Male Menopause: Fact Or Fiction

If you are a man reading this article and you are between the ages of 35 and 45, you probably don’t need to be reminded of the changes your body and mind are going through. Male “menopause” may be a catchy term to describe mid life, but the truth is, men do go through huge hormonal changes during that time that can create a lot of confusion and most especially, drama in their lives.

Most men go to the doctor at some point during this period and come out with a clean bill of health, but almost all the men that have come to me for coaching never really tell the doctor all that is bothering them on the day of their visit. Symptoms such as; a lack of lust for life (and sex with their current partner), mild depression, tiredness, emotional distress over a marriage, relationship, or livelihood. Yes, these are symptoms and are very much associated with low testosterone. Problem is, when a doctor checks these levels, which is not often enough, it will come up with a number that is too low for a happy life, but within “normal” range for what the medical society considers overall health. So the question is; What is considered overall health and who said it shouldn’t include having your full “mojo”?

Men, the first thing to do is get your testosterone levels checked. If you are in the low range and feeling the symptoms listed above, talk to you doctor about how to increase this level. In addition, take a look at your diet. Does it include high doses of aspartame? I have found in my practice that many men crave this artificial sweetener (sometimes 8 cans of diet drinks a day) in order to compensate for low hormone levels, and you can’t imagine what havoc it can wreak on your system.

Another question for you is; are you on high cholesterol medicine? If you are, your hormone levels may also be off. Your body uses cholesterol to make testosterone so if you are medically lowering the cholesterol in your blood, you may not be able to make enough testosterone to keep your body healthy and feeling well. All the more reason to try diet and exercise before you take meds.

Are you craving women and fast cars, the typical scenario for a mid life crisis? These are other symptoms of low testosterone. Yes, I said symptoms because that is exactly what they are. A woman’s pheromones can trigger your dopamine receptors and that is coming from the feel good center of your brain. Cars trigger adrenaline. Of course if you are cheating on someone, that creates adrenaline as well. Another way your body compensates for the loss of your “mojo”.

Whether you know it or not, all that separates you from women is testosterone. In fact, in the womb, you started out with female genitalia. Without decent levels of testosterone, you will not feel, think, react, or seem like yourself. As a teen, your high testosterone turned you into a wild kid who could take on the World. As an adult entering our 30’s, it lowers a bit so you can think straight, provide for a family and settle down. As men age though, it lowers again, but as it does, a man’s thought process and emotional state don’t seem to be able to catch up until much later. Within that period of time, he can get into a lot of trouble as we know.

Truth is, there is no reason to suffer (and that goes for the women who have to suffer through their men’s rough periods). With diet, exercise and supplements (shots if the levels are really low) a man can be right as rain in no time. Just getting off of diet drinks and sugar has helped many of the men that I coach. Weight lifting, rowing, bicycling, are just some ways to increase your levels. Yoga and meditation can help with stress and emotional issues as you go through the process. Most importantly, you need to know that you are going through a physical change. Once you know this, you can set goals and help yourself stop the negative thoughts, the emotional highs and lows and the destructive behavior associated with the male menopause phenomena.

Perception

For the women reading this article, be patient. Many men believe at this time that they are unhappy because of the outside World and may not take responsibility for their need to escape their reality. Patience is called for. The best advice I can give is to give in to his needs and at the same time, enhance the relationship. Go out on the motorcycle with him. Rent a Ferrari for the weekend. Have lots of sex, which is good for both of you. Diet together (or at least eliminate all bad foods). Find exercise routines you can do as a couple and encourage him to find ones he can do with his friends. 

Now is not the time to sit back, but instead to take action. Men going through male menopause are vulnerable and unfortunately, there are many women out there who would be happy to make him happy, if you know what I mean. It is my belief that many perfectly good marriages break up because of hormone changes in both men and women. Instead of taking responsibility for the way we feel, we tend to blame our partners when all along, it is hormone changes that are making us feel unhappy about our bodies and our lives.

For more information or to “speak” to me in more detail, write to donna@donnamartini.com and I will try to answer your questions. There is much research on the subject, so do your part in preventing drastic life changes you may regret later.