With the 30s fast becoming the new 20s, you may be thinking about the road ahead. Many of us consider our financial plans but have you planned for the “Pause”? Most men age 45-55 will experience some symptoms of Andropause or [P]ADAM: partial androgen deficiency of the aging male.
According to the text “Integrative Medicine 2nd Edition”, studies on men age 50 plus report:
- 80% reported symptoms of fatigue,
- 70% symptoms of depression
- 60% reported irritability and anger
- 80% decreased libido
- 80% symptoms of erectile dysfunction
These symptoms can be very concerning to a man’s health and wellbeing and may lead men to experience serious emotional concerns like a loss of identity, difficulty coming to terms with aging, or feelings of a loss of power or masculinity. However, just like planning for retirement, we can develop a health promotion plan for healthy aging and optimal hormone balance.
In terms of a health promotion plan, there are many things a man can do to create optimal health. Promoting optimal body composition is a good example. Our muscle mass metabolism helps to promote optimal hormone balance. While our body fat on the other hand promotes inflammation and hormone imbalance. Our body fat is not an inert tissue; in fact, our fat cells produce chemical messengers called adipokines that are responsible for signaling the body to produce the symptoms described above. It is the ratio of muscle mass to body fat that helps to keep these signals in balance. If we can send our body the message to build muscle and burn fat we are in effect enhancing our hormone balance and significantly reducing the effects of aging.
Optimal body composition is best accomplished through a healthy diet, exercise, and stress reduction. Your Naturopathic Doctor can monitor your progress using body composition analysis as well as hormone testing, if necessary. If you are already experiencing symptoms of andropause it is never too late to make a change and your Naturopathic Doctor can help.
Dr. Erin Wiley is a Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director and Co-Founder of the Integrative Health Institute. Dr. Wiley has a special interest in digestive health, endocrinology and hormone balance with a clinical focus on fertility, menopause, anxiety, depression, healthy weight loss, detoxification and environmental medicine. Dr. Wiley practices downtown Toronto at the corner of King and Sherbourne St.