattern baldness is not a disease since the tendency to lose hair is genetically predetermined. A proper diagnosis is important because there are other types of hair loss as well. Alopecia is categorized as either scarring or non-scarring. Scarring forms of alopecia include types such as androgenic, areata, and secondary syphilis. Alopecia areata is characterized by sudden hair loss and is thought to be caused by an autoimmune disorder. Scarring types include those associated with inflammatory and autoimmune conditions and severe infections.
Platelet rich plasma has been showing promise in helping to nourish the scalp when caught early.
Male infertility can be caused by low or no sperm production as well as erectile dysfunction, and many other factors. A correct diagnosis is absolutely critical if a successful outcome is to be achieved. Conventional semen analysis may not be enough because it is not very accurate. In our office, we include an evaluation for hormone problems such as hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, etc. Other causes must also be excluded including the use of drugs that cause infertility, infection, and a number of other conditions. History of exposure to toxic chemicals, heavy metals, radiation, use of alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, and caffeine would also need to be looked at.
Causes of Infertility
- Hormone problems
- Genetic defects
- Toxic chemical exposure
- Excess heat exposure
- Heavy metals
- Drug usage (legal and illegal)
- Sperm production problems
- Nutritional deficiency
- Tobacco smoking
Elevated levels of the heavy metals lead and cadmium are of the most concern. We like to test for these metals and remove them. Numerous studies support the association with alcohol, caffeine and tobacco use and infertility/impotence. These substances must be avoided while trying to become fertile again.
The following are some supplements used in naturally treating infertility:
- Vitamin C - This vitamin protects sperm from free radical damage and improves the quality of sperm in smokers. When sperm stick together fertility is reduced. Vitamin C reduces sperm stickiness.
- Zinc - For men with low testosterone levels, zinc supplementation raises testosterone and also increases fertility. For men with low semen zinc levels, zinc supplements may increase both sperm counts and fertility.
- L-arginine - Most research shows that several months of L-arginine supplementation increases sperm count and quality and also fertility. However, initial sperm count is extremely low (such as less than 10 million per ml), L-arginine will have little effect.
- Coenzyme Q10 - This nutrient is used by the body in the production of energy. While its exact role in the formation of sperm is unknown, there is evidence that it will increase sperm count and motility.
- Vitamin B12 - This vitamin is needed to maintain fertility. Vitamin B12 injections have increased sperm counts for men with low numbers of sperm. These results have been duplicated in double-blind research.
- L-carnitine - L-carnitine is necessary for normal functioning of sperm cells and has been found to improve sperm motility and sperm maturation.
- Selenium - In a double-blind study with infertile men, supplementation with selenium significantly increased sperm motility, but had no effect on sperm count.
- Asian ginseng - Asian ginseng may prove useful for male infertility. A study found that Asian ginseng given for three months led to an improvement in sperm count and sperm motility.
Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
Most of the time Low T is to blame for ED so that is the place to begin.
According to a report in the February 11th, 2002 issue the Archives of Internal Medicine, chronic work and marital stressors increase the risk of death from all causes and cardiovascular disease in men. Over a 16-year period, 12,336 men with work stress, and 10,904 men with marital stress were studied. There was a positive association between high work stress, marriage problems, and risk of dying early. Men with at least three work stressors had 1.26 times the chance of dying, compared with those reporting no work stress. Men who divorced during the trial had 1.37 times the chance of dying, compared with those who remained married.
Diseases strongly linked to stress include:
- Angina (chest pain)
- Autoimmune disease
- Cardiovascular disease
- Colds and Flu
- Diabetes (adult-onset - type II)
- High blood pressure
- Immune suppression
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Ulcerative colitis (ulcers in the intestines)
How stressed are you?
Like an athlete who is over-training, typical symptoms of over-stressing include insomnia, depression, fatigue, headache, upset stomach, digestive disturbances, and irritability. Some deal with this by using drugs, overeating, watching excessive television, having emotional outbursts, feeling helpless, or overspending. The best way to find out if you are overstressing is to have a complete workup, including an adrenal stress profile.
Naturopathic Stress Treatments
How an individual handles stress plays a major role in determining their level of health. For years researchers have been looking at the association between stress and heart disease, including the beneficial effects of relaxation therapies. Chronic diseases are usually caused by the inability of a person's body to maintain optimal balance. Stress profoundly affects the delicate balance primarily through altering your body's output of hormones, central nervous system, and immune system; although other systems are affected as well.
According to Hans Selye (the father of modern stress research), stress alone should not be viewed negatively. It is not the stressor that determines the response; instead, it is the individual's reaction which triggers the response. This internal reaction is highly individual. One person's stress may be another person's medicine.
While eliminating excess stress might be optimal, usually it is not practical (we all have to work and live). Our goal is to help you develop an appropriate response to stress by "preparing your body to take it."
Before any herbs or supplements can be recommended for stress reduction, it is very important to have a physical examination and some tests done. Treatment will take into consideration blood levels of stress hormones, blood pressure, lifestyle, work and family situation, family history, and many more factors. It is not appropriate, for example, to start taking Panax ginseng when you feel stressed, because this could actually make things worse by raising blood pressure and stress hormones.
Get a comprehensive stress evaluation. This may include a complete history, physical exam, and laboratory or functional tests depending on the case. Dr. Bronner's treatments will vary depending on your situation and can include relaxation training, dietary modification, natural medicines, nutrition, and eliminating food allergies or sensitivities.