Written by Slawomir (“Swavak”) Gromadzki, MPH
Andropause is described as the common effect of mid-life hormonal imbalance associated with lower testosterone levels. Besides affecting your sex drive, testosterone (male sex hormone) also helps maintain bone density, muscle mass, red blood cells, libido, and a general sense of well-being.
Men start losing sex hormones such as testosterone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), androstenedione, or dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) at the age of 20 at the rate of about one percent per year. It means that by the time they are 50 years old their sex hormones might be about 25 percent lower.
Symptoms may include: Erectile dysfunction, reduced sex drive, lack of energy (fatigue), irritability, anxiety, weight gain, muscle loss, problems with concentration, poor memory, flashes, premature aging of skin and hair, problems with sleeping, Gynecomastia (man boobs), etc.
– Low testosterone and other sex hormones caused by bad diet, sugar, belly fat, drugs like statins, steroids and opiates, commonly found in plastic water and food containers Bisphenol A (BPA), Type 2 diabetes, etc.
– Unhealthy refined diet high in bad fats, refined oils, sugar, white flour foods, meat and dairy products.
– Sugar and fructose also contribute to the problem because they raise insulin level, which is another factor leading to low testosterone.
– Nutritional deficiencies, especially zinc deficiency. Zinc plays critical role in testosterone production. Even mild zinc deficiency, which is very common today, has been associated with suppressed testosterone concentrations. A study by Wayne State University in Indiana found that older men who had mild zinc deficiency, after six months of zinc supplementation literally doubled their testosterone levels!
– Lack of exercise.
– Depression, negative attitude, pessimism.
– Stress. There are many ways in which stress can contribute to Andropause and low testosterone and other sex hormones. For example, Stress leads to overstimulation of adrenal glands. As a result the pregnenolone (P5, steroid hormone, precursor of the androgens) instead of being used to make sex hormones is used to produce stress hormone – cortisol. It leads to the inability of pregnenolone to generate sex hormones such as testosterone, DHT, or DHEA. Thus too much stress and inability to control it leads to adrenal fatigue which replaces energy and motivation by weakness, lack of motivation and tiredness.
– Frequent ejaculation also leads to testosterone defficiency:
– Avoid chlorinated swimming pools and chlorinated tap water. A 100 years ago during the pre-industrial era the average testosterone levels of a 20 to 30-year-old male were about 800-2000ng/dL. Today it is only about 200-800ng/dL! The culprit is commonly attributed to the chemicals that disrupt the normal hormone production cycle called endocrine disruptors such as mercury, arsenic, chlorine, fluoride, estradiol, BPA, pesticides and other harmful chemicals found in tap water. In a study, testosterone samples were taken from 361 boys between the ages of 14 and 18 who had spent between 125 to 250 hours in chlorinated swimming pools. According to the study results these boys had three times higher risk to have testosterone levels in the bottom 10 percentile compared to their peers who did not exposed their bodies to the chlorinated pool water. Read more >
Many men suffer today from bad symptoms of low testosterone. Fortunately, it is not difficult to solve this problem by improved diet and lifestyle as well as through the use of very effective herbal remedies, super foods and supplements.
Typically, in case of Andropause, a hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is offered by conventional medical care. Unfortunately, since it leads to many bad side effects, it is much better to deal with the problem and boost male sex hormones through healthy lifestyle, plant-based unrefined diet, super foods, herbal remedies, good quality supplements and other safe remedies which help to increase sex hormones. If you decide to use hormones it is much better to try the bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT).
Treating Andropause and low levels of male sex hormones requires radical lifestyle changes, completely or at least mostly plant-based unrefined diet, regular energetic exercise, vitamin and mineral supplementation, herbal remedies, natural adaptogens, and emotional counselling.
In order to be more effective try also to find other health conditions (hypoglycaemia, depression, etc.) that may magnify the symptoms of Andropause. Find the description of the problem in the DISEASES section and implement the recommendations.
In addition, read carefully and do your best to implement all the principles and recommendations included in the HEALTH RECOVERY PLAN >
Before you start any hormone replacement therapy it is also important to make sure you are low in testosterone indeed as otherwise it is not a good idea to boost this hormone. Apart from that, although estrogen is a female sex hormone we need it too but not too much as otherwise it may cause some unwanted results too.
According to Dr Joseph Mercola, “A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that there were significant individual variations in the amount of testosterone required for any particular man to maintain lean body mass, strength, and sexual function. Other hormones, such as estrogen, also play a critical role in men’s health, so the heavy focus on testosterone may be inappropriate. The study determined that while testosterone deficiency accounted for decreases in lean mass, muscle size, and strength, estrogen deficiency was the primary culprit when it came to increases in body fat. Both hormones were found to be important for sexual function, and a deficiency in either had a negative impact on the men’s libido. Please note that men are NOT advised to take estrogen replacement therapy, as this could cause feminization, such as enlarged breasts. As your testosterone levels rise, your body will automatically produce more estrogen.”
