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It’s time for me to write about men’s stuff – I must apologise, as I tend to overlook the blokes in my business to help women! I am seeing more and more men in clinic with undiagnosed androgen deficiency, which affects about one in 200 men under 60 years of age. Testosterone levels in men are highest between the ages of 20 and 30 years. As men age there is a gradual drop in testosterone levels with a 1% decline per year starting in the late 30’s.
Role of testosterone in men;
- Protects against cardiovascular disease
- Prevents diabetes and obesity
- Maintains healthy reproductive function
- Supports bone density
- Optimise muscle mass
- Improves mood and memory
- Reduces anxiety
Most common symptoms of androgen deficiency are:
- Mood changes (low mood and irritability)
- Poor concentration
- Low energy
- Reduced muscle strength
- Increased body fat
- Longer time to recover from exercise
- Decreased libido
- Difficulty getting and keeping erections
- Low semen volume
- Hot flushes, sweats
This basic questionnaire can be very useful for men to describe the kind as well as severity of their low testosterone symptoms.
If you answer Yes to number 1 or 7 or if you answer yes to more than 3 questions you may have low testosterone. I highly recommend you undergo further testing to determine your hormone health.
What can be done about Androgen Deficiency?
Medical treatment involves testosterone replacement therapy but there are many amazing herbs and nutrients that can support the production of testosterone.
Naturopathic treatment involves correcting nutritional deficiencies as this can profoundly affect testosterone production. Chemicals found in insecticides, herbicides and plastics can disrupt hormones and lead to androgen deficiency. The use of herbal medicines such as Tribulus, Damiana and Rhodiola may be indicated. Weight loss is an integral part of treating androgen deficiency as a 10% gain in your BMI will result in about a 10% drop in your testosterone!
Alcohol intake is also relevant – in a recent study, a group of 72 healthy young men drank the equivalent of about six servings of beer or wine. Their oestrogen levels dramatically increased and were still high five to ten hours later. This means that no type of alcoholic drink can be drunk in excess without increasing oestrogen levels!
Ask the men in your life to take the questionnaire above and read through this information. If androgen deficiency seems relevant then ask them to see their GP for comprehensive testing as well as a naturopath for holistic support.