Andropause, another word for male menopause, refers to the hormonal decline of men as they age leading to androgen deficiency and its related symptoms.  Between the age of 50-70, men experience a slow decline of testosterone which leads to:

  • decreased muscle and increased fat mass
  • low libido and erectile dysfunction
  • male breast growth
  • prostate problems such as BPH and prostate cancer
  • poor memory and concentration, cognitive decline, and increased incidence of Alzheimer’s dementia
  • nervousness and depression
  • hot flushes and sweating
  • fatigue and insomnia

As a result of andropause, men produce less testosterone and more estrogen. Increased body fat also leads testosterone to be converted to estrogen via an enzyme called aromatase, further contributing to hormonal imbalance.  Excess estrogens in men can contribute to BPH (benign prostatic hypertrophy) and initiate prostate cancer development.

Testosterone can also be converted to DHT (dihydrotestosterone) by the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase.  High DHT levels increase prostate growth and cause male pattern baldness.  Maintaining healthy testosterone levels and reducing conversion of testosterone to both DHT and estrogen is essential during andropause.

Strategies for Managing Andropause

  • maintain adequate testosterone levels
  • slow conversion of testosterone to DHT and estrogen
  • increase muscle mass and reduce excess fat mass
  • support thyroid and andrenal glands
  • ensure adequate levels of growth hormone, IGF-1 and DHEA to enhance longevity and protect against inflammatory and chronic disease

Natural Treatments for Andropause

  • Exercise: aerobic exercise to burn fat and weight training for building muscle mass
  • Nutrition: adequate protein, healthy fats, organic fruits and vegetables, reduce alcohol consumption
  • Blood sugar balance: reverse insulin resistance and pre-diabetes to improve testosterone production
  • Increase testosterone, DHEA and LH (lutenizing hormone) production, increase libido, and promote sperm production with Tribulus
  • Block the aromatase enzyme with DIM, I3C and/or Calcium D Glucarate to reduce conversion of testosterone to estrogen; Zinc also helps
  • Block the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme with Saw palmetto, Pygeum, and Nettle; Bioidentical Progesterone cream may also be prescribed (Yes, men do have progesterone!)
  • Lower excess estrogen levels with Calcium D Glucarate and ground flax seeds
  • Function of growth hormone and IGF-1 can also be treated naturally (without growth hormone injections)