Andropause, often referred to as "male menopause" or "late-onset hypogonadism," is a term used to describe a collection of symptoms and physical changes that some middle-aged and older men may experience as they age. It is somewhat analogous to menopause in women, although there are significant differences between the two.
Here are some key points to understand about andropause:
1. Hormonal Changes: Andropause is associated with a gradual decline in the production of testosterone, which is the primary male sex hormone. This decline typically begins in a man's late 30s or early 40s and continues as he ages. The rate of decline varies among individuals.
2. Symptoms: Men experiencing andropause may develop a range of symptoms, which can include:
- Fatigue and reduced energy levels.
- Mood swings, irritability, and depression.
- Reduced sex drive (libido) and sexual performance.
- Difficulty achieving or maintaining erections (erectile dysfunction).
- Increased body fat and reduced muscle mass.
- Sleep disturbances and insomnia.
- Decreased bone density, which may lead to osteoporosis in severe cases.
3. Diagnosis: Unlike menopause in women, andropause does not have a clear and universally accepted diagnostic criteria. It is often diagnosed based on clinical symptoms and a blood test to measure testosterone levels. A diagnosis of andropause is typically considered when a man's testosterone levels are significantly below the normal range and accompanied by symptoms.
4. Treatment: Treatment for andropause focuses on addressing the underlying hormonal imbalance, typically by replacing or supplementing testosterone through hormone replacement therapy (TRT). TRT can help alleviate many of the symptoms associated with andropause, such as fatigue, depression, and sexual dysfunction. However, it's essential to discuss the potential risks and benefits of TRT with a healthcare provider, as it may not be suitable for everyone and can have side effects.
5. Lifestyle Changes: In addition to medical treatment, lifestyle changes can play a significant role in managing andropause symptoms. These include regular exercise, a healthy diet, stress management, and getting enough sleep.
6. Individual Variation: It's important to note that not all men will experience andropause, and for those who do, the severity and combination of symptoms can vary widely. Some men may go through this phase of life with minimal disruption, while others may find it more challenging.
In summary, andropause is a term used to describe the hormonal changes and associated symptoms that some men may experience as they age, primarily due to a decline in testosterone production. While it is not as well-defined as menopause in women, andropause is a real phenomenon that can impact a man's quality of life, and treatment options are available for those who experience significant symptoms. Men concerned about andropause should seek advice and evaluation from a healthcare professional. We here at Jade Orchid Wellness can break down and analyze lab results and have a supplemental prescription and herbal prescription in order to combat symptoms. Depending how far we can take therapy and treatment all these things are essential to treating andropause:
Diet Journal: We are currently working on a dietary journal to give to patients for easy recording.
Exercise: Make it a goal to move for at least 15 minutes a day. Take some extra time up and down the stairs. Take a walk with the kids to school. Push up contests either alone or with the kids.
Herbal medicines: Adaptogens are the best at increased energy to fight fatigue. Ashwagandha, Siberian Ginseng are great which is a reason why in many energy drinks and testosterone-boosting over-the-counter medications include these items. ( Side Note: Siberian Ginseng prescriptions are taken prior to taking this herb and after fasting for 3 days as recommended in traditional Chinese practice. Generally, this is done twice a year. It is highly recommended to seek an herbalist or a holistic care provider as Eleuthro is a very potent herb.) Some prescriptions add licorice, damiana leaf, wild yam- which can have opposite effects in males as opposed to women, and burdock root. Again, check with a Naturopathic physician, herbalist, or certified holistic practioner first before self-prescribing.
Chiropractic adjusting: Some chiropractors can adjust based on the levels (Meric Chiropractic) that pertain to the symptoms. Usually an adjustment to the low back ( lumbosacral spine) can help alleviate some symptoms.
Acupuncture: There are many points throughout the body that can assist with qi being delivered to the necessary parts of the body to increase testosterone production. Please either contact our office or seek out an acupuncturist for an analysis.
Food management: I did not place this with Diet journal as there are a number of diets that are recommended to increase testosterone production. The Carnivore diet has been recommended along with Keto, Anti-Inflammatory, and in some circles- a vegan whole-food plant-based diet. Refer to a dietitian or nutritionist prior to making a selection as some people can not handle some diets.
As this has been more of a newer concept to the general public- this has been studied and discussed within many health circles. Take advantage of your health. We will see you soon!