Andropause/ Low Testosterone Treatment
Andropause/ Low Testosterone Treatment
Low Testosterone – Symptoms, Causes, Natural Treatment
Andropause, also known as “male menopause”, refers to symptoms relating to low testosterone or the the decline in testosterone production in the ageing male. Unlike female menopause, testosterone declines gradually over many years rather than the more abrupt decline in estrogen experienced by females at menopause.
Testosterone decline appears to be worsening in recent times, with significantly lower mean testosterone levels reported in middle-aged men in the early 21st century compared to the 1980‘s.
Low testosterone is also associated with increased cardiovascular risk (e.g. hypertension, high cholesterol and atherosclerosis) and prostate cancer.
Risk factors that cause low testosterone
- Xeno-estrogen excess
- Poor liver function
- Obesity (causes tissue aromatisation of testosterone to estrogen)
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Insulin resistance
Signs and symptoms of Andropause and low testosterone
- Memory loss and poor concentration
- Depression and irritability
- Low libido
- Loss of muscle strength and size
- Visceral weight gain
Treatment strategy for Andropause & Low Testosterone
- Investigate and treat bacterial overgrowth of gut
- Investigate and treat SIBO if indicated
- Optimise hormone and methylation pathways
- Address risk factors: stress, obesity, insulin resistance, smoking, xeno-estrogen exposure, lack of exercise, etc
- Support healthy liver and detoxification pathways
- Support healthy testosterone production
Diet plan guidelines for Andropause & Low Testosterone
- Whole food, low-GI diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, grass fed animal meats and healthy fats.
- Include zinc-rich foods to support testosterone production: oysters, seafood, cashews, legumes, pumpkin seeds
- Cold-water, oily fish: high in omega-3 essential fatty acids which are important for hormone production
- Include adequate protein to support muscle mass
- Include calcium-rich foods to support bone health: yoghurt, bony fish, green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, tahini
- Avoid sugars, refined carbohydrates, processed foods, refined oils and trans fats to prevent obesity and cardiovascular disease
Supplements that support Andropause & Low Testosterone
- Zinc – to support testosterone production
- Omega-3 fatty acids – to support hormone synthesis and protect against cardiovascular disease
- Vitamin D – needed for testosterone production
- Vitamin B6 – involved in testosterone production
Herbal Medicine that supports Andropause & Low Testosterone
- Male reproductive tonics – panax ginseng, tribulus, saw palmetto
- Adaptogens – panax ginseng, Siberian ginseng, withania, schisandra
- Nervines – damiana, St John‘s wort, passionflower, scullcap, oats, gotu kola
- Regular exercise: a combination of cardiovascular and resistance exercise; reduces risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis
- Stress management: work/life balance, meditation, yoga, relaxation, hobbies, etc.
Functional medicine treatment of Andropause & low testosterone
The symptoms of Andropause and Low testosterone can be a worrying experience for men. Many don’t realise what is happening and slowly start noticing signs of their strength, male sexual desire and performance begin to slowly decline. Maintaining a toned and masculine physique can also begin to be a struggle.
There are often a number of underlying factors that are expediating the gradual decline of testosterone in men. These can be poor hormone synthesis, SIBO and bacterial overgrowth of the colon, nutrient deficiencies and poor diet and lifestyle choices.
Addressing the underlying reasons that are causing the dysfunction is the key to making more testosterone for longer and ensuring testosterone is not being converted to estrogen through aromatization.
At our Perth clinic of Functional Medicine we treat men with low testosterone and other mens health problems with great success. If you or a family member are suffering from andropause of the symptoms of low testosterone we would love to hear from you. What symptoms did you first begin to notice?
What changes to your diet and lifestyle did you make to improve andropause? Have you had your gut tested and found complications that are contributing to low testosterone? Please leave a comment below.