SUPPLEMENTS AND HERBAL REMEDIES
In case of Andropause there are many herbal remedies, supplements and super foods that help to treat hormonal imbalance. From my own experience and from our customers I know that almost always the combination of Chlorella, Maca, Methylcobalamin, Zinc, Vitamin D3, Magnesium, and good quality multivitamin-mineral formula gives excellent results. I have recommended it to many people suffering from Andropause and it effectively increased their energy and ability to control stress, detoxified their bodies, improved memory, concentration and quality of sleep.
– Zinc (necessary to produce testosterone): 50mg after breakfast and 50mg after lunch. In one study after one month, athletes who were given regular doses of Zinc had about 40 percent more testosterone in their blood! 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.
– Maca helps to boost testosterone and to regulate and utilize stress hormones including cortisol and adrenalin.
Take 1 tablespoon or 5 – 500 mg capsules of Maca root powder every day for only 7 days. After that take Ashwaganda or Ginseng (both increase testosterone and are powerful adaptogens able to help in balancing cortisol) for another 7 days. Then, come back to Maca for a week, and again switch to Ashwaganda or Ginseng. Try to use them alternatively for about 3 months. After that take a break for about one month.
– Horny goat weed, Rhodiola, Liquorice root, Cordyceps (mushroom), or Gotu Kola are other excellent sex hormone boosters and adaptogens. You can use them alternatively with Chlorella, maca, Ashwaganda or Ginseng.
– Chlorella is the best natural adaptogen as well as testosterone and energy booster I know. In addition, it is also a very important remedy for healing adrenal challenges. Please read the article about this amazing super food to get strong motivation to use it on a regular basis. >
– Tribulus terrestris (puncture weed) is believed to increase testosterone by stimulating the release of luteinizing hormone involved in testosterone production.
– Saw palmetto can also be beneficial in increasing testosterone levels by inhibiting up-conversion to dihydrotestosterone.
– Methylcobalamin (form of vitamin B12) is another very important remedy which helped many people to get rid of chronic fatigue as deficiency of this vitamin is regarded as “rampant” today. >
– DHEA supplements might be helpful as it is a natural steroid and precursor hormone produced also by the adrenal glands. No wonder some evidence shows that dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) increases libido in women and helps erectile dysfunction in men. But be careful and do not use DHEA supplementing without consulting an experienced specialist as improper supplementation with this hormone can probably increase the risk of developing tumours and insomnia. If you decide to use DHEA it must be bioidentical and it should be supplemented under the guidance of a holistic doctor who can also test your body’s DHEA levels to confirm you need supplementation.
– All B Vitamins are very important for the nervous system, for balancing hormones, and they also participate in energy production in our body and therefore are essential to deal with any fatigue.
– Make sure you provide your body with sufficient amounts of all vitamins and minerals as Andropause symptoms can be magnified by deficiency of almost any vitamin or mineral deficiency especially the following ones: Vitamin B complex, vitamin A (beta-carotene), C, D, and E, pantothenic acid, folic acid, iron, calcium, and magnesium. All of them are included in multivitamin-mineral formulas but B12, D3, and Magnesium should be taken additionally as they require higher doses.
– Multivitamin-mineral formula or Vitamin B-complex: 1 tablet after breakfast. Please do not buy cheap formulas as their potency is very low and they contain only short list of inorganic ingredients. It must be a good quality formula such as Healthy Meaga (HealthAid), VM75 (Solgar) or Special Two (NOW Foods) which are excellent multi-vitamin and mineral formulas fortified with alfalfa powder, rutin, citrus bioflavonoids, bromelain, herbs, super grasses, digestive enzymes and many other super nutrients. Take no more than 2 tablets daily, preferably with breakfast. If your diet is relatively healthy and you stay away from refined foods, sugar and stimulants then take only 1 after breakfast.
– Since Vitamin B complex (B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, Folate) play very important role in balancing hormones I recommand getting B complex with a good guality multivitammin-mineral formula which is high in B vitamins. One of my favourite ones is Healthy Mega (HealthAid) as it is not only high in B vitamins and at the same time it contains zinc, selenium, herbs, digestive enzymes, micronutrients, and few super grasses. Compared with other popular formulas Healthy mega may contain even up to 60 times more vitamins per tablet!
– Vitamin D3: 30,000 IU a day with meals. You must take also magnesium as vitamin D leads to its deficiency! Vitamin D is actually a hormone – one that is partially responsible for the production of testosterone. It was shown, that the more vitamin D the men had in their blood, the higher their testosterone levels. German scientists discovered that athletes made better progression in the season when they had high vitamin D levels in their blood.
