Lockdown Living: Does male menopause really exist?

Have you ever heard of the term ‘Male Menopause’? Does it really exist?

The first thing that comes to our mind, when we think of ‘menopause’ are mood swings and hot flashes in women due to hormonal changes. But did you know, not just women but even men experience such symptoms? Yes, it is indeed true. Over the years, numerous studies have shown that men are likely to go through hormonal changes at the age of 50 and above.

Male menopause also known as andropause is a medical condition where an older man is likely to experience a set of changes in his hormonal level. In addition to the decline of testosterone level, Some of the common symptoms are depression, decrease in sexual drive, weakness, fatigue, onset of hypogonadism, development of breast, erectile dysfunction, hot flashes, hair loss, lower muscle mass and bone density, and difficulty falling asleep. Due to male menopause, there will be some changes in the male reproductive organ. These changes will occur between the age of 45 - 50, and become more severe after the age of 70. Not just with age, but certain factors like stress, less intake of nutritious food, lack of physical activity, less sleep and toxic substances like drugs, smoking and excessive drinking may also lead to male menopause. However not all men may experience this medical condition.

If you have been reading so far, you must be wondering, what is the diagnosis for male menopause? The answer is through a series of medical examinations under the supervision of a doctor.  Male menopause can be treated by a hormone replacement therapy. Although this therapy has been effective in treating, there are a few potential risks . For example, replacing testosterone might increase the likelihood of prostate cancer and liver problems. Before undergoing hormone replacement therapy, you must consult a doctor.

Not just through hormonal replacement therapy, but even certain natural remedies will provide relief from this medical condition. In order to treat this condition, one must adapt to a healthy lifestyle. Let us look at what they are.

     Be mindful of what you eat- One of the most essential healthy lifestyle habits to incorporate in your daily routine is to keep an eye on what you're eating throughout the day. One of the reasons behind hormonal imbalance is obesity, hence it is important for you to make some healthy food choices in order to lose weight. Start eating fresh vegetables and fruits, which are rich in all the essential vitamins and minerals. Healthy foods like fish, lean meat, chicken, red meat help in increasing the testosterone level in men. For those of you who eat only vegetarian, you must increase the intake of fresh vegetables like soy, beans, lentils etc. Even nuts like brazil nuts and almonds are extremely good. Any processed and refined foods, drinks must be avoided.

     Exercise, Exercise and Exercise! - One cannot stress enough on how important it is to stay fit. Besides eating a nutritious diet, it is very essential to indulge in any form of physical workout. As we all are aware of the many benefits associated with exercise, one of them is it increases the release of endorphins, which further help with depression and lowering stress levels. They also help with minimising mood swings, which is a common symptom of male menopause. Exercising on a regular basis also helps tone and build muscles. Numerous studies have shown that high intensity interval training, and heavy weight lifting will help in increasing the testosterone and human growth hormone levels. Other physical workouts include running, brisk walking, yoga etc.

     Limit the intake of alcohol- A number of unhealthy habits will affect the severity of male menopause, one of which is excessive intake of alcohol. Although it is difficult to quit alcohol all together, try to cut back on the intake of alcohol. Try to replace alcohol and sugary drinks with green tea. Green tea is rich in catechins, which have potent antioxidant properties.

     Keep your liver healthy- Liver is one of the vital organs in your body and is responsible for producing hormones. It's very important to keep your liver in good shape for a fit and healthy body. One of the key points to keep in mind for proper functioning of your liver is to eat healthy and exercise. Incorporate foods that are extremely good for your liver, like coffee, blueberries, grapefruit, cranberries, fish, beetroot, nuts, olive oil etc.

     Make sure your sleeping well- According to studies, men who generally sleep less are more likely to experience low levels of testosterone. Along with nutritious food and exercise, even sleep is very essential for good health. You must rest your body for at least seven to eight hours every night. For those of you who have trouble falling asleep, follow some of these simple tips-

     Stay away from caffeine late in the day.

     Practice meditation and relaxing techniques. 

     Exercise on a regular basis.

     Eat healthy.

     Follow a sleep schedule- Wake up at the same time every morning and go to bed at the same time each night.

     Create a relaxing atmosphere before going to bed.

     Limit exposure to blue light from electronic gadgets before hitting the bed.

      Try natural supplements- A range of natural pills made from medical herbs and nutrients have been found to show good results in supporting a healthy sexual life and hormonal balance. However before trying any of the natural supplements available in the market, it's best to consult a doctor.

 -Akhila Kakarala and Pic Courtsey: pixabay.com