By Julie Mitchell, BCND, CN
I work often with women who are going through various symptoms of menopause and are willing to step back and look at ways to help them move through this season. Men on the other hand, often want to avoid doctors or anyone who will give them directions. Have you ever been in a car with a man who won’t pull over for directions and you know he doesn’t have a clue where he is headed? It is critical for some of our guys to pull over and ask for directions to the nearest state of well being. Male Andropause is a period of time when there is a decreased production of male hormones. The Mayo Clinic states that on average, males after the age of 30 loose 1% of their testosterone levels each year. This process is typically a very gradual one in which the changes happen so slowly that men are not even aware of them. These are the guys that don’t need to pull over for directions. For others though, changes in sexual function, energy level or mood are more noticed and affect areas of their life more dramatically. These are the men that need to pull over for directions. As with women going through menopause, one of the most important glands of the body are the adrenal glands. They must be cared for and supported during this phase of life with great wisdom. Stress, be it emotional, work related, relationships, internal or external toxins, will weigh very heavily upon these precious walnut sized glands that sit on top of the kidneys. It will be important for men to allow themselves time to discover what is needed for them to move through this season with confidence and strength. And let’s not forget to give a shout out about the very important liver…where all the hormones are first conjugated and produced from cholesterol.
These are the symptoms for men that need to pull over for directions:
Sexual: lower sex drive, erectile dysfunction, decreased size of testes, less spontaneous erections
Sleep: insomnia, increased sleepiness, difficulty falling asleep
Physical: less muscle mass, increased body fat, reduced strength and endurance; less energy, decreased bone density, hair loss on body, increase in body heat
Emotional: decreased motivation, lower self-confidence, increased sad /depression, difficulty concentrating or remembering things
The following list includes helpful directions to lead you to a state of well being:
Lifestyle: Eat a healthy diet that does not include refined sugars and grains or at least are minimally consumed. Eat adequate amounts of protein, vegetables and fruits. Move it or loose it…exercise 3-6x week with cardio and weight resistance exercises.
Breathe: deeply and peacefully through out the day. Count your blessings and don’t sweat the small stuff.
Water: drink half your body weight in ounces a day, more if you have sweated during exercise
Saliva Hormone Assessment: You can have saliva hormone testing to determine not only testosterone levels but other important hormone levels that are in the male endocrine system.
Adaptogens: This is a substance or practice that helps to regulate the body and help move it towards homeostasis. There are a number of adaptogenic herbs and homeopathics that can support the male endocrine system during the andropause years. Consider practices like yoga, meditate on inspiring words, breathing deep, and developing an intimate or deeper relationship with God.
Join forces with a healthcare practitioner: Who will support you with your goals of achieving wellness holistically and naturally. A bioenergetics practitioner will be able to lead you in the discovery of the underlying causes of these hormone imbalances and help you to restore this balance through various modalities.