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Understanding Male Menopause

Yes, there is such a thing as MALE menopause. Time to know about it.

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It is generally accepted that a man’s sexuality changes as he ages — with the instant erections of, say, 18-year-olds replaced by diminished sexual urges, erections that take time to come on (and less rigid erections at that), and feebler ejaculations, among others.

What not many realize is that these signs, often seen as “normal,” may actually be signs of male menopause.

“Andropause is a normal condition that all men experience as they age,” says urologist Dr. Jose Reyes III, president of the Philippine Society for the Study of the Aging Male (PhiSSAM), to refer to male menopause/andropause, also known as male clamacteric, viropause, ADAM (Androgen Deficiency in the Aging Male) and PADAM (Partial Androgen Deficiency in the Aging Male). “It is used to describe any of the changes a man experiences as a consequence (when) the testes no longer, or only partially, secrete testosterone.”

For the majority of the male population, natural andropause usually occurs at the ages of between 40 and 55 – although it can occur as early as 35 or as late as 65, with some men “acquiring menopause due to trauma, cancer or congenital reasons,” some of the factors established as contributory to the condition. Others include obesity, excessive alcohol consumption, previous vasectomy, smoking, hypertension, hernia operations, mumps, prostatitis, prescription and non-prescription medications, poor diet, lack of exercise, varicocoele, poor circulation, and psychological problems.

ALL GENDERS

For Reyes, andropause is similar to women’s menopause, particularly since both menopauses are characterized by a marked drop in hormone levels—estrogen in women and testosterone in men. “However, there are no clear-cut signs (for men), thus, the difficulty in diagnosing it. Unlike women, men do not have a clear signal to mark their transition into andropause, such as the cessation of menstruation and, thus the ability to become pregnant, since men can continue to father children even after the age of 40. Instead, the onset of andropause occurs gradually, and is often accompanied by attitudinal and mood changes, as well as a decline in physical agility, and, perhaps more pronounced, in a man’s sex drive.”

AT A LOSS
“There is something shameful about losing one’s virility,” says the head of research of a popular monthly publication, who, due to this very shame, would rather remain unnamed. It is this shame that keeps discussions of andropause in the closet.

Noted symptoms include some degree of lethargy, depression, increased irritability, mood swings, hot flushes, insomnia, loss of both lean body mass and bone mass (which increases the susceptibility to hip fractures), and difficulty in attaining and sustaining erections (impotence). All these are expected to affect approximately 40% of men from 40 to 60 years old, according to www.andrology.com.

MID-LIFE CRISIS

A more accepted occurence in life among men—and also among women—is the mid-life crisis, described by Wikipedia.org as “an emotional state of doubt and anxiety in which a person becomes uncomfortable with the realization that life is halfway over. It commonly involves reflection on what the individual has done with his life up to that point, often with feelings that not enough was accomplished. The individual may feel boredom with their lives, jobs, or their partners, and may feel a strong desire to make changes in these areas.”

But mid-life crisis is a problem of “psychosocial adjustment,” while male menopause is a “physiological phenomenon” resulting from lowering of levels of testosterone, the dominant male hormone, which stimulates sexual development in the male infant, drives bone and muscle growth in adult males, kindles libido and aggression in the brain, and triggers hair growth, among others.

Understandably, even among healthy men, the amount of testosterone secreted into the bloodstream becomes significantly lower by the age of 55 compared to the level secreted 10 years earlier. In fact, by age 80, most male hormone levels decrease to pre-puberty levels.

Initially, this deficiency causes modest changes, such as an increase in weight (and growth of the “beer belly”), progressive aging of the face, weakening of the muscles, and weakening of bone tissue or osteoporosis.

If the lowered testosterone secretion continues, it affects many of the body organ functions, resulting in the failing of memory, irritability associated with general fatigue and higher estrogen levels in men, development of clogged arteries, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, high blood pressure and increased cholesterol levels.

TESTOSTERONE REPLACEMENT

“While all these physical and psychosocial changes men undergo (with andropause) can create a form of depression and may lead to strange behaviors,” says Reyes, “many men are not aware of the available treatment.”

Treatment, in andropause’s case, comes in the form of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), which is the replenishment of the lost hormone to enable the body to function as before. Currently, existing forms include weekly injections, transdermal patches, implants, and gel and oral forms.

Injectable testosterone undercanoate Nebido, for one, replaces testosterone in the body to treat various male problems caused by the lack of testosterone (hypogonadism), including impotence, tiredness, bone loss, depressive mood, and low sex drive. Other products to deal with andropause include Testocreme, a patch delivery system of natural testosterone that is applied on the shaved scrotum, and Androderm, a very similar preparation which can be applied anywhere.

A note of warning: While testosterone administration is now widely done, it may cause health problems among older men, as it causes enlargement of the prostate (thereby accelerating progression of undiagnosed prostate cancer), increased hematocrit (the ratio of the volume occupied by packed red blood cells to the volume of the whole blood as measured by an instrument called by the same name), and triggers a variety of liver lesions, among others. As such, TRT must be administered by proper medical professionals.

