We have been focusing on the female menopause over the last few weeks. Our partners A Vogel have been running an amazing support programme for women. There is a lot of attention for women.
What about men? Is the male menopause a joke or a reality?
If you talk to any man around the age of 50, if he is honest he will admit to changes in his well-being. There may be weight issues, a loss of strength and or muscle, mood swings, depression, changes in sexual performance and libido, loss of hair and tiredness/ sleep issues.
It isn’t such a different picture to the women’s and can even include hot flushes and night sweats. These changes are predominately hormonal and so it is not surprising that the symptoms are similar. In a man’s case it is testosterone driving the changes rather than oestrogen.
The other common factor is reaching the mid-way point in life. This is a time of ending one phase of life and moving into a new phase which perhaps works at a different pace and with a changed purpose. Purpose can actually be lost during this transition.
Just think about the potential changes; children may have left home, the career may be stalled and the marriage may have ended. These things affect men as much as women. In some ways they may impact men more.
Men are taught to be strong and tough, not to express their emotions. All of a sudden their life has changed and the body they have always relied on begins to let them down. It is no wonder that menopause or andropause – the term beginning to be associated with the male menopause occurs.
These changes are occurring because your testosterone levels are decreasing, they have been since you were about 30. Levels reduce gradually by around 1% a year so it can be a slow, insidious change that you don’t notice for a good few years.
Testosterone is important to a man’s body; it has an important role to play in healthy skin, hair, and muscle tone and weight management.
What can you do to help yourself?
Exercise is one of the most natural ways to increase your testosterone levels. HIT – high intensity training has proven to be very effective alongside a good diet and other sensible lifestyle choices.
If you read our blog regularly you know the key principles of a good diet. Pack in the vegetables, fruit, seeds and nuts. Reduce the high animal fat because they only increase your cholesterol and blood pressure levels
Surprisingly, drinking too much beer is not good for you. Hops in beer convert to oestrogen which in turn lowers testosterone levels.
Important supplements include Zinc which contributes to the maintenance of normal testosterone levels. B6 partners Zinc to balance hormonal activity, Magnesium contributes to a reduction in tiredness and fatigue.
Vitamin D is important for maintaining healthy bones and muscles. Vitamin D is also known as the sunshine vitamin and who doesn’t need a little more sunshine in their lives? Omega oils are important for counteracting inflammation and lubricating joints.
There are herbs that are helpful too. Wild Yam and Dong Quai help increase testosterone levels. Black Cohosh helps with flushes and night sweats whilst Red Clover is another alternative to try with night sweats.
Prostate issues can also occur in more mature years. Luckily, there are some great products (like Prostex or Prostasan) to help you with these symptoms. Look out for changes in your urine flow, frequent trips to the toilet during the night, stop / start dribbling and even loss of control of your urine flow.
As a final thought, many women review their lives and make changes as a result. Maybe, it is time for you to look at where you are in your life. Do you need some new interests or inspirations? A new phase of life can mean some exciting and new developments. Enjoy!