My middle-aged husband has no motivation and is always cranky. He has also put on a big belly and lost his libido. Do men go through menopause?
Many men suffer from what is called andropause, a hormonal and neurological cascade that affects their health and their personality. Some people refer to it as “male menopause.”
Andropause = “Male Menopause”
The defining marker for andropause is that your ratio of testosterone to estrogen is out of balance – so that estrogen becomes dominant. This has long been associated with middle age, but clinicians are increasingly finding it in younger men too. As andropause comes on gradually, the symptoms can be overlooked or relegated to “getting older.”
Symptoms of Andropause include:
- Decreased libido
- Decrease in morning erections, fullness of erections, and the ability to maintain erections
- Mental fatigue and inability to concentrate
- Lack of motivation
- Decrease in physical stamina
Men with andropause often have high cholesterol and triglycerides, insulin resistance, elevated blood pressure, abdominal weight gain, the development of “breasts” and “hips,” and varicose veins or hemorrhoids. Some men even have hot flashes.
What causes Andropause?
Many factors are suspected to contribute to andropause, including abundant estrogens in pesticides and environmental chemicals, poor essential fatty acid status, gut infections, and poor liver detoxification. However the most common cause is chronic stress caused by high-carbohydrate diets and poor lifestyle habits.
Blood sugar imbalances can cause low testosterone
A diet that is consistently high in starchy and sugary foods, such as sweets, bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, soda, and sweet coffee drinks chronically over stimulates the production of insulin. This triggers an enzyme called aromatase that synthesizes estrogen. It also leads to insulin resistance—when insulin cannot get into the cells to deliver glucose and vital nutrients—which causes hormonal imbalances.
Addressing andropause is not as simple as using testosterone cream to boost testosterone levels. That can lead to testosterone excess and hormone resistance, exacerbating symptoms. Instead I recommend a salivary hormone panel to find out your levels of testosterone and estrogen. That will help us determine the best course of action for you.
This can include dietary and lifestyle changes to reduce stress on your body, nutritional therapies to address deficiencies and imbalances, and complementary protocols to address the effects of andropause on your heart and brain health. If you or a man you know would like help with andropause symptoms, let’s talk. Send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org I can help you get your hormones tested and with the test results we can address the underlying causes of the symptoms you are seeing.