Hormonal wellbeing is not just a female concern – increasingly more males are presenting for help and advice. Testosterone levels in men typically decline from around the age of 30. This is a natural part of aging, often referred to as “andropause” or “male menopause.”
Testosterone deficiency in men can present with various symptoms, including:
- Reduced libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Fatigue and decreased energy levels
- Decreased muscle mass and strength
- Increased body fat
- Mood changes
- Impaired cognitive function
- Decreased bone density
These symptoms are not exclusive to testosterone deficiency and may be because of other hormonal factors or stress and lifestyle.
General lifestyle factors can benefit men’s health and wellbeing, as well as improving natural hormone synthesis.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Engaging in regular physical activity, such as strength training and cardiovascular exercises, can help regulate hormone levels and promote overall wellbeing.
- Consuming a balanced diet rich in whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats, and whole grains is important for maintaining hormonal balance. Certain foods like broccoli, spinach, avocados, nuts/seeds (especially pumpkin seeds), and fatty fish (like salmon) contain nutrients that support hormone production.
- Practicing stress management techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or engaging in enjoyable hobbies can help reduce stress levels.
- Decent quality sleep is crucial for hormonal balance; 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night supports optimal hormone production.
- Moderate alcohol intake as this can negatively affect testosterone levels and other hormones in men.
- Maintaining a healthy weight through regular exercise and a balanced diet can help promote hormonal wellbeing.
- Avoidance of endocrine disruptors, chemicals found in certain plastics (BPA), pesticides/herbicides used on produce or non-organic meats/fish/dairy products etc., personal care products with harmful ingredients etc., which may interfere with normal hormone function if exposed regularly or excessively.
There are also several herbal remedies that can support healthy hormone balance in men.
Here are a few options:
- Ashwagandha: This adaptogen herb can reduce stress and promote hormonal balance. It may help regulate testosterone levels, improve sperm quality, and enhance overall reproductive health.
- Tribulus Terrestris: This herb has been traditionally used to support male reproductive health by increasing testosterone levels naturally. It may also improve libido and sexual performance.
- Maca Root: Maca has been used for centuries to enhance fertility and boost energy levels in men. It may help regulate hormone production, increase sperm count, and improve sexual function.
- Malaysian Ginseng, is believed to increase testosterone levels naturally, leading to improved muscle mass, energy levels, and libido.
- Saw Palmetto: This herb is commonly used for prostate health in men but can also help balance hormones by inhibiting the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which can contribute to hormonal imbalances.
Of course, it may be necessary to replace the lost hormones, and this is where the bioidentical hormones are key. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) for men is a treatment option that aims to restore hormonal balance by using hormones that are chemically identical to those naturally produced in the body. It can address symptoms associated with low testosterone levels, such as fatigue, decreased libido, muscle loss, and mood changes.
There are many interventions men can take to optimise hormonal health, however it is always best to consult a healthcare professional who can provide personalised advice based on individual needs.