Crabbiness and lack of libido are signs of a malaise that is starting to rear its ugly head, not only when a man is in his 50s, but as early as his late teens.
It’s called andropause. No thanks to today’s fast-food culture and stressful lifestyle, it can creep in at a much earlier age.
Some teenagers go to my clinic because of a receding hairline, a symptom of andropause.
Who are andropausal and who are not? I ask male patients the following questions:
Do you have decreased libido? Do you lack energy? Has your strength/endurance decreased? Have you lost height? Have you noticed decreased enjoyment in life? Are you sad and/or grumpy? Are your erections less strong?
Has your ability to play sports deteriorated recently? Do you fall asleep after dinner? Has your work performance suffered lately?
Yes answers, especially to the first and last questions, are sure signs of andropause.
But before you or your man head for the hills, remember, a lot of people are in the same boat.
Men (and women) who gorge themselves on fast-food pile up carbs in the body and hasten their aging process.
Plastic containers exposed to heat produce xenoestrogens or artificial estrogens which have harmful chemicals. So never leave a plastic bottle of mineral water under the sun. And never expose porridge or soup in a plastic bowl or banana cue, barbecue wrapped in plastic, to heat. These produce xenoestrogens that cause hormonal imbalance and lead to andropause.
Male menopause boils down to one thing: a decline in testosterone. Lack of this male hormone can be fatal. Its first symptom is a heart attack.
It can also cause memory problems, even Alzheimer’s.
Testosterone is not only linked to sex. It’s also related to mental health.
Sadly, some doctors treat only the symptoms, not the underlying causes of andropause.
Does the man have erectile dysfunction (ED)? Give him Viagra, not meds that unclog arteries. ED and hardening of the arteries are inseparable.
Does his memory fail? Treat him for Alzheimer’s, even if what he needs is testosterone replacement therapy.
What to do?
You can watch Dad or hubby’s weight, since his heart pumps faster and works harder than the average guy. Overeating produces free radicals or atoms that cause aging and tissue damage.
Eating raw vegetables helps, since these have digestive enzymes that cooked food don’t. Cooking destroys digestive enzymes that help the body absorb nutrients.
Go organic. Organic food has no bad hormones that destroy cells.
And, of course, there’s hormone therapy. This involves getting testosterone in injectable or cream form.
With pesticides sprayed on veggies and growth hormones injected in chicken and beef, food alone may not be enough.
Go ahead, help Dad or hubby fight aging. You’ll not only have a healthier man of the house. You’ll also have a happier home, where Dad and/or hubby can enjoy the fruits of what he has worked hard for all these years.
The author is an internist, and has been practicing integrative medicine in the US for 16 years. He is medical director of R3 Medica Health Institute at Suite 718, AIC-Burgundy Empire Tower, ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center; tel. nos. 5701787, 5856420 and 0917-5446228. Visit www.drlopez.com.