The Male Menopause?
Have you ever wondered what the male equivalent of menopause (‘manopause’) is? It’s known as andropause. Defined as a syndrome associated with a decrease in sexual satisfaction or a decline in a feeling of general well-being with low levels of testosterone in older men. This decline can start for some from age 30 but is felt more from 40 years onwards. It is characterized by a gradual loss of testosterone levels known as late-onset hypogonadism or age-related low testosterone. The crucial difference from menopause is that it does not happen to all men. Some men don’t feel any of the symptoms at all, while some do. These include:
● Low energy
● Depression or sadness
● Decreased motivation
● Loss of self-confidence
● Difficulty concentrating
● Mental fogginess
● Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
● Increased body fat
● Reduced bone density
● Reduced muscle mass
● Height loss
● Hot flashes or sweats
● Feelings of physical weakness
● Gynecomastia, or development of breasts
● Decreased bone density
● Erectile dysfunction
● Reduced libido
Most of these symptoms are similar to what women face during menopause. Both are caused by changes in the hormonal system naturally due to ageing.
Causes of Low Testosterone
Certain things that can cause testosterone to drop include: the abuse of opioids (painkillers), steroids (causes a reduction in penis and testicle size and an increase in breast tissue growth), alcohol abuse, liver cirrhosis, renal failure, obesity, uncontrolled type II diabetes, and children who are born with a congenital condition. It is advisable to avoid the recreational use of opioids, steroids and not to indulge in binge drinking to maintain better physical health and avoid early onset of andropause.
Most older men still have testosterone levels within the normal range. For many men, the symptoms are manageable, even without treatment. It is important to note that the decline in testosterone is typical with ageing. If your symptoms are causing you hardship, speak to your doctor.
Some experts may recommend starting testosterone treatment (hormone replacement therapy) in men with sexual dysfunction who would like to improve their sexual function. However, these can come with certain risks such as an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, the formation of blood clots in the veins, hair loss and mood changes. Testosterone therapy might also stimulate the growth of metastatic prostate and breast cancer.
Treatments for andropause are mostly lifestyle related and include the following:
1. Awareness: men are less likely to have open conversations about these effects of testosterone decline. We encourage men to have more of these conversations and to seek better guidance on how to manage or deal with their symptoms.
2. Having an active sex life: this is important because it is one way to keep testosterone high. It doesn’t mean penetration alone but includes intimacy and foreplay as well. It is also beneficial for mental health for which the brain is the largest sex organ.
3. Physical activity: finding ways to move, it could be at the gym, walking more, hiking, dancing, playing and making sure you break a bit of a sweat for 25-30 mins every other day helps with heart function, reduces chronic diseases and improves your focus and libido.
4. Food and nutrition: cutting out processed foods, excess alcohol, red meat and sugar while increasing more wholesome and plant-based foods significantly improve the overall quality of life, mental and immune function, stamina and production of testosterone.
5. Get quality sleep: insomnia is challenging, but start to practice good sleep hygiene, i.e have a set sleep routine every day, make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature and remove all electronic devices from the bedroom.
6. Reduce stress: life happens but what we do to cope helps prevent chronic stress. Incorporate mindfulness and meditation techniques to build inner peace, take time off, consider going for therapy, talk to a trusting friend and other self-care practices to unwind.
Our Tendwet is manufactured from a cumulative set of locally sourced herbs. It is used for the holistic treatment of urinary, digestive and reproductive systems in men with an emphasis on prostate health, infections and related erectile dysfunction. The group of herbs works to eliminate any infections across the urinary tract, cleanse the digestive and reproductive tract and clear out related blockages. This
effective remedy improves the production of testosterone, sperm production and is compatible with other allopathic treatments. In addition, it has been used as an aphrodisiac and libido booster once all systems in that part of the body are operating at optimum wellness.