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WEEKLY TIP: Getting a Handle on Male Menopause

Thursday, 27 May 2010 10:24 AM

Until recently, a disorder in men similar to menopause was not recognized. But the truth is, men begin to lose their main male hormone — testosterone — beginning about age 50. By age 60, about 60 percent of men have low testosterone levels. The levels of free circulating testosterone are highly variable, with some men in their 70s having levels as high as a 20-year-old and some with barely detectable levels.

The reason most men do not experience the dramatic symptoms many women experience with menopause is that their hormonal decline is often slower, allowing the body and brain to adjust. Yet, some men will have dramatic changes. Unfortunately, most doctors still do not recognize andropause in men and just assume their male patients are getting old. My report "Stop Aging Naturally" will give more in-depth ways to slow the relentless march of time.

Low testosterone in men is associated with loss of vigor, early fatigability, a loss of muscle mass, development of breast tissue, fat gain, and problems with thinking. Another common symptom in both men and women is insomnia. (For more information about how to fight insomnia, see my report "Good Sleep: Stop Insomnia, Reduce Stress, Boost Your Total Health.")

Replacing testosterone can increase muscle mass, reduce fat levels, improve mood and mental energy, prevent bone loss, and improve brain function — but only if given in doses that bring the levels up to those seen in 30-year-olds. High doses can be harmful and even increase brain degeneration.

Connected to testosterone loss is an age-related decrease in another hormone called DHEA. Levels at age 30 are five times higher than at age 85, with the fall beginning progressively in the late 40s. Studies seem to indicate that supplementing with DHEA-S (the functional form of DHEA) prevents obesity, reduces one’s risk of diabetes (improves insulin resistance), lowers the risk of certain types of cancer, reduces heart attack and stroke risk, and improves immune function.

DHEA also improves mood and motivation and gives a sense of well-being. In addition, I have found that taking it one hour before bedtime greatly improves sleep. Oral DHEA is quickly converted by the body into functional DHEA-S.

While a fear of inducing breast or prostate cancer is often cited by the medical profession, millions have taken DHEA for decades. As far as I know, there has never been a case of an induced cancer. For more information on fighting cancer, read my special report "Prevent Cancer Before It's Too Late.''

© HealthDay

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