Many doctors use the term "andropause" to describe aging-related hormone changes in men. Andropause is different from the menopause women experience. In menopause, the production of female hormones drop suddenly. In men, there's a gradual decline in hormone levels. Some men maintain normal testosterone levels into old age, but there are men with low testosterone levels who have no symptoms. The only sure way to learn if you are low on testosterone is by taking a blood test.
Although symptoms may vary from person to person, common symptoms of men going through andropause include: low sex drive, difficulties getting erections or erections that are not as strong as usual, lack of energy, depression, irritability and mood swings, loss of strength or muscle mass, increased body fat and hot flashes.
There are many natural options to help men with andropause, you don’t need to use all of these remedies you can choose some suggestions that work best for you.
Proper diet: Hormone balancing through food is the most important. Eat plenty of green vegetables, whole grain foods, fresh fruit and seeds which contain rich phyto-chemicals to rebalance hormones.
Grazing: Eat smaller, more frequent meals to avoid the heat generated by digesting large amounts of food. Avoid spicy foods which can produce heat and drink plenty of cold water.
Maca root: It grows in the mineral rich highlands of Peru. It provides a unique set of nutrients that directly fuel the endocrine system and help the glands to produce vital hormones. Take 500 mg every morning. It works effectively for hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, energy level and sex drive.
GABA is an amino acid and the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Take 500mg 1 to 2 hours before bed to help relieve hot flushes, night sweats and improve mood, anxiety and sleep.
L- Arginine: A naturally occurring amino acid found in food and very important for many functions, but it usually presents in low quantities, especially as someone gets older. One of the biggest benefits of L-arginine is its ability to improve blood flow and circulation. In the body, L-arginine is converted into nitric oxide, which causes blood vessels to open wider. The clinic feedback from my male patients with andropause is that L- Arginine works as a natural Viagra and a muscle builder supplement. Take 850mg of L-Arginine every evening.
L-Citrulline: An amino acid found in melons, L-Citrulline is converted into L-Arginine and supports the production of additional nitric oxide. Take 750 mg of L-Citrulline every morning.
Melatonin: The body naturally produces melatonin, but with age it decreases. The biological clock does not always run properly resulting in insomnia, so the elderly have a greater benefit from using melatonin. Normally, it takes a week to see the benefits for insomnia. Some people may feel a little sleepy the next morning for a few days, but this side effect will disappear with time.
Supplements: every day take 1,200 to 1,500 mg of calcium with vitamin D to prevent osteoporosis, vitamin C 500 mg to strengthen joints and also improve the immune system, multivitamins and vitamin B complex to help with general health.
Omega-3 fatty acids can relieve mood swings, depression, memory loss; reduce hot flashes and night sweats; lower cholesterol and blood pressure; prevent blood clots, heart attack, stroke; relieve inflammation and ease pain. Supplements: Krill oil, Fish oil, Flaxseed oil or powder. Flaxseed powder is also high in fiber to relieve constipation.
Chinese herbs soothe discomfort and ease andropause symptoms. For example, both Lui Wai Di Hwang and Zi Bu Gan Shen Wan works well for insomnia, hot flashes, night sweats and mood swings.
Hormone replacement: according to Mayo Clinic, treating aging-related low testosterone with testosterone replacement therapy is controversial. For some men, testosterone therapy relieves bothersome signs and symptoms of testosterone deficiency. For others, however, the benefits aren't clear and there are possible risks. Testosterone replacement therapy might increase the risk of heart attack, prostate cancer or other health problems. If you wonder whether testosterone treatments might be right for you, work with your doctor to weigh the pros and cons.
Note: If you use DHEA, you should annually check your PSA blood level to monitor any prostate issues.
Optimize sleep: avoid drinking caffeine after 2pm; but in the afternoon, drinking Hibiscus or Chamomile tea will help with sleep. Relaxation techniques such as Taiji, Pilates and Yoga can be useful. Exercise daily, but not right before bedtime.
Exercise regularly: Get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity 3 times a week (the more days the better) to reduce stress, manage weight and to protect against cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and other conditions associated with aging.
Strengthening Knees: the inner side of knee pain (medial knee pain) is the most common type of knee pain that I see in my acupuncture practice. It especially occurs often in elderly person. Daily knee strengthening exercises will prevent and rehab knee pain.
Don’t smoke: Smoking increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, cancer and other health problems. It may also increase hot flashes, bring on andropause earlier and age your skin.
Acupuncture and Meridian massage boost the body’s own healing power; improve blood and energy flow; rebalance hormones and metabolism; reduce stress level and help cope with life’s transition smoothly.
For more information please call Dr.Lu at 661 513-9265, Ping’s acupuncture/ Bamboo Acupuncture.