Fatigue? Depression? Irritability? Erectile Dysfunction?
It could be Male Menopause!
Funny as it may sound, there is some validity to this phenomenon. According to WebMD – men can manifest symptoms that mirror those of women at that similar age; 45 – 70 years old. This has been correlated to lower testosterone levels, similar to the way women manifest lower estrogen levels. When the hormones are affected, an array of symptoms can and will occur.
For men, symptoms include lowered sex drive, depression and fatigue. The name for this phenomenon is ANDROPAUSE. The medication prescribed by many doctors is a testosterone patch. The most common (and disturbing) side-effect of the testosterone patch is atrophy of the testes.
Now some may say “Well that’s pretty common for all men at that age!” But in all reality, just because something is common, does not make it normal. If we look at ancient history; the emperors in China were significantly outliving their European counterparts, and continued procreating in their senior years. Many were having children in their 80s, 90s and even older!
Now, this doesn’t seem to be practical for our modern day and age; but certainly having all of our body parts work for a lifetime isn’t too much to ask, is it? In my opinion, it is not. I'll explain why in a minute.
Andropause (male menopause) can affect younger men too!
What I find interesting from a clinical perspective is that this phenomenon could manifest in younger men as well. Men in their twenties and thirties are finding that certain parts are not working as well as they used to work when they were younger, and their wives are not happy! Recently, John, a young 30 something male, who was suffering from an array of hormonal symptoms, came to my office looking for help. He consumed (as do we all) commercially produced eggs, dairy products, meats, grains, and produce. All of these have been tainted with some form of chemical or food additive. The tolerance for these chemicals varies dramatically from person to person, but could easily produce these symptoms.
His biggest issue was premature ejaculation, but he also was suffering from depression, and fatigue – these problems were being compounded by the stress it caused in his relationship. Thirty seems a bit young to be labeled “male menopause” but the indications were all there. When he was evaluated; it was found that his hormone communication lines were “blocked” and therefore his various parts were “not getting the message” to do their job.
No wonder John didn’t feel good.
He was evaluated by his western medical doctor and told he had low testosterone; and was prescribed medication. After he evaluated the potential side effects of hormone therapy, he decided it wasn’t worth all the risks involved with taking a medication like that. He also realized that this wasn’t a short-term treatment – he would have to stay on the hormones for a long period of time, and treatment could go on for years. He wasn’t too happy with taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and started searching for other answers.
Alternatives to HRT
John’s research led him to start investigating the impact of our tainted food supply; and he decided to attend a class on “Balancing Hormones Naturally” at a local health food store.
Much to his surprise, he learned that hormone communication can become clogged and blocked by eating certain foods. When the communication becomes “clogged” the organs and glands never get the message to do their job; so it can appear that the hormone levels are low in blood tests. In reality, it isn’t that the levels are low – it’s really a condition of “never getting the message” to that gland or organ, so it doesn’t know to do its job correctly. So, the question becomes; how do they become clogged?
Since this is a relatively new condition that men are experiencing, it makes me wonder.
In researching this topic, a connection between our food supply and our hormones has been discovered. Many of the symptoms are caused by estrogen mimics (including pesticide residue in produce that cannot be peeled, washed or cooked away) and hormones (rBGH) given to cattle.
The most common treatment for this condition is to just simply treat the deficiency with hormones. However, logic dictates that if it was just a simple deficiency, supplementing with hormone replacement – HRT or bio-identicals – would get the deficiency handled and you could go off the hormones within a reasonable amount of time. Unfortunately, this is not the case. For many who suffer with hormone deficiencies, the minute they go off their hormone medications, the symptoms return, and for some worse than before. This makes me stop and wonder if it’s a true deficiency or if there is something else going on to create the symptoms.
When you think about the increased use of synthetic hormones in our food supply, like meats and dairy products; and then look at the increase in hormonal based health problems. It begs the question, “is there a connection?”
Chemicals clog hormone communication!
There have been medical experts, like Dr. John Lee, MD, who wrote the book “What your doctor may not tell you about menopause” that have theorized that hormone problems could be rooted in a “mutated receptor sites.” In other words; it isn’t an issue of too much or too little hormones, it’s really a problem with how the communication between the glands and organs are, or are not, being completed. It could be compared to bad cell phone connections. Both phones are fine; but the cell towers that send and receive the communication are having problems.
When our patient John had his hormone pathways checked, they were blocked. By using an advanced acupressure technique, combined with a course of supplementation – his problems were resolved. His wife is now very happy and so is he!
Executive Director, Acupuncture Physician
Dr. Riggin is FitFM - Family Wellness , is the Founder and Director of Healing Touch Oriental Medicine. As an inspiring health educator, in-demand speaker and doctor of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Dr. Mary has helped thousands of people completely turn their health around. Dr. Mary co-hosts and produces the wildly popular radio show "Food is the First Medicine" and her presentations and viewpoints on natural healthcarehave made her an in-demand and innovative expert in the natural health world.
Dr. Mary Riggin, produces and hosts Food is the First Medicine Talk Radio Show, and is a popular speaker. Since 1996 she has practiced natural medicine in the Tampa Bay area; her passion and purpose is to help as many people as possible. Listen to her weekly on TanTalk 1340AM in Tampa Bay, or online anytime, anywhere at www.foodismedicine.org.
She is former Vice Chair of the Florida State Board of Acupuncture and was appointed to this gubernatorial position by Governor Lawton Chiles and Governor Jeb Bush. She has been featured on various TV and radio shows and frequently teaches free classes at community and recreation centers throughout Pinellas County.
She is a published author and was featured in the book A Woman's Guide to Vitamins, Minerals and Alternative Healing, writes and publishes educational newsletters and brochures, and was elected to serve two consecutive terms as President of the Florida State Oriental Medical Association.