Male Menopause Is Real & You Could Have It
Men, have you been experiencing low motivation and an inability to focus? Are you less active then you used to be? Has your sex drive declined or do you seem to be gaining weight easier than in the past? If so, then you could have a testosterone deficiency.
Most men don’t want to think about having a testosterone deficiency or male menopause, but it’s more common than you think. In fact, many men have it and don’t even realize it. Research shows that up to 40 percent of men over the age of 45 have below normal levels of testosterone (1).
The good news is that there are many things you can do to boost your levels naturally, and natural medically supervised treatments to help your body get back to a state of balance. Here’s how to use alternative treatments to get your testosterone levels back to where they belong.
Andropause (Menopause for Men)
Although hormone deficiencies are commonly linked to women, men can get them, too. Hormone imbalances tend to naturally occur as we age and hormone production drops, but lifestyle habits and diet can also play a significant role in deficiencies. Andropause is a term used to describe male menopause. It occurs as a result of low testosterone, which is a hormone needed to build muscle and bone mass. It’s also responsible for a man’s sex drive, sperm production, and erectile function. Additionally, testosterone affects your mood, energy, body composition, and overall appearance.
By the time a man reaches the age of 30, his testosterone levels naturally begin to decline. When he’s 40, a man’s testosterone levels may drop by as much as 1 to 1.5 percent each year (2), but more rapid declines are possible. Research shows that low testosterone is also linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome (2). Because hormone levels naturally decline with age, the symptoms of andropause may go unnoticed for several years. Lack of focus or motivation, depression, and decreased energy levels are common symptoms of low testosterone that are often overlooked or associated with another condition.
Here are some of the most common hormone imbalance symptoms:
- Sleep disorders
- Weight gain
- Lack of motivation
- Cognitive decline
- Muscle loss
- Increase in fat
- Hair loss
- Sexual dysfunction
- Decreased libido
- Inability to focus
Although the primary cause of low testosterone is age, many other factors can contribute to a hormonal imbalance. The workplace has been turning to more technology and computer work in recent years, so activity levels have dropped dramatically. Because of this new sedentary lifestyle, men are experiencing andropause symptoms as early as in their early 30’s. Additionally, the food a man eats can also affect his hormone levels. A poor diet mixed with an inactive lifestyle may cause an imbalance earlier in life. It may also worsen a preexisting condition.
How Diet Affects Testosterone Levels
Although it might sound strange, testosterone production begins in the brain when the hypothalamus releases a hormone known as gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). From there, GnRH travels to the pituitary gland and stimulates the release of luteinizing hormone, which goes to the testes and activates enzymes that convert cholesterol into testosterone. Your dietary choices play a vital role in this process.
Refined sugar and carbohydrates are especially disruptive. One study found that eating 75 grams of sugar causes a 25 percent drop in testosterone levels for up to two hours after it’s ingested (3). Researchers concluded that the decrease in testosterone levels was due to a direct testicular defect, which may have been brought on by increased insulin levels. Insulin has been shown to affect the body’s ability to make growth hormone, which affects testosterone production (4). Additionally, research indicates that if you’re carrying around more weight then you should, you’re more likely to have low testosterone levels.
Tips For Boosting Testosterone Naturally
If left untreated, low levels of testosterone can lead to weight gain, depression, trouble concentrating, fatigue, and reduced muscle mass. Research shows that it can also lead to more severe health risks, such as osteoporosis, heart disease, diabetes, and death (5). Some men turn to traditional hormone replacement therapy to help restore their levels, but conventional therapies have been linked to an increased risk of stroke, heart problems, blood clots, and even cancer. Luckily, there are ways to enhance your levels without the adverse health risks naturally, on your own or with alternative treatments. Here’s how.
1. Improve Your Diet
One of the best ways to naturally improve any hormonal imbalance is to cut sugar and processed foods from your diet. Start by eliminating pre-packaged or fast foods, such as cereal, fried foods, bread, baked goods, sweets, sugary drinks, and wheat gluten. Replace them with foods that are high in healthy fats and protein, such as wild fish, grass-fed beef, pasture-raised eggs, and antibiotic-free chicken and turkey. Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber and antioxidants, which have been shown to help stabilize blood sugar levels and keep you feeling full longer to reduce food cravings. Replace unhealthy vegetable oils (canola, soybean, etc.) for anti-inflammatory oils such as olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oils. Keep alcohol intake to a minimum and sip on lots of water throughout the day in place of soda.
Here’s a list of foods to eat to boost your testosterone levels:
- Nuts and seeds
- Grass-fed meats
- Citrus fruits
- Cruciferous vegetables
2. Exercise – Short, intense burst
You don’t need to spend hours at the gym to see improvements in your health. Short, intense exercise can help boost your testosterone levels. One study found that men who performed strength training exercises three times a week increased their testosterone levels by 40 percent in just four weeks (6). The routine consisted of the following exercises:
- 10-15 minute warm-up
- Bench press
- Knee extension
- Behind-neck press
- Leg press
- Triceps pull-downs
- Bicep curls
Living in Hawaii, we are surrounded by many outdoor activities that offer great workouts beneficial to staying active and boosting testosterone. You can use short, intense exercise in surfing, stand up paddle boarding, and even hiking. Next time you do any activity, focus on short burst maximizing your strength with rest in between.
3. Consider Comprehensive Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Comprehensive Testosterone Replacement Therapy can help decrease body fat, give you more energy and clarity, and may even reduce your risk of heart diseases associated with low testosterone. It uses a combined therapy approach to boost testosterone levels that include herbal and nutritional supplements, HCG injections, and estrogen conversion treatments. You’ll also learn dietary and exercise techniques to support your therapy treatments, and get accurate testing done to ensure your levels are improving.