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How to beat andropause, the condition that ails all elderly malesAndropause is a medical condition, similar to the female menopause, that can affect men between the ages of 40 and 65. Men do not have a clear-cut signpost to mark the transition. In women estrogen drops dramatically at menopause, but testosterone levels in men drop very gradually over many years and decades. The bodily changes in andropause occur very gradually in men and may be accompanied by changes in attitudes and moods, fatigue, a loss of energy, sex drive, stamina, and physical agility.
Andropause may be triggered not only by declines in testosterone, but in the "female" hormone estrogen as well.
There is a growing interest, as well as a booming industry, in the use of testosterone therapy for middle-aged and older men. This interest has led to the definition of a new condition, termed 'andropause' implying that this condition is due to falling levels of testosterone. This trend risks replicating both the rejuvenation fads of a century ago and the recent experience in estrogen therapy for menopause that has been propelled for decades by advocacy substituting for reliable scientific evidence. Is testosterone therapy appropriate for men with symptoms of male menopause? There is no scientific agreement on this topic.
But it stands to reason that hormones should be used only as a last resort since they have serious risks if misused.
Andropause symptomsApproximately 30% of men 60 to 70 years of age and 70% of men 70 to 80 years of age have low free testosterone levels. Symptoms and findings of testosterone deficiency are similar to those associated with aging which may include loss of energy, depressed mood, possible decrease in cognitive decline, decreased libido, potential erectile dysfunction, decreased muscle mass and strength, increased fat mass, frailty, osteopenia, and osteoporosis.
These may be reversed by treatment with hormones, however, at this time, medical doctors do not have a good understanding on how to reverse these symptoms without potentially exposing men to the potential harmful effects of long term exposure to androgens or other hormones.
Andropause or late-onset hypogonadism is a common disorder which increases in prevalence with advancing age. Diagnosis of late-onset of hypogonadism is based on presence of symptoms suggestive of testosterone deficiency - prominent among them are sexual symptoms like loss of libido, morning penile erection and erectile dysfunction; and demonstration of low testosterone levels. Adequate therapeutic modalities are currently available, but the benefits of treatment need to be balanced with the potential risks.
Andropause treatmentSeveral small clinical trials indicate that testosterone replacement therapy can improve many of these findings; however, the studies have not been powered to assess potential risks, such as the need for invasive treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia, development of a clinical prostate cancer, or cardiovascular events. Thus, the benefit / risk ratio of testosterone replacement therapy and andropause treatment in aging men is not known.
An alternative to testosterone replacement is the use of the over the counter hormone DHEA that can be purchased with visiting a doctor's office. However, DHEA has similar side effects to testosterone.
Another potential treatment option is to address each of the andropause symptoms individually with diet, lifestyle changes, and natural supplements.
For instance, the symptom of osteoporosis can be helped with increasing calcium and vitamin D intake.
The decrease in libido can be addressed by the use of sexual herbs and other libido-enhancing supplements.
The decrease in muscle mass can be helped by the use of creatine.
Low energy can be helped by doing yoga on a regular basis.
Low mood and cognitive decline can be helped by the use of specific cognitive supplements, such as citicoline, acetylcholine, St. John's wort, or SAM-e supplements.
It is preferable to not mix these supplements together until you have a clear understanding how each of them makes you feel.
Whether it's reducing stress or promoting testosterone levels or blood flow, there are plenty of natural aphrodisiacs for supporting sexual health. Getting enough exercise and sleep are also integral for battling the early onset of andropause symptoms.
Useful testosterone-enhancing supplements
ZincZinc is essential for producing testosterone. Especially athletes, people who are very physically and sexually active need zinc supplementation. The body uses large amounts of zinc during physical exercise. Zinc is also a key ingredient of semen and therefore excessive sexual practices lead to huge deficiency of this important mineral.
Zinc is used by many enzymes during hormone production. By supplementing zinc athletes can improve performance. Zinc needs to be taken with magnesium, B6, and D3.
AshwagandhaAlso known as "Indian ginseng," Ashwagandha has been used for over 3000 years to remedy various sexual issues. There is some research to suggest that Ashwagandha, especially when combined with Tribulus terrestris, may promote fertility in men. Researchers believe that Ashwagandha helps alleviate stress, which is essential for promoting sperm quality.
The herb may also be helpful for encouraging normal energy levels, a common issue that plagues many infertile, impotent, and sexually inactive men.
MacaNative to Peru, maca (also known as Peruvian ginseng) has been a favorite aphrodisiac and sexual endurance enhancer for thousands of years. Research has consistently shown maca to produce a significant erectile response.
Positive effects on ejaculation rates have also been reported in animal models; and human studies confirm that maca may boost sperm quality.
Tribulus terrestrisA natural aphrodisiac, Tribulus terrestris has been used in various countries for centuries to stimulate libido and promote normal testosterone levels. The plant's active compound, protodioscin, is a precursor to testosterone. As a blood vessel dilator, protodioscin may allow more blood to reach the penis, resulting in a normal, full erection. In animal models, impotent male rats given Tribulus terrestris showed an increased erection frequency.
Rhodiola, horny goat weed, Licorice root, cordyceps or gotu kola are other excellent sex hormone boosters and adaptogens. You can use them alternatively with chlorella, maca, ashwaganda or ginseng.
Other recommendationsAddress the excess stress that wore out your adrenals and leads to reduce sex hormone production. Learn to control stress by exercise, a healthy diet, good quality supplements, meditation or yoga
Exercise every day for at least one hour trying to induce some perspiration. Fast walk outside is the best type of exercise.
High intensity interval training is the best type of exercise to boost testosterone and HGH (human growth hormone) levels.
Try to sleep at least seven or eight hours a day.
Alternative hot and cold showers will improve circulation, and will stimulate the nervous and immune system.