At the end of the day, it has to do with aging gracefully. And as women – whose menopausal experiences are more documented – show, it can be done. Andropausal men only need learn how.

SELECT REFERENCES

  1. “Low Serum Testosterone: a Cardiovascular Risk in Elderly Men” by Conrad Swartz, Geriatric Medicine Today Vol 7. No 12/Dec. 1988.
  2. “Transdermal Testosterone Substitution Therapy for Male Hypogonadism” by Bals-Pratsch, Yoo Y.D., Knuth V.A., Nieschlag E. Lancet 4/943-946. 1986.
  3. “Transdermal Delivery of Testosterone” by Findlay J.C., Place V., Snyder P.J. Journal of Clinical Endocrinolology 64; 266-268. 1989.
  4. The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, 15th edition, Berkow, Robert, MD, Editor, Merck Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories, Rahway, NJ, 1987.
  5. “Morning Erections and Testosterone Cream: A Clinical Study in Men with Erectile Dysfunction” by Abraham H. Kryger, DMD, MD. Self-published, 1998.
  6. “Pumped Up and Strung Out” by Bower, Bruce, Science News, Vol.140, No. 2, July 13, 1991.
  7. Barnhart, Edward R., Publisher, Physicians’ Desk Reference, 45th edition, Medical Economics Data, Oradell, NJ, 1991.
  8. “Anabolic Steroid Abuse” by Erinoff, Lynda, Editor, and Lin, Geraline C., Editor. National Institute on Drug Abuse Research Monograph Series, US Dept. of Health and Human Services, Washington.

A registered nurse, “Ching” – as many fondly call Rachelle Grace – believes that a holistic approach to health and wellness is what everyone should aim for. She is, therefore, always on the lookout for what could help achieve this. And yes, she shares them openly, believing “knowledge about what works won’t be much use if it’s not known by as many as possible”.

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Health

Tips for walking 20,000 steps a day

To walk 20,000 steps a day you’ll need to cover a total of 10 miles. This may seem like a lot, but it’s actually not as difficult as it sounds.

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Photo by Sincerely Media from Unsplash.com

To walk 20,000 steps a day you’ll need to cover a total of 10 miles. This may seem like a lot, but it’s actually not as difficult as it sounds. Here are a few tips to help you reach your goal:

Invest in a Good Pair of Shoes

The first step to walking 20,000 steps a day is to make sure you have the right equipment. Investing in a good pair of walking shoes will help to prevent blisters and injuries, and make the walk more comfortable overall.

Make Walking Part of Your Daily Routine

To reach your 10-mile goal every day, make walking a part of your daily routine. This might mean taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator, or parking farther away from where you’re going so that you have to walk more. You can also try waking up a few minutes earlier each morning to fit in a walk before you start your day.

Join a Walking Group

If you’re having trouble finding time to fit in 10 miles each day, consider joining a walking group or taking part in a local 5k race. This will help keep you motivated and provide social support along the way.

Start Small

Don’t try to walk 20,000 steps all at once. Start with a smaller goal, such as 5,000 steps per day, and gradually increase your mileage as you become more fit. This will help you avoid injury and burnout.

Stay Hydrated

Make sure to stay hydrated while walking by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. This will help you feel more energized and prevent dehydration-related issues, such as muscle cramps or fatigue.

The Bottom Line – BetterMe Can Help You Walk More, Every Day

If you’re looking to improve your overall health, walking 20,000 steps a day can help. This simple form of exercise offers a host of health benefits, from improved sleep and digestion to reduced stress and anxiety. To reach your goal, use the BetterMe Blog as a guide and stay committed every day. With enough dedication, you can achieve your fitness goals and transform your body for the better.

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Health

How can the self-employed tackle burnout? Expert shares top tips

Self-employed people such as business owners or freelancers may be more susceptible to burnout due to long working hours and the weight of responsibility that they carry.

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Photo by Nubelson Fernandes from Unsplash.com

With workers returning to the office in their greatest numbers since the pandemic, the number of people suffering from burnout or stress-related illnesses is also on the rise.

Self-employed people such as business owners or freelancers may be more susceptible to burnout due to long working hours and the weight of responsibility that they carry. 

For many work and life have become intertwined, fortunately, Private Rehab Clinic Delamere has shared tips on how you can tackle burnout when self-employed and the common signs.  

How you can tackle burnout

1. Set Goals and Priorities

Having a mountain of work, with no plan in place to move forward can sometimes feel overwhelming. It can help to take a step back to assess which of your tasks need prioritising, and which ones will help you to achieve your goals.  

2. Speak to Your Colleagues or Clients

Being honest with the people that you are working with or for, about your mental health can often make things a lot a lot easier. You may be surprised at how understanding other people are of your situation.

By being open with others, you will have a better understanding of what to expect from each other, meaning that you will have a stronger professional relationship going forward.

3. Ask for Help

Never be afraid to ask for help if you feel that your stress is becoming too much to handle and you start to show signs of burnout. Getting external advice through counselling or therapy can give you a new perspective on a situation to guide you through any problems.

