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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Men suffer from Menopause too....

Okay, I hear men - have for 15 years - starting with my father when my mother was going through menopause talk about the woman in their life going through menopause and how hard it is on them. But, I have rarely heard women talk about the husbands version of menopause, called andropause. Most men and women don't even know it exists! - Yes, starting around age 40, men start to have their hormones decline as well. This causing symptoms of weight gain around the mid section, depression, irritability, nocturnal urination, erectile dysfunction, lowered libido, lower energy, higher cholesterol and triglycerides. Most people in general would chalk this up to familial tendencies. It's easier to do that, requires a lot less work. It takes work for everyone to get through this time of life. Let's go through a few things. Testosterone - the hormone famous for making men aggressive and for making woman a little too hairy is what starts to decline as men age. Testosterone is responsible for all structural integrity - muscles, skin, and bone. Let's talk about muscle. The heart is a pretty important muscle most would agree. Men have more testosterone receptors on the heart than any other muscle in the body. So as testosterone declines the heart weakens. When this hormone declines men will have more cardiovascular problems. Veins and arteries start to thicken, cholesterol comes up, triglycerides go up, insulin increases causing the prostate to swell, fibrinogen increases.... most of which is treated as a separate issue by separate doctors! - There are a lot of behind the scene issues that compound this problem. There are two areas of the body responsible for making testosterone, the adrenal cortex (which are beat up with regular caffeine intake, stress and lack of sleep) and cells in the testes. There are two areas of the brain that communicate to these areas to produce testosterone. The Hypothalamus and pituitary glands. These glands need a healthy amount of trace minerals - which are void in our foods for the most part these days. Men need to supplement what is taken in from the diet with a good multiple. The cheap ones are not good - synthetic and full of fillers - don't go cheap. And an additional zinc with proper enzymes with meals to utilize it all. Zinc is necessary for the body to make testosterone! If you are insulin resistant you are probably zinc deficient. If you sweat - you are zinc deficient, if you drink alcohol or if you ejaculate on a regular basis - yes, you are zinc deficient - don't be shy with it - you are excreting zinc all the time! - So, a multiple AND additional zinc supplementation. Okay. now the liver. If you haven't cleansed in a while then do one. You should every 3 months or 3,000 miles just like changing fluids in your car. You don't need to go crazy, just make sure you are not just cleaning the bowel, do a liver detox as well - that will ensure you are cleaning your blood more effectively - and therefore keeping the kidneys happier. In case you didn't know, the liver and kidneys are your filters. The liver filters out toxins we ingest and inhale. It clears out hormones we get in red meat, eggs, cheese, chickens, pesticides and herbicides.... It would be helpful a few months after feeding the body in this was to test your hormones. For men I test testosterone levels as well as DHT (dihyrotestosterone), LH and FSH that the pituitary is making, cortisols from the adrenal cortex, androsteredione (another androgen made in the adrenal cortex) and progesterone. Knowing your PSA score will give you an idea of progression of the health of the prostate gland. Can you see why if the doctor notices swelling in the prostate and he gives you something for the swelling it doesn't solve what's causing the swelling in the first place? There's so much more to it than the symptom. The cause needs to be addressed as well. This problem that starts at 40 will not make you symptomatic until you hit your 50s for the most part. By the time you are symptomatic, what caused the imbalance has been going on sometimes for 10 years. It is time for catch up with everything concerned (diet, insulin, adrenals, pituitary, liver, hypothalamus, testes)......... Do something about this now and you won't have to suffer as much as you get older. If you are already in the symptomatic state - what is stopping you from correcting it? Come see a Naturopath, like me, and I will guide you in correcting the imbalance.