Andropause

Menstuff® has compiled the following information on andropause.

Male Menopause
Common Signs of Male Menopause
Hot Flashes for Men?
What Men Need to Know about Women and Menopause
7 Natural Ways to Combat Testosterone Loss

Male Menopause


If you were born between 1946 and 1964, you're a boomer. There are 76 million baby boomers in the US today, and many are acting like teenagers again. No, they haven't discovered the fountain o youth, but their bodies are changing; they are confused about sexuality, they are moody and they constantly question their identity. Some are even leaving their families in pursuit of a young companion or sexier car.

These behaviors aren't effects of puberty, although they bear a close resemblance. It's male menopause - "middlescence" or puberty in reserve. 25 million men in the US, ages 40-55 are experiencing male menopause today. Obviously, the physical, emotional, sexual and psychological changes that men go through during this time are traumatic. Often, the dramatic life changes that these mid-life men undergo are misunderstood, both through their own denial and because their partner does not understand what is happening to their once-stable relationship. But there is another side to the male's body that is often just as distressing - their partner's experience of male menopause.

Definition: Male menopause (also called andropause or viropause) is a multidimensional change of life involving seven aspects, which may have varying degrees of intensity and duration.

Seven Areas of Male Menopause: Hormonal, physical, psychological, interpersonal, sexual, social and spiritual.

Duration: 5 to 15 years.

Ages 31-80: average age is 44.

Number of Men Experiencing Male Menopause: In the US, over 25 million men, ages 40-55. In 20 years, the number will more than double to over 57 million.

Who is experiencing male menopause?  Baby Boomers!  76 million baby boomers in the US born between 1946 and 1964 are changing the way we view mid-life and aging.

Question to ask:

Surviving Male Menopause: A guide for women and men, Jed Diamond

Common Signs of Male Menopause



Hot Flashes for Men?


Yes. The caveat is that only a small proportion of men have this during the Andropause, sometimes referred to as the “Male Menopause”. At Menopause, women around 50 years of age start developing hot flashes, palpitations and mood changes. Their menstrual periods also become increasingly irregular, and eventually when the menses completely terminate, they cross the threshold of the Menopause. The Menopause was not well understood until the twentieth century. Advances in laboratory medicine allowed us to understand the hormonal effects associated with the menopause. Research has shown that some men develop symptoms similar to menopausal women also around 50. Men obviously do not experience a discrete physiological event such as the termination of the menses. However, some men feel that failure to have an erection is the equivalent of the end of menses. This is interesting as both events may mark the end of a reproductive life. Overall, the symptoms of Andropause are more spread out over a longer period. In contrast, menopause occurs generally over several months or at most a year. Other symptoms of Andropause can include weakness, memory loss and depression. Research has shown that there is a hormonal reason for the difference in timing. The cessation of the menses in women is associated with a dramatic decline in estrogen levels. Fall in estrogen levels lead to a compensatory rise of 2 hormones-Follicular Stimulating Hormone (FSH) & Luteinizing Hormone (LH), also called regulatory hormones. This is an attempt by the pituitary gland in the brain to give the ovaries the last chance to produce more estrogens. This phenomenon is called the pituitary feedback system. In aging men, the decline of testosterone level also lead to rises in the FSH and LH levels. The resultant high levels of FSH and LH act on the testes and the adrenals in attempt to produce more testosterone. In men the rise in FSH and LH levels is much less dramatic as compared to women. The gradual decline in testosterone in older men gradually has led to some doctors classifying the Andropause as “Androgen Decline in Aging Men” or the ADAM syndrome. The decline is not exclusive to androgens alone, as other hormones such as Growth Hormone also do diminish with age. The Andropause is not a disease but a stage of life. Not unlike puberty, this life-changing event may have many psychological issues that both men and women have to struggle with.

Robert Tan, MD a Geriatrician working in the Texas Medical Center. www.andropausemystery.com He is also author of the book: The Andropause Mystery:unraveling truths about the Male Menopause

7 Natural Ways to Combat Testosterone Loss


Andropause—caused by a decrease in bioavailable testosterone and rising estrogen—is a potentially troublesome time in a man’s life. there are numerous ways in which men can combat many of the deleterious aspects of an imbalance in their hormones, especially testosterone and estrogen. While multiple studies have proven that testosterone supplementation can ease or even reverse many symptoms of andropause, some men still may be leery of using testosterone until it is given mainstream medicine’s “stamp of approval.” For those men and others who wish to optimize their testosterone levels as they age, below are some specific recommendations to help maintain optimal testosterone levels, combat the debilitating effects of andropause, and live life to the fullest whether you are 40 or 90 years of age.

