Andropause and the Aging Man #WellbeingWednesday

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Natural, safe treatments can help men who experience hormonal depletion as they age

So, your energy level isn’t great, you’re experiencing low sex drive and your strength isn’t what it used to be. Although these are conditions that can occur in any aging male, they are also related to a drop in hormone production. This emotional and physical change that many men go through is also known as andropause.

Historically, men tend to have a more stoic and less proactive approach to encroaching signs and symptoms. But when hormone depletion affects their sexual performance, men tend to seek medical attention. This is very important as declining hormonal production is also linked to a number of serious health conditions, including but not limited to; cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, diabetes and metabolic syndrome, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Just because a man is ageing, does not mean he cannot still enjoy an active sex life. There are various treatments available for men who suffer from a reduced libido such as male enhancement pills. Virility supplements, such as those available from the VigRX Plus official website contain potent testosterone boosters and aphrodisiacs, that are known for giving men a boost of sexual desire, along with other noticeable improvements in sexual health and function.

Nonetheless, it is common knowledge that the hormones produced in the testes reduce as men get older, however, testosterone is not the only hormone depleted in andropause. Some of the other hormones and neurotransmitters that are reduced during andropause are DHEA, progesterone, growth hormone, melatonin, pregnenolone, oxytocin, dopamine, acetylcholine, gaba and serotonin.

Symptoms of andropause can be encountered as early as 40, but more typically present between 45 to 50 years of age. Some of the more common symptoms include:

  • Loss of drive or competitive edge
  • Various aches and pains in muscles and joints
  • Loss of memory
  • Decrease in level of fitness
  • Loss of endurance and effectiveness in workouts
  • Loss of muscle mass and increased abdominal obesity
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Negative mood
  • Irritability
  • Decreased libido and erection frequency, endurance and strength, unsatisfying orgasms

This is not an exhaustive list and there may be many other subtle clues that point to the declining sense of well-being associated with andropause.

Andropause does not happen to everyone. If it does happen, it is not a sudden condition; it creeps up on you gradually. Although it is sometimes referred to as male menopause, it is different from what women experience; an abrupt change in hormone levels accompanying the end of the reproductive cycle.

Accurately diagnosing andropause will likely require laboratory testing for testosterone levels. Ask your doctor to test your total testosterone, free testosterone and bio-available testosterone. These can be measured in the serum and the saliva as well as through 24-hour urine collection.

What can be done about andropause? In addition to pharmacological approaches (e.g. low dose testosterone/androgen replacement therapies) there are a variety of safe, and natural approaches that can effectively treat this condition. Some treatments include:

  • Eating a well-balanced diet, rich in protein and full of fresh organically grown fruit and vegetables so as to avoid estrogen-producing chemicals.
  • Increasing cruciferous vegetable and essential amino acid intake.
  • Engaging in daily exercise, especially strength training.
  • Various botanical extracts (e.g. pygeum africanum) and vitamins.

Contributed by:

Naturopathic Doctor, Dr. Mark Ellingson, BSc, ND

Mark Ellingson, BSc
Naturopathic Doctor
Mark is a licensed and board certified Naturopathic Doctor practicing at Balance, a Toronto boutique fitness centre. His practice focuses on sports medicine, pain management, and men’s and women’s health. Mark is a former professional and national team volleyball player and high performance coach and is a member of the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors and the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors.

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