- fatigue and lack of energy,
- obesity and weight gain,
- depression, irritability, and mood,
- low libido and sexual dysfunction.
Just like female menopause, andropause is caused by your bodies declining hormone production during ageing, most specifically androgens that include testosterone and DHEA. Accompanied with this is an increased production of sex hormone binding globulin. This binds up free testosterone in the blood making it biological unavailable.
Like menopause, andropause responds exceptionally well to dietary and lifestyle modifications. We will look at three ways of managing menopause that we regularly ask for our clients to implement.
Control blood sugar and insulin levels.
Lack of blood sugar control and poor insulin sensitivity can be attributed as one of the leading causes of every chronic, degenerative disease today. Blood sugar levels and insulin are also important in managing symptoms of andropause.
The weight gain that accompanies andropause often leads to elevated blood sugar and elevated insulin levels. These effect your bodies ability to produce hormones needed to prevent andropause. In turn fat cells increase your bodies production of estrogen having both a proliferative affect on fat cells and increasing the imbalance between testosterone and other sex hormones.
A paleo diet that emphasis higher intake of protein and fats along with a lowered intake of refined carbohydrates provides better control of blood sugar and insulin levels. This helps to break the insulin cycle and give your body a chance to start reestablishing hormone balance.
Take a daily fish oil supplement.
While you might normally think of fish oil for inflammation and cardiovascular disease, the eicosapentanoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acids (DHA) omega 3 essential fatty acids in fish oil help to increase free testosterone levels by decreasing levels of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). This is particularly important to offset the increases that occur because of aging.
For the same reason men should avoid the use of flax, or chia seeds, as a source of omega 3 essential fatty acids. While these are generally promoted for the prevention of prostate cancer, the lignans in these seeds increase levels of SHBG. A better strategy for reducing prostate cancer risk is to prevent the conversion of good testosterone into bad testosterone through correct nutrition, instead of reducing the levels of testosterone.
When choosing a fish oil, ensure you choose a high strength, purified fish oil. Cheap fish oils often have unacceptably high levels of heavy metals and phthalates which can lead to both poor hormonal health and general bad health.
Take a daily zinc supplement.
Zinc is an important mineral needed for male hormonal health. Low levels of zinc decrease your bodies production of hormones and lead to conversion of testosterone into an unhealthy form that has been implicated in:
- increased risk of prostate cancer,
- early male balding.
The refining and processing of foods, and the nutrient depleted soils, commonly lead to people having a low dietary intake of zinc. Zinc also competes with copper for absorption by your body. High levels of copper in our water supply, and in our food supply, can often mean that even if zinc is present in your food it is poorly absorbed. Purified, filtered water, is exceptionally important for anyone seeking to increase zinc levels.
Zinc supplementation is an important step for restoring your bodies zinc levels. They are generally available in both powdered or liquid forms and should be taken just after meals to avoid nausea.
Talk with a Naturopath
Hormones are an important part of your bodies communication and message system. Incorrect function and problems with production can affect every aspect of your health as well as being a major risk factor in the development of some forms of cancer. If you are over 50 and concerned about your hormone levels talk to our Naturopathic team today (07) 3800 1993.