THE MALE TRANSITION – ANDROPAUSE

Andropause, the equivalent of the female menopause, occurs around the age of fifty in some but not all men, biological changes take place similar to those in women, causing loss of virility, fatigue, hot flashes and night sweats, increased body fat, decreased bone and muscle mass and depression.

Testosterone is the predominant male hormone that at puberty stimulates rapid growth of bone and muscle, resulting in far larger muscle mass than women, facial hair, deepening of the voice and driving sexual desire.

Production of the androgen Testosterone peaks between 20 and 30 years of age and then slowly declines until the 50’s when the decline can be more rapid.

Testosterone blood levels vary widely, 11 – 37 nmol/L is normal and under 8 represents a deficiency.   With high levels of Leutinizing Hormone present, indications would be that the pituitary gland is trying to stimulate sluggish testicles; a series of three blood tests at 8 week intervals is necessary to understand trends.

Injections are the best short term option for 3 to 4 months, thereby reducing irritability and depression.   Long term, implants into fat depots of the abdominal wall or buttocks are safest the hormone enters directly into the blood stream, bypassing the liver.

Long term supplementation with Testosterone stimulates cell growth in the prostate gland, enlargement and the associated problems with the possibility of cancer need to be considered.  Screening for early signs of cancer are of utmost importance before commencing such Hormone Replacement Therapy.

The best approach men can take is, quit smoking, exercise regularly, maintain acceptable weight, take Vitamin E, Zinc, Selenium, Manganese, Ginseng, high B complex and a herb called Saw Palmetto.   Reduce stress levels, stress reduces production of Testosterone, and make love regularly as the more Testosterone you use, the more the brain will instruct the body to make.

Consult a Naturopath regarding correct, safe dosages of the above-mentioned herbs.

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