– MAGNESIUM citrate or another well absorbed magnesium: 2 times a day 200-400 mg between meals. The more vitamin D3 is used the more magnesium must be taken as D3 leads to magnesium deficiency. Magcitra (HealthAid) > is an excellent magnesium citrate as it is high in elemental magnesium. Studies demonstrated that Magnesium and Vitamin B-6 improve testosteron levels.
– Ground Flax seed or soaked Chia seeds are very helpful too as they are regarded as the best source of Omega 3 fatty acids. Mix 1-2 tablespoons of Chia seed with water or fruit juice or plant-based milk every morning for at least 30 to 60 minutes and eat it with your breakfast and / or lunch.
– L-arginine. Some evidence shows that taking high doses improves erectile dysfunction by stimulating blood vessels to open wider for improved blood flow. Don’t take L-arginine with Viagra.
TESTOSTERON BOOSTERS: Pomegranate, Holy Basil (Tulsi), Rhodiola, Grapes, Garlic, Almonds, Cabbage, Beans, Nuts, Broccoli, DHEA, Chlorella, Tribulus, Avocado, Good Oils, Coconut Oil, Nettle Leaf, Oat Straw, Avena sativa, Resveratrol, Horny goat weed, D-aspartic acid, Saw palmetto, Spirulina, Vitamin D3, Zinc, etc.
Ginseng and Liquorice should be probably avoided if you suffer from hypertension as they both may increase blood pressure. However, they do not cause this effect in every person so you need to test them by starting from smaller doses.
In order to recover from Andropause the following recommendations should be followed:
– Switch to a well-balanced plant-based unrefined diet.
– Coconut oil is another testosterone booster. Apart from that, it is very effective in increasing the growth hormone necessary to build muscles. According to Dr Oz, “One study showed a huge increase in Growth Hormone production 30-90 minutes after the administration of coconut oil.”
– Avoid eating foods rich in refined sugar and other refined carbohydrates such as white flour products (body turn white flour into blood sugar).
– Don’t use stimulants such as caffeine products, drugs, black and green tea, smoking or alcohol.
– Use only Celtic salt if you experience cravings for salty foods. This craving is often caused also by Adrenal fatigue which leads to inability to balance sodium in the blood. This, in turn, triggers cravings for salty foods which can replace the lost sodium.
– Address the excess stress that wore out your adrenals and leads to reduce sex hormone production. Learn to control stress by exercise, plant based unrefined mostly raw diet, good quality supplements, morning and evening meditation (prayer) and reading the Bible (starting from the Gospel of John). Go to EMPOWERMENT to learn more about it. From my own experience I know that it is the most effective way to gain moral strength necessary to cope with old deep-rooted habits and addictions. It will also enable you to cope with stress including existential fears which are part of our nature.
Please read this extremely important part (LINK) very carefully as it reveals the secret of finding true source of strength necessary to overcome bad habits and will help you to gain a powerful motivation to not only practice but also enjoy the new and very healthy way of life.
– Exercise every day for at least one hour trying to induce some perspiration. Fast walk outside is the best type of exercise. Energetic exercise boosts testosterone. One of the key causes of fatigue is insufficient amount of mitochondria (energy producing power stations) in your cells. And the key cause of this shortage is lack of physical activity. Regular energetic exercise, therefore, is the best way to stimulate the body to make more mitochondria. No wonder marathon runners have the highest number of mitochondria in their cells!
Some suggest that the high intensity interval training (HIIT) is the best type of exercise to boost testosterone and HGH (human growth hormone) levels. A fast walking or slow one-hour jogging won’t be as effective as HIIT. Go to the article and video about HIIT to learn more about it.
– Go to sleep as early as possible. Try to sleep at least seven or eight hours a day.
– If you are on a prescribed medication check whether fatigue is one of its side effects.
– Make sure you don’t have symptoms of hypoglycaemia, candidiasis, allergy, anaemia, hypothyroidism, Epstein Barr virus, cancer, or diabetes as all these health problems may lead to chronic fatigue.
– Alternative hot and cold showers will improve circulation, elimination of toxins and will stimulate the nervous and immune system. Start with hot shower, and after about 5 minutes when your body is warm enough take a short (3 min) cold shower slowly reducing the temperature. Then alternate the flow of water from hot to cold, back and forth 5-7 times in a row. Before using this treatment consult your physician first if you have any chronic health conditions especially if they are associated with heart.
© 2016 Slawomir Gromadzki – All Rights Reserved
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New England Journal of Medicine September 12, 2013; 369:1011-1022
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Study presented at The Endocrine Society’s 91st Annual Meeting, June 13, 2009, Washington, D.C.
Livestrong.com August 20, 2011
Fertility and Sterility 2010 Aug;94(3):989-96