that cells and organs communicate
with the rest of your body.
Do you have enough?
We know that we are animals, creatures of flesh, blood and bone. There’s no denying that.
But we also know that there is a vast intelligence and creativity behind what we are, and most of us like to believe that there is a purpose and a soulfulness to our lives.
If we get too “into our heads,” we forget about tending to our physical bodies. On the other hand, if we get too into tending to our animal selves, we forget to strive toward our higher, nobler potential. Ideally, we learn to integrate our hormones with our higher consciousness.
And we march along, admitting that we are mammals, while simultaneously believing we are something more.
Where do hormones fit into all of this? Well, who can say for sure — but, most people would probably answer that hormones represent that part of us that is “mammal.”
Without hormones, our cells — and the organs they comprise — would be unable to share vital information with each other:
“…hormones are a regulatory substance produced in the human body
and transported in blood and stimulate specific cells or tissues into action —
they influence behavior and mood more than we realize”
Do You Have Enough Hormones in Your Body?
Hormones play a key role in the healthy function of your body, and that’s a masterpiece of understatement!
Hormones script and inspire a lot of our behaviors. We like to think that we’re being all independent and conscious, but really, so much of what we do throughout the day is secretly motivated by our hormones.
A primary hormone for women is estrogen, and a primary hormone for men is testosterone.
You remember, somewhere back there in middle school, we all learned about testosterone’s role in promoting “male secondary sex characteristic?” Yeah, been there, done that.
But wait. The more subtle role testosterone plays in the health of men over 40 is not as frequently addressed. In fact, until recently, it was rarely mentioned. It’s kind of the reason that I created this entire website to begin with.
Even testosterone’s lesser-known functions are still hugely important!
When Do Testosterone Levels Peak?
In men, when testosterone levels fall below normal ranges, it can cause undesirable symptoms.
The problem with saying “normal ranges” is that ranges are based on averages, and in reality every body’s chemistry is uniquely different. Looking at the results of your blood panel from the lab can give you an idea of where your current testosterone is falling based on averages of other men in your age range.
But what can also be an important indicator of whether or not your body is producing enough testosterone is how you feel. For this reason, it’s essential that you communicate with your medical doctor and/or naturopath any changes in how your body and your mood feels in your daily life.
I first started noticing that I felt “different than usual” when I turned 37. My energy seemed to fluctuate more. My body sometimes felt alien to me. I had less zest. My body didn’t burn calories as easily (metabolism changes) and it was easier for me to gain fat, even though I was working out.
“…just like when your vision becomes blurry
and you get eyeglasses or Lasik,
when your hormones get wobbly
you do things to get solid again”
Then, when I turned 39, it really started to get a bit strange. One day, I’d wake up and feel 20 years old, the next day I’d wake up and feel 60. I couldn’t figure it out. I thought it was stress.
I discovered that a man’s testosterone peaks at around age 20, and then gradually declines after that.
Why Do Men Take Testosterone?
I eventually figured out I was having Andropause-like symptoms. Not the end of the world, by any means (I was able to move into solution-mode and get my zest back!) In fact, I came to see it as a sacred, honorable life event and a positive thing. But the point is, why did it take me so long to figure it out?
Why wasn’t there more information available to me and why didn’t men talk about this stuff more with each other? Hence, I built this site. So that if somebody did a Google search about male menopause then perhaps they might find this site and know that everything is healthy and natural and, for the most part, fine.
Just like when your vision becomes blurry and you get eyeglasses or Lasik, when your hormones get wobbly you do things to get solid again. Because as we approach, and then pass, 40, our bodies often begin to produce less testosterone. When testosterone levels drop below those which our bodies need to maintain a healthy balance we may experience andropause.
In my case, I discovered that my daily diet was too inflammatory, that I was nutrient deficient (Vitamin D, anyone?), and that my lifestyle was too sedentary. When I began to make improvements in these areas, the emotional flatness I had been feeling dramatically improved!
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Some men choose to supplement with testosterone in order to alleviate some of the challenges associated with andropause.
Here are some of the issues that lower testosterone can create in men over 40:
- ▸ fatigue
- ▸ depression
- ▸ impaired memory
- ▸ loss of libido
Low testosterone can also impair our bodies’ ability to clear excess cholesterol from our blood and increase our vulnerability to more serious diseases.
But don’t stress, there are ways to address Andropause-like symptoms. It starts with taking a sincere, committed interest in your own health and consulting a trusted physician or naturopath. Then you can asses your options and make decisions that are right for you. It may feel a little awkward at first, but taking action is worth it.
By the way, when you speak to your doctor about testosterone, please understand that there are two kinds of supplementation: synthetic (what the pharmaceutical companies manufacture), and the naturally compounded variety that is bioavailable. If anyone talks to you about research or statistics about testosterone, make sure that you know and they know which kind of testosterone is specifically being discussed — there is an enormous amount of misinformation and misunderstanding on this particular topic so I encourage you to do your research holistically.