If you do not feel comfortable with counselling, then simply reaching out to friends and family can be enough to help you talk through your problems.

4. Schedule Time-Off

Sometimes when work life is becoming too stressful, all you need to do is take a short break from it all. Returning to work after a much-needed break can give a person a more positive mindset.

Those who are self-employed are often in charge of their own schedule and can over look the need to take holidays. In fact, some surveys have shown that nearly one in ten business owners go up to five years without taking a holiday.

5. Consider Changing Things

If your line of work is causing you constant stress and it feels that there truly is no way out, then it may be worth considering if you are genuinely following the right career path for you.

It may be the case that you do not need to change your career path altogether, but that your daily work routine simply needs to be altered. Consider making small changes such as your place of work. If you are stuck in an office or at home all day, you may benefit from finding a co-working space or coffee shop to work in.

Sometimes changes can be as simple as investing in new equipment or simply taking more regular breaks from your working day. By implementing these small changes you are less likely to burnout from stress.

6. Put Self-Care First

Work-life can be demanding, especially for any self-employed people who are under pressure to meet deadlines for various clients. However, when we demand too much of ourselves, it can be damaging to our physical and mental health.

Remind yourself that you come first. Maintaining a healthy sleeping and eating pattern, while keeping up a rewarding social life and strong relationships is more important to your mental well-being than anything you do while on the clock. 

Spotting the signs of burnout

1. Feeling Tired All The Time

If you are waking up feeling exhausted and find that you are still feeling drained even after you have been awake for a few hours and a cup of coffee in your system, then this may be a sign that you have burnout.

2. Lack of Motivation

During burnout, a person may find themselves completely withdrawn from their workplace or work tasks. Simply going through the motions while at work without any kind of motivation – or taking no joy whatsoever from your accomplishments at work – could indicate that you are experiencing burnout.

3. Recurring Health Problems

A person suffering from burnout may experience frequent and recurring headaches and muscle pains, as well as feelings of indigestion and stomach aches.

4. Feeling Irritable

Finding yourself easily irritated or frustrated, even by small things, and then snapping out at others is a possible sign that you are carrying too much stress from work.

6. Self-Deprecating Feelings

When someone is suffering from burnout it can have serious effects on their mental health. A person can have a heightened sense of self-doubt, feel like a failure and even experience impostor syndrome.

A person with burnout may also experience increased feelings of isolation and detachment from their colleagues, friends and family.

7. Increased Procrastination

When burnout occurs a person may find themselves avoiding their responsibilities, regardless of how small those responsibilities may be. Instead, a person will fill their time with procrastination and indulging in comforting distractions.

8. Coping Mechanisms

During burnout, a person may be more likely to turn to other comforts and coping mechanisms such as comfort eating junk food or even consuming alcohol and/or drugs. Engaging in any habit excessively to cope with stress may be a sign of burnout.

9. Change in Sleeping and Eating Habits

Stress can mess with our natural cycle and someone who is experiencing unnaturally high levels of stress may find that their sleeping habits are altered as they end up staying up late and sleeping in.

A person may also find themselves skipping or avoiding regular meal times, having a loss of appetite at some points in the day, or craving comforting junk food at others.

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Fitness

6 Exercise safety tips

Now, as social restrictions ease, you may find yourself stepping up your workouts, whether you’re training for an event or working to improve your game in a recreational league.

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In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans are more aware of their health and wellness. Now, as social restrictions ease, you may find yourself stepping up your workouts, whether you’re training for an event or working to improve your game in a recreational league.

Sprains, strains and injuries can happen to even the most seasoned athletes. When you’re testing your limits, even a minor injury can alter your performance. Consider products and supports like these from the CURAD Performance Series product line, available at Walmart and Amazon, to help you get back in the game quickly and safely.

Find more resources to support your fitness journey at CURAD.com.

Keep Dirt and Germs Away

The more active you are, the harder it can be to find a bandage that stays with you all day or all game long.

Spray Away Sore Spots

Controlling mild pain can help keep you at the top of your game, and a topical analgesic works fast to heal common pain brought on by fitness and exercise, such as pain in knees, feet, shoulders and backs.

Put Pain in the Past

When recovery becomes the name of the game and pain relief is needed after daily workouts or bodily injuries. Cold packs work to heal bruises, reduce swelling and relieve headaches and general pain points while microwavable heat packs provide satisfying heat therapy to address sore and stiff joints, muscle cramps and tension.

Reduce Impact of Knee Strain

Weak, injured or arthritic knees can come from many sources, including tendonitis and a wide range of conditions that result in strain or overuse. An adjustable band can provide support for on-field sports and during workouts or everyday activities.

Manage Pain and Relieve Pressure

If you participate in endurance and strength exercises or certain sports, you may ask a lot of your joints. Kinesiology tape can be configured a multitude of ways to help reduce pain and improve blood circulation, as well as relieve tension and pressure.

Control Back Strain

When your back is strained, your body and performance can suffer. A mild or moderate sprain can benefit from strong support and compression.

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