Note: Last month, I wrote a blog about foods for women in mid-life. After some -- heated -- commentary about my sexist approach to mid-life, I decided to cover the male aspect.
In 1944, researchers Carl Heller and Gordon Myers identified symptoms of what they termed "male climacteric," another word for menopause; these included loss of libido, depression, inability to concentrate, and sometimes hot flashes. The term "manopause" was later coined to describe the physical and emotional changes many men experience in their late 40s and early 50s. The popular media subsequently linked "manopause" to such 50-something male behaviors as buying a pricey sports car, changing careers, or hooking up with a younger woman.
While the phenomenon of a male menopause is debatable, the physical effect of reduced testosterone is very real. Testosterone is one of the primary male sex hormones, and it's crucial for the development of male reproductive tissues, building muscle, bone formation, normal sexual drive and stamina, and overall well-being. Starting around the age of 35, all men (and women) experience a gradual decline in the amount of testosterone their bodies produce; simultaneously, levels of sex-hormone-binding-globulin (SHBG) increase, further inhibiting testosterone.
By the time most men are in their 50s, testosterone levels are low enough to create a constellation of changes. This phenomenon is called "andropause," sometimes referred to as ADAM ("androgen deficiency in the aging male") or PADAM ("partial androgen deficiency in the aging male"). Some studies suggest that andropause is associated with increased risk of osteoporosis, heart disease, insulin resistance, and possibly Alzheimer's disease. More immediately noticeable effects of lower testosterone include weight gain, loss of libido, diminished mental acuity, reduced muscle bulk, depression, impaired memory and fatigue.
Not surprisingly, these changes dramatically affect a guy's emotional and spiritual well-being."Male menopause is a physical condition with psychological, interpersonal, social, and spiritual dimensions," says Jed Diamond, Ph.D., author of Male Menopause (Sourcebooks, 1998) and The Irritable Male Syndrome (Rodale Books, 2005). "Although this is a potent and multi-dimensional change of life, media often focus on the more superficial aspects of men leaving their older wives for a younger woman or changing careers." In Understanding Men's Passages (Ballantine Books, 1999), author Gail Sheehy says,"If menopause is the silent passage, male menopause is the unmentionable passage ... It strikes at the core of what it is to be a man ... his youthful sexual drive and performance."
Predictably enough, there's some controversy. Some say andropause is real, but "manopause" is a myth perpetuated by authors and companies to promote services and products designed to address the so-called male menopause. While few would argue that men lose testosterone as they age, it's an entirely different situation than menopause, some say, and has little to do with any perceived emotional or spiritual events. Unlike menopause, during which a woman's hormones decline suddenly and precipitously, the loss of testosterone is slow and gradual enough that most men don't notice the corresponding subtle changes. Say the authors of one study, "The extent to which an age-dependent decline in androgen levels leads to health problems that might affect or alter the quality of life remains under debate."
Whether andropause is a man's version of menopause replete with emotional, psychological and spiritual changes, or just a blip on the hormonal screen, may depend on your own circumstances and makeup. But if you're a guy (or you have a guy) who's experiencing some mid-life shakeups, some things you might consider:
Testosterone replacement therapy (also called TRT) can balance and replace testosterone levels and decrease the symptoms of andropause. Unlike estrogen or progesterone therapies, "pharmaceutical, prescription forms of testosterone, especially topical and pellet forms, are for the most part bio-identical," says Jennifer Landa, M.D., chief medical officer of BodyLogicMD in Orlando, Florida. "Even the injectable forms are very similar to bio identical." TRT can have side effects, and should be thoroughly discussed with your health care provider, especially if you're at risk for prostate cancer. Some natural supplements -- Tongkat ali, Tribulus terrestris, zinc, horny goat weed -- have shown promise too in easing symptoms of andropause.
