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Andropause, not just male menopause

Though andropause may be given the biased name of male menopause, it is a different and much more of a gradual process than what women experience. What is similar, is the shift in hormone production that happens as we age.


 

Andropause

This is the very gradual reduction in the male hormones, especially testosterone. There may be a slight decrease every decade starting at age 30 and becoming more noticeable by age 50.


Possible symptoms:

  • irritability, depression, mood swings

  • low libido, erectile dysfunction

  • decreased energy and concentration

  • decreased muscles, increased fat

  • sleep disturbances

  • thinning hair

  • muscle and joint aches

 

Eastern Perspective

The notion of yin and yang is a centerpiece of Chinese Medicine and many health symptoms are connected to how they dynamically interact. As one energy changes, the other will adjust. Yin and yang need to be balanced just as hormones need to be. Progesterone and testosterone are considered male and related to yang, whereas estrogen is thought of as a female hormone and related to yin.


In Chinese Medicine the reproductive and hormone health is closely tied to the kidney organ system. The kidneys store the body's energy reserves and govern growth, development, reproduction. The kidneys produce yin and yang energies. Yang is considered warming and active, and provides the energy for physiological functions. When yang is depleted, circulation and metabolism are weaker. There may be symptoms of heaviness, cold, fatigue, weight gain, feeling foggy headed or depressed.






 

Nutritional Therapy

Try eating foods and spices that are considered warming.

These foods support yang which help activate metabolism:


  • cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, turmeric, garlic, ginger, onions

  • walnuts, pistachios, black beans

  • chicken, soups and stews

  • raspberries, cherries

While warming foods will help add energy, foods that are cold or uncooked are harder for the body to digest. Try limiting foods straight out of the refrigerator, adding ice to water, or eating uncooked produce, especially in the winter.


 

How acupuncture can help

Treatments are based on your individual symptoms and are meant to move you to a more balanced, healthier state. A few benefits of acupuncture:



  • help hormone regulation and related symptoms

  • support mood and energy (testosterone levels decrease during periods of stress and anxiety)

  • improve sleep (the highest levels of testosterone production occurs during sleep)

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