Manopause: The Truth About Male Menopause

Manopause: The Truth About Male Menopause

There are scores of resources for dealing with female menopause but until recently, male menopause or ‘manopause’ (Time magazine 8/8/14) wasn’t even a consideration. Actually, the medical term is called andropause which is the label given to males around 50 years old that may experience a variety of symptoms, usually dismissed as the result of old age.

Some symptoms of andropause may include:

  • Low energy
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Lack of muscle mass
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Lack of endurance
  • Overall weakness
  • Disinterest in spontaneous life activities
  • Cognitive decline
  • Increased body fat

Age Related Slowdown

Sometimes called “age related slowdown,” andropause has been known to affect some men as early as 30 years old. Sometimes these symptoms at a such a young age could be cause for concern. Either way, it is important to talk with your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms on a regular basis, regardless of age.

Your doctor will perform a blood test as well as overall physical exam to determine if you are in fact going through a “male change”. This is mostly determined by low testosterone levels.

In a study published in the Journal of Gerontology Medical Sciences (2002, Vol. 57A, No 2), it was stated that,

“In men, there is a gradual and progressive decline in serum T levels with aging that is accentuated by age-associated comorbid illnesses, medications, and malnutrition. Age-related alterations in body composition, sexual function, mood, cognitive function, sleep, and erythropoiesis [process which produces red blood cells] occur in conjunction with the declining serum T levels. Similar alterations occur in young androgen-deficient hypogonadal men and are improved with T replacement therapy. Therefore, it is reasonable to posit that age-related androgen deficiency may contribute, at least in part, to the changes in physiological function that occur with aging.”

Low testosterone has spawned an entirely new medical, as well as alternative, testosterone enhancing industry. However, the jury is still out regarding the benefits and safety of both attempts at slowing down this physical decline.

Synthetic Testosterone Replacement Therapy

Many conventional doctors are administering a variety of testosterone supplements with a number of “shot-in-the-dark” results. This means that by prescribing hormones a good percentage of practitioners are basically guessing on the proper dosage and protocol. This approach has given rise to many questions regarding the validity and moreover the safety of hormone replacement therapy.

According to the Global Healing Center, synthetic hormone prescriptions may be more adverse than advantageous citing that:

  • Testosterone replacement is not part of a man’s natural body rhythms.
  • Long-term safety has not been determined for hormone replacement therapy.
  • It may be dangerous for men with prostate cancer.
  • Long-term testosterone therapies may increase the risk of breast cancer in men.

However, some success is on the rise with practitioners like Yale trained endocrinologist Florence Comite. She uses a variety of natural and synthetic supplements as well as HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) in her NYC Precision Medicine practice. Her approach is one of the very few, if not the only therapy that is considerably slowing down andropause symptoms in men as old as eighty years.

In a 2010 NY Times article, Dr. Comite comments on her treatment,

“I consider what I do aggressive prevention, the basis of which is metabolism modulation, Twenty years from now, this will be the standard of care.”

Natural Testosterone Replacement Therapy

Using natural herbal remedies for andropause treatment may be minimally effective. Some report  substantial results while others, particularly those in the medical community, are highly speculative of their botanical effectiveness. Talk to your doctor before attempting any herbal treatment for andropause.

Some herbs that may be used include:

  • Catha Edulis
  • Kaempferia Parviflora
  • Lycium Barbarum
  • Tribulus Terrestris
  • Maca
  • Fenugreek
  • Muira Puama
  • Horny Goat Weed
  • Avena sativa
  • Tongkat ali
  • Catuaba
  • Ashwagandha

Andropause can be as life changing for men as menopause is for women. Check with your doctor to determine the best treatment for you.