Do men go through menopause?

“My middle-aged husband has no motivation and is always cranky. He has also put on a big belly and lost his libido. Do men go through menopause?”

Many men suffer from what is called andropause, a hormonal and neurological cascade that affects their health and their personality. Some refer to it as “male menopause.”

Andropause: “male menopause”

The defining marker for andropause is a skewed ratio of testosterone to estrogen so that estrogen becomes dominant. This has long been associated with middle age, but clinicians are increasingly finding it in younger men too. As andropause comes on gradually the symptoms can be overlooked or relegated to “getting older.”

Symptoms of andropause include:

  • Decreased libido
  • Decrease in morning erections, fullness of erections, and the ability to maintain erections
  • Mental fatigue and inability to concentrate
  • Depression
  • Lack of motivation
  • Decrease in physical stamina

Men with andropause often have high cholesterol and triglycerides, insulin resistance, elevated blood pressure, abdominal weight gain, the development of “breasts” and “hips,” and varicose veins or hemorrhoids. Some men even have hot flashes.

What causes andropause

Many factors are suspected to contribute to andropause, including abundant estrogens in pesticides and environmental chemicals, poor essential fatty acid status, gut infections, and poor liver detoxification. However the most common cause is chronic stress caused by high-carbohydrate diets and poor lifestyle habits.

Blood sugar imbalances can cause high estrogen

A diet that is consistently high in starchy and sugary foods, such as sweets, bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, soda, and sweet coffee drinks chronically over stimulates the production of insulin. This triggers an enzyme called aromatase that synthesizes estrogen. It also leads to insulin resistance—when insulin cannot get into the cells to deliver glucose and vital nutrients—which causes hormonal imbalances.

Addressing andropause

Addressing andropause is not as simple as using testosterone cream to boost testosterone levels. That can lead to testosterone excess and hormone resistance, exacerbating symptoms. Instead a salivary hormone panel that includes levels of testosterone and estrogen will show the mechanism of the condition and what the best course of action is for you.

This can include dietary and lifestyle changes to reduce stress on the body, nutritional therapies to address deficiencies and imbalances, and complementary protocols to address the effects of andropause on heart and brain health.

Dr. Joni Labbe

About Dr. Joni Labbe

Dr. Joni Labbe is a board-certified clinical nutritionist specializing in science-based nutrition with a focus on women's health issues. She has successfully helped pre-menopausal and menopausal women regain and maintain their health since 1995. Dr. Labbe is the author of the Amazon #1 Best Selling book Thyroid & Menopause Madness and It’s Not Just Menopause: It’s Your Thyroid. She is also a professional speaker, radio personality, fitness expert, and former host of “Healthier Way With Dr. Labbe.” Dr. Labbe is one of the country’s leading authorities on thyroid disorders, including Hashimoto’s disease. Dr. Labbe has also authored numerous articles and blogs on health, nutrition, and thyroid health, as seen in Naturally Savvy, Thyroid Nation, and Fox News. She is a Board Certified Clinical Nutritionalist, Doctor of Chiropractic, and has post graduate training in Functional Neurology, Functional Endocrinology, Functional Blood Chemistry Analysis, and earned a Diplomate and Fellow in Nutrition from the American Association of Integrative Medicine.

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