We’ve all heard of menopause; that dreaded time of life for women when we feel like something or someone else has taken over our bodies, sometimes beginning as early as our 30’s….mood swings, fatigue, mental fog, depression, weight gain, night sweats, low libido, and then eventually, a decade or so later, hot flashes begin and the misery steps up a notch!
What about the guys in all of this mess? Why don’t they have to suffer like we do? Don’t they age too? Well, the answer is ABSOLUTELY! Males begin their hormone decline on average at age 35, losing 2% of testosterone production per year. Why is that important? Isn’t testosterone just for sexual health? Not necessarily, let me explain: Testosterone, produced primarily by the female ovary and the male testicles, and to a lesser degree by the adrenal glands (yes ladies females make and NEED testosterone!), has many functions in our bodies beyond sexual health. Primarily, it is a BRAIN hormone, and as we age and production declines, we feel those brain symptoms!
Do any of these sound familiar: mental fog, decreased mental clarity and difficulty focusing, memory loss (where did I park my car? where did I put my keys? why did I come in this room?) mood swings, irritability, depression, anxiety and extreme fatigue (especially in the afternoon around 3-4 o’clock) sleep disturbances, just to name a few! Men do not typically lose their sex drive, so don’t use that as a marker for hormone balance! Women AND men experience varying degrees of these symptoms, and it can significantly decrease our overall sense of wellbeing and wreak havoc on relationships of all kinds!
Often, when we seek help from our primary practitioners, we are band-aided with antidepressants, sleeping and anti-anxiety pills and a host of other medications. These drugs have additional side effects such as weight gain, zombie like state, dependency for sleep, decreased sex drive and so forth, not a good remedy! Furthermore, they do not address the root problem that is causing the symptoms!