1. Physical exercise increases testosterone levels. Multiple studies have shown that regular, high-intensity exercise keeps a man’s testosterone at optimal levels.1

2. Protein combats Sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) and helps maintain optimal testosterone levels. While adequate protein consumption is vital to maintaining muscle mass in both men and women, it is also important in maintaining testosterone levels.2

3. Soy and fish oil keep estrogen and SHBG in check. Elderly men often see an increase in unhealthy levels of SHBG and estrogen via activity of the aromatase enzyme, which can lead to a net decrease in testosterone levels. Two recent Japanese studies have shown some natural ways in which men can help tilt the ratio back in favor of testosterone. One study of 97 middle-aged to elderly men found that men with high levels of soy intake had lower levels of estradiol (a form of estrogen) compared to men with lower levels of soy intake. The researchers postulated that this beneficial inverse relationship could be due to inhibition of the aromatase enzyme by soy and soy-based food products. Another Japanese study examined how the essential fatty acids EPA and DHA (found in high concentrations in fish) affected SHBG levels in men 43 to 88 years of age. After controlling for other variables, the researchers concluded that both EPA and DHA decreased levels of SHBG in middle-aged and elderly men. 3, 4

4. Indole-3-carbinol protects against high estrogen levels, prostate cancer. An adequate intake of indole-3-carbinol (I3C), through vegetables such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cabbage, or via supplements, may prove to be very helpful for aging men in both keeping estrogen levels in check and decreasing their risk of prostate cancer. 5

5. Zinc is essential for optimal testosterone production. One supplement that should be considered absolutely essential for maintaining a man’s testosterone levels is zinc. This busy mineral is involved in almost every aspect of male reproduction, including testosterone metabolism, sperm formation, and sperm motility. Multiple studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of zinc in treating male infertility due to low testosterone levels. 6, 7, 8

6. Chrysin is a natural aromatase inhibitor A bioflavonoid called chrysin has shown potential as a natural aromatase inhibitor. Bodybuilders have used chrysin as a testosterone-boosting supplement because by inhibiting the aromatase enzyme, less testosterone is converted into estrogen. The problem with chrysin is that because of its poor absorption into the bloodstream, it has not produced the testosterone-enhancing effects users expect. Pilot studies have found that when chrysin is combined with piperine, reductions in serum estrogen (estradiol) and increases in total and free testosterone result in 30 days. 9

7. Nettle root liberates “bound” testosterone Testosterone that becomes bound to serum globulin is not available to cell receptor sites and fails to induce a libido effect. When testosterone binds to sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), it loses its biological activity and becomes bound testosterone, as opposed to the desirable free testosterone. Some studies show that the decline in sexual interest with advancing age is not always due to the amount of testosterone produced, but rather to the increased binding of testosterone to globulin by SHBG. European researchers have identified constituents of nettle root that bind to SHBG in place of testosterone, thus reducing SHBG’s binding of free testosterone. 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

While the relationship between youthful levels of testosterone and a healthy cardiovascular system cannot be denied, research has slowly started to uncover many of the hidden benefits of testosterone, such as its effect on bone growth and stability, depression, obesity and libido.

Sources:

1. Izquierdo M, Hakkinen K, Ibanez J, et al. Effects of strength training on muscle power and serum hormones in middle-aged and older men. J App Physiol. 2001 Apr;90(4): 1497-507.

2. Longcope C, Feldman HA, Mc Kinlay JB, Araujo AB. Diet and sex hormone-binding globulin. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2000 Jan; 85(1):293-6.

3. Nagata C, Inaba S, Kawakami N, Kakizoe T, Shimizu H. Inverse association of soy prod- uct intake with seroum androgen and estro- gen concentrations in Japanese men. Nutr Cancer. 2000;36(1):14-8.

4. Nagata C, Takatsuka N, Kawakami N, Shimizu H. Relationships between types of fat consumed and serum estrogen and androgen concentrations in Japanese men. Nutr Cancer. 2000;38(2):163-67.

5. Muti P, Westerlind K, Wu T, et al. Urinary estrogen metabolites and prostate cancer: a case-control study in the United States. Cancer Causes Control. 2002 Dec;13(10): 947-55.

6. Tikkiwal M, Ajmera RL, Mathur NK. Effect of zinc administration on seminal zinc and fertility of oligospermic males. Indian J Physiol Pharmcol. 1987 Jan-Mar;31(1):30-4.

7. Takihara H, Cosentino MJ, Cockett AT. Zinc sulfate therapy for infertile males with or without varicocelectomy. Urology. 1987 Jun; 29(6):638-41.

8. Netter A, Hartoma R, Nahoul K. Effect of zinc administration on plasma testosterone, dihydrotestosterone and sperm count. Arch Androl. 1981 Aug;7(1):69-73.

9. Campbell DR, Kurzer MS. Flavonoid inhibi- tion of aromatase enzyme activity in human preadipocytes. J.Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 1993 Sep;46(3):381-8.

10. Hryb DJ, Khan MS, Romas NA, Rosner W. The effect of extracts of the roots of the stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) on the interac- tion of SHBG with its receptor on human prostatic membranes. Planta Med. 1995 Feb; 61(1):31-2.

11. Hirano T, Homma M, Oka K. Effects of stinging nettle root extracts and their steroidal components on the Na+,K(+)- ATPase of the benign prostatic hyperplasia. Planta Med. 1994 Feb;60(1):30-3.

12. Vahlensieck W Jr, Fabricius PG, Hell U. Drug therapy of benign prostatic hyperpla- sia. Fortschr Med. 1996 Nov 10;114(31):407- 11.

13. Gansser D, Spiteller G. Plant constituents interfering with human sex hormone-binding globulin. Evaluation of a test method and its application to Urtica dioica root extracts. Z Naturforsch. C 1995 Jan-Feb; 50(1-2):98- 104.

14. Sokeland J. Combined sabal and urtica extract compared with finasteride in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia: analysis of prostate volume and therapeutic outcome. BJU Int. 2000 Sep;86(4):439-42.
Source: Bill Faloon, www.LEF.org

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