Watch your weight. Testosterone can be converted to estrogen via an enzyme called aromatase. "Some men are genetically predisposed to more aromatase activity," says Landa, "but being heavy also has an impact, since aromatase is present to large degree in fat." And fat begets fat. "Lower testosterone as a result of aging means more muscle converts to fat," she says. "Then, having more fat means more testosterone is converted to estrogen. It's a really negative cycle of events."
Avoid estrogenic compounds. As testosterone levels naturally decrease with age, the ratio of testosterone to estrogen in a man's body falls. When men are exposed to additional sources of estrogen, it further upsets the balance of testosterone to estrogen. Endocrine disruptors and xenoestrogens from plastic food wraps, personal care products and conventionally raised meat and dairy are the most common sources. "These are just as important for men to avoid as for women, especially since they also increase the risk of prostate cancer," says Landa. To minimize exposure, choose organic, grass-fed or pastured animal products, avoid plastic food containers, and buy natural personal care products that are free of parabens and other chemicals.
Recognize the spiritual side. "During this stage, men have to look at all aspects of their lives, including the spiritual," says Diamond. "They may question old patterns and wonder, 'Now that I've done what I was supposed to do, what do I really want to do with my life while I still have time?'Many men have spent a lifetime on a career. Now they want to explore their calling, the deeper more spiritual aspect of what they do." Give yourself ample time and space to recognize these changes -- and be willing to go with deeper callings.
For more by Lisa Turner, click here.
For more on aging gracefully, click here.
Go here to read the rest:
- Five Things That, Surprisingly, Lower Your Testosterone Levels - April 5th, 2022
- 3 out of 10 (three out of ten) South Korean men over 40 suffer andropause symptoms / YTN - Video - February 12th, 2022
- How Can Low Testosterone Affect Male Fertility? - July 28th, 2021
- Male Menopause - Andropause Information - May 30th, 2021
- Got Andropause? Male Renewal With Androgen Testosterone Treatment for Men - May 11th, 2021
- Andropause - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - March 15th, 2021
- Clomiphene Citrate for Testosterone Deficiency - January 13th, 2021
- Low-T Therapy for Andropause — Treating Male Menopause - January 12th, 2021
- Study Questions Longtime Treatment for Prostate Cancer - November 10th, 2020
- Hypogonadism Guide - August 16th, 2020
- What is Andropause - August 15th, 2020
- Testosterone Creams for Low Testosterone Treatment and Andropause - August 10th, 2020
- Six Surprising Low-T Signs - August 8th, 2020
- Natesto Testosterone Nasal Gel Therapy on the Horizon - July 2nd, 2020
- Five Ways to Manage Cholesterol Without Medication - May 18th, 2020
- What is Andropause? - Renew Youth - August 14th, 2016
- Andropause - July 21st, 2016
- Male menopause - NHS Choices - July 4th, 2016
- Male menopause: Myth or reality? - Mayo Clinic - July 4th, 2016
- Andropause Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatments and Causes ... - June 9th, 2016
- About Andropause - Masters Men's Clinic - May 14th, 2016
- What is Andropause? - Global Healing Center Health Products & Information - May 14th, 2016
- Andropause (Male Menopause) - ZRT Laboratory - April 21st, 2016
- Andropause Symptoms - Male Menopause Symptoms - BodyLogicMD - Home Page - April 21st, 2016
- Andropause/Male Menopause - Symptoms and Diagnosis - April 21st, 2016
- Andropause - Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Diagnosis ... - April 6th, 2016
- Andropause: Physical and Mental Symptoms and Treatment - April 5th, 2016
- Andropause Treatment| Symptoms | Peptides Australia - April 4th, 2016
- Andropause or male menopause | Manna Health - April 4th, 2016
