The Pause of the Sexes Part Two

Happy weekend!

This week's blog is the second installation carrying on from last weeks regarding the hormonal changes that occur in men and women from 40 onwards.  In Part One, we explored the impact of hormonal changes in both sexes and that the onset of these changes are not just something that happen to women.  Andropause is just as debilitating and concerning in some men as menopause is for some women.

Traditionally, when men age, their testosterone levels decrease and cortisol levels peak and trough at unusual times of the day leading to increased occurrences of apathy, poor sleep management and lower libido to name a couple of common symptoms.  In some men, oestrogen levels can elevate - often seen in men who appear to exert less of their previous testosterone noted behaviours.  For some men, testosterone can elevate unusually which will also lead to fatigue and libido problems - which is a condition that may be masking some other health problems.

In women, testosterone can increase as oestrogen decreases - leading to higher levels of aggression and impatience, shorter fuses lit and libido sometimes drop. Women also often start to sprout facial hair, their voice lowers and fatigue is common.  If this is not your idea of fun, then here are some ways to combat these changes, slow them in their tracks or slowly reverse the impact if it is hitting.

1.  Manage sugar cravings and insulin resistance as soon as you notice these changes mentioned above. Insulin is the hormone released in response to sugar in the diet - even from fruit and especially from alcohol, and it is implicated in the production and metabolism of other hormones in the body.

2.  Look after your liver - this is the processing unit that breaks down your hormones and sends them on their way, or recycles them for other uses.  Mostly, they need to be shuffled out of your blood so that your body can do some better balancing feedback messages to glands.

3.  Eat broccoli (especially powdered sprouts), cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage frequently - they contain a naturally occurring chemical called Indole-3-carbinole.  It is effective in assisting with the metabolism and removal of unwanted hormones.

4.  Keep up your exercise - your body detoxifies much better when it is on the move vs being sedentary.  Be mindful however, that as you are ageing the form of exercise you do may need to change to suit your body's degeneration. Consider yoga, tai chi, walking, water wading and cycling.

5.  For women who have elevated testosterone, the herb Saw Palmetto can be helpful here along with other oestrogen and progesterone supportive herbs like Black Cohosh, Shatavari (great for picking up libido) and Damiana.  Homeopathic Pulsatilla is sensational in arresting emotional overwhelm and the tears that don't seem to cease flowing.  If flushing is a concern, Zizyphus and Sage is considered here.

6.  For men with elevated oestrogen - Indole as mentioned above is recommended.  To increase testosterone levels, the herb Tribulus has long been suggested, along with Yerba Mate and Damiana. The mineral zinc is also vital for male hormone processing, and often quite low in many men.

Remember - hormones are simply chemical messengers for the body to use to trigger other life sustaining and important functions - they are meant to wane naturally over years.

*Want your hormones tested in the comfort of your home?  Call our clinic on 55939145 for a kit to be mailed out to you, simply send your sample to Healthscope and find out exactly what is happening to your chemical messengers.


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