Andropause is a condition observed in aging men which is caused due to decline in the production of testosterone, a primary male sex hormone. Andropause in males is similar to menopause in females; the only difference is, unlike females, males do not cease total reproductive activity as they age, though their ability of reproduction dwindles.
The word ‘Andropause’ till now is not included and recognized as a medical condition in medical literature, though it is accepted fact that some physical and psychological changes are observed with growing age in men such as decline in sex drive, frequent mood changes etc.
According to an estimate, at least 30 % of males above the age of 50 years experience symptoms of Andropause. In most cases hormone replacement therapy is considered to be the only treatment, but home remedies, dietary changes and modification in lifestyle also help to a great extent in managing the problem.
Signs And Symptoms Of Andropause
As men ages, the level of male hormone testosterone and production of sperms gradually becomes low, but still he has the ability to produce children, though more difficult.
- Difficulty in sex life. Loss of libido and bouts of erectile dysfunction with low level of fertility are observed in many men after the age of 50.
- Mood changes, easily becomes upset and irritable. The person may not like to be disturbed by anyone.
- Easily gets fatigued and there is always a feeling of not being well.
- Hot flashes: the patient may suddenly experience heat in his body with sudden flushing of face.
- Person may find difficulty to sleep. Insomnia and depression are symptoms frequently experienced during Andropause.
- Weight gain around the waist and losing muscle mass. This is the reason most men have the tendency to grow larger around their belly after the age of 40.
- Pain in joints with stiffness. Osteoporosis results as the bone density decreases.
- Loss of hair and skin becoming thin and fragile.
What Are The Causes Of Andropause?
Decrease in production of testosterone, which is a prominent male hormone is considered to be responsible for men to suffer from Andropause. Usually the age at which Andopause symptoms begin to appear is around 40 to 50 years.
It is not only low production of testosterone responsible for Andropause, increase in another hormone called sex hormone binding globulin is also responsible. This hormone (SHBG) binds the free testosterone circulating in the blood. The bio-availability of free testosterone therefore decreases. As a result the tissues which need stimulation by testosterone are starved, giving rise to various physical and psychological symptoms such as low sex drive, irritability and depression.
Natural Remedies For Andropause
The awareness of Andropause amongst men is not as popular as menopause in females. The symptoms in many cases remain subdued and men may not realize what is actually happening in their body. They simply attribute these symptoms as old age symptoms. Many men may not like to discuss the issue and ignore it. As such Andropause is not harmful; it is a natural phenomenon occurring in aging men. However it definitely causes inconvenience in daily life. People who experience increasing problems may seek medical help. Generally physicians recommend hormone treatment.
Lifestyle changes, eating healthy and balanced food, can effectively deal with the symptoms of Andropause. It can also regularize the hormones as well as aid in increasing the testosterone level.
- Exercise: it plays important role in production of hormones in the body. Regular exercise for 30 minutes may naturally increase the activity of hormones and regulate metabolism. Yoga exercise is beneficial and walking for 30 minutes or swimming is also helpful.
- Eat foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals. Vegetables, fruits, flaxseeds, eggs, lean meat, poultry, almonds, walnuts etc are good for health.
- Reduce the intake of junk food and processed foods as they interfere in hormone secretion.
- Avoid alcohol, cigarette and other stimulants.
- Certain herbs are also beneficial in treating symptoms of Andropause.
- Ginseng is known to increase the libido and sex drive.
- Saffron and St. John’s Wort effectively aids in managing depression, irritability and mood changes observed in Andropause.
- Consuming pinch of turmeric powder mixed in a glass of warm milk is beneficial in reducing inflammation of joints. It also induces sound sleep when consumed before bed time.