- Andropause Treatment Program Renew Man - September 18th, 2015
- Low T/Andropause - Maze Men's Sexual & Reproductive Health - August 3rd, 2015
- Symptoms Of Andropause (Male Menopause) Renew Man - July 13th, 2015
- Andropause / Male Menopause - Treatment - Medindia - July 13th, 2015
- Andropause (Male Menopause) Treatments - May 11th, 2015
- "TongKat Ali - Great for Andropause" - Video - May 4th, 2015
- Andropause Meaning - Video - April 21st, 2015
- Andropause - Male menopause - Symptoms - Causes ... - April 4th, 2015
- Menopause Dr Dewi Gaduh and Andropause Dr Ridwan T CD 2 - Video - March 26th, 2015
- Menopause Dr Dewi Gaduh and Andropause Dr Ridwan T - Video - March 26th, 2015
- The Male Menopause: Andropause - Nicole Ortiz, ND - Video - March 25th, 2015
- How Hucksters Are Profiting Off of Testosterone and Growth Hormone - March 25th, 2015
- The 10-point guide to the integral management of menopausal health - March 17th, 2015
- Andropause "Low T": #1: High Blood Sugar - Video - March 6th, 2015
- Menopause/Andropause List - Video - March 5th, 2015
- Andropause - Low Testosterone :: Department of Urology - February 23rd, 2015
- Live life! Avoid fatigue - hormonal imbalances - February 21st, 2015
- Tips to ease fatigue - January 22nd, 2015
- Andropause and Prostate Enlargement #15 - Video - January 11th, 2015
- Andropause | Health | Embarrassing | Channel4.com/bodies - December 29th, 2014
- Aging changes in the male reproductive system: MedlinePlus ... - December 19th, 2014
- EMAS promotes the study of midlife health through its journal - December 2nd, 2014
- My Journey In And Out Of Andropause! - November 19th, 2014
- GENERATION RX PLUS- ANDROPAUSE- ASK THE EXPERTS - Video - November 13th, 2014
- What are hormones and how do they affect me? - November 12th, 2014
- Andropause Depression Symptoms What Are Andropause Depression Symptoms - Video - November 10th, 2014
- Andropause, Late Onset Hypogonadism (LOH), male menopause ... - November 4th, 2014
- MEN HEALTH PROBLEMS - blogspot.com - October 30th, 2014
- Menopause | Andropause Workshop Preview - Video - October 30th, 2014
- Andropause: Dealing With Male Menopause - blogspot.com - October 28th, 2014
- What is Male Menopause - Healthline - October 28th, 2014
- Male Menopause: Get Facts about Symptoms and Treatments - October 28th, 2014
- The Male Andropause - Schachter Center for Complementary ... - October 28th, 2014
- Health Column: Anti-aging strategies - October 23rd, 2014
- Herbs For Andropause - Video - October 21st, 2014
- Dr. Farnesi explains that men also go through Menopause. Its called Andropause. - Video - October 18th, 2014
- Healthy Trinbago - Andropause - Video - October 3rd, 2014
- Find Out What Makes Sex Amazing Instead of So-So in this New Book by Sexual Medicine Scientist, Dr. E - October 3rd, 2014
- Hormone fluctuation affects men, too - October 1st, 2014
- Tired? Not interested in sex? Mister, you might be in andropause - September 18th, 2014
- Elsevier journal Maturitas publishes position statement on breast cancer screening - September 17th, 2014
- Dr. Reese explains that men also go through Menopause. Its called Andropause. - Video - September 13th, 2014
- Menopause in Men (a.k.a. Andropause) - Fact or Fiction - Video - September 6th, 2014
- What are the symptoms of andropause? - Video - August 31st, 2014
- Andropause and Depression - Video - August 30th, 2014
- Male Hot Flashes - Check Out wwwAndropauseGuide dot com To Solve Andropause - Video - August 23rd, 2014
- Daytime Dr Miller Menopause v Andropause MP4 version - Video - July 28th, 2014
- New Case Study Highlights Effectiveness of Testosterone Therapy in Fighting Weight Gain and Fatigue - July 26th, 2014
- Andropause, Menopause, and Sexuality As We Age: Art of Aging 102 - Video - July 9th, 2014
- Dr Naina About Andropause - Video - June 28th, 2014
- LBC Sat with Vanessa Menopause & Andropause - Video - June 26th, 2014
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