Updated: Sep 23
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 drops suddenly. In men, there’s a gradual decline in hormone levels. Some men maintain normal testosterone levels into old age, but men with low levels usually have no symptoms. The only sure way to learn if you are low on testosterone is by taking a blood test.
Andropause symptoms may vary from person to person; common symptoms include low sex drive, difficulties getting erections, or erections not as strong as usual. They may also suffer from lack of energy, depression, irritability, mood swings, loss of strength or muscle mass, body fat increase, 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 with rich phytochemicals 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 levels, 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 essential for many functions, but it usually presents in low quantities, especially as someone gets older. One of the most significant benefits of L-arginine is its ability to improve blood flow and circulation. In the body, L-arginine could convert 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 appropriately run, resulting in insomnia, so the elderly have a more significant benefit from using melatonin. Usually, it takes a week to see the benefits of insomnia. Some people may feel a little sleepy the following day 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 the pain. Omega-3 supplements over the counter are 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 work 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 2 pm, but drinking Hibiscus or Chamomile tea in the afternoon will help sleep. Relaxation techniques such as Taiji, Pilates, and Yoga can be helpful. Exercise daily, but not right before bedtime.
Exercise regularly: Get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity three times a week (the more days, the better) to reduce stress, manage weight, and 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 I see in my acupuncture practice. It mainly occurs often in older adults. 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 Ping's meridian massage boost the body’s healing power; improve blood and energy flow; rebalance hormones and metabolism; reduce stress levels and help cope with life’s transition smoothly.
Case report: a 65-year-old male patient has been suffering from erection problems for 2-3 years; he also has had neck disc issues causing pain in his right side of neck, shoulder, and arm for over ten years. He uses acupuncture and Ping’s meridian massage to treat pain and general health as needed. He started taking Maca, L-arginine, and L-Citrulline for his man issues; a few weeks later, he fed back with desired results. He said the three supplements work for him.