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The Andropause

The Andropause

Men!

Do you suffer from any of the following?
• diminished sex drive
• reduced muscle bulk and strength
• night sweats
• infertility
• fewer spontaneous erections
• depression
• loss of body hair
• swollen breasts
• palpitations
• shrunken testes
• height loss
• fatigue
• irritability
• reduced self-confidence
• poor concentration
• memory loss
• sleep problems
• increased body fat
• anaemia.

The Andropause, or male menopause, is the name that has been given to a set of effects that appears in some ageing men and which have some superficial similarities to the menopause in women. These are the generally acknowledged symptoms of low testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) commonly found in men over the age of 40, from which age they decline at an average rate of 1% per year. Other descriptions in the medical literature for similar presentations are “Symptomatic Late Onset Hypogonadism” (SLOH) and “Androgen Deficiency of the Aging Male” (ADAM).

Treatment: there is heated debate in medical circles as to whether or not this is a condition that needs to be treated and there is a lot of resistance to even allowing it to be given a nomenclature/designation. It certainly can’t yet be found in the ICD-10 code system of the WHO. I suppose it should be up to the individual to decide, in discussion with his healthcare provider, whether his symptoms warrant treatment. If we decide they do….

Non-negotiable in any approach to dealing with this syndrome is the need to address excess weight, poor diet (excess carbohydrates in particular), alcohol use and lack of exercise.

In addition to the above lifestyle interventions the following medications are among my primary tools for this condition:
Testis Compositum (Heel) – homeopathic complex remedy designed to promote inherent testosterone production through improved function of the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal-Gonadal axis
HisSynergy (Metagenics) – combines Tribulus Terrestris, Ashwaganda and Cowage seed to support testosterone, male sexual function and vitality
In addition to the above:
• the correctly chosen Homeopathic similimum which results from a well taken and complete case history
• A course of Acupuncture to address underlying deficiencies/excesses, to help reduce nervous tension and to support the healthy functioning of the neuroendocrine system.
• Breath work to enhance Vagal tone
• Its important to deal with undiagnosed depression. Depression in men can be more than feeling down. Depressed men can be irritable and withdrawn. They often work too much, drink to excess and try to get thrills from taking risks.
• Foods to enhance Testosterone: pomegranates, Tuna, milk and eggs, sea food, coffee (caffeine), avocadoes, ginger, virgin olive oil, Zinc and Vit D

Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is the primary allopathic treatment for declining levels of testosterone, but it is enveloped in controversy. It has helped some men, but TRT (just like HRT) has risks, especially for men predisposed to prostate cancer and heart disease. In addition, TRT may not improve symptoms. More studies need to be done to determine the safety and efficacy of TRT.

Dr Bruce Thomson

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