News flash: women aren’t the only people who experience bodily and hormonal changes as they grow older. While menopause is more apparent and quick to manifest in women, the same can’t be said for the male version of this. Andropause happens to men when they start to manifest a decline in testosterone levels and other hormones like DHEA and androsterone.
It’s not commonly discussed, but it affects millions of men worldwide. In this article, you’ll find out the symptoms to watch out for, treatments you can go for, and the one herbal ingredient that many all over the world are raving about.
Physical symptoms include an increase in body fat, loss of hair, decreased muscle mass, and sagging skin. When testosterone levels are low, bone and muscle growth also experience a setback and the risk of getting osteoporosis get higher.
There have also been links found between low testosterone levels and obesity. Testosterone is a hormone that doesn’t just have to do with the libido, but it also plays an important function in fat distribution.
Studies have found that nearly 75% of men going through andropause have hypogonadism. This means that the functional activity of the testes (in males) and ovaries (in females) cause lower biosynthesis of the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone.
On the other hand, 85 men aged between 40 to 65 who took part in a survey said the most common cognitive issues they ran into during their andropause stage was difficulty concentrating and retaining memory. They also reported being more irritable and short-tempered.
And if you think only those going through menopause experience hot flashes and sweats, then you’re wrong! Participants in a study by King’s College in London reported difficulty sleeping due to these symptoms, which aggravated their fatigue and mood swings.
These men also experienced anxiety. Much the same as the connection between menopause and lower estrogen levels in women, it’s important to remember that these sex hormones are also responsible for keeping up our cognitive health and protecting us from neurodegeneration.
The primary function of testosterone is for sexual function and boosting the libido, so it doesn’t come as a surprise when the most common changes reported during andropause are sexual problems.
This can be testicular atrophy, infertility, premature ejaculation, and an overall decrease in sexual desires. The University of Texas Department of Family Practice & Community asked 302 andropause respondents about the most prevalent symptoms and problems they experience. Erectile dysfunction was among the top answers, followed by depression.
Here’s What You Can Do
One of the most common treatments for both andropause and menopause is hormone replacement therapy. Like everything else, treatments have their associated risks and benefits, so it’s important to only take treatment for the right reasons.
Another method to treat the symptoms is through non-pharmaceutical methods, like health supplements. Among popular sexual enhancement and libido boosting herbs are horny goat weed and tongkat ali. To know more about how epimedium works, read our article: Horny Goat Weed Can Do More Than Just Boost Your Libido.
Let’s turn our focus onto tongkat ali, also known as Eurycoma Longifolia. The herb is commonly sourced from Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia. It gained popularity through traditional medicine and is known to promote a healthy libido and normalize hormone levels, especially in males.
Tongkat Ali Root has been found to improve semen quality and boost muscle growth. A 2012 study with 75 participants found that from the 35% of men who had normal testosterone levels in at the beginning of the tests, over 90% of them reported normalized levels of the sex hormone after a month of supplementation with tongkat ali.
Results from another experiment yielded that men who consumed tongkat ali daily had a better erectile function, semen quality and volume, and enhanced libido.
What Are The Benefits of Tongkat Ali Supplementation?
Apart from its primary benefit in enhancing sexual health, supplementation with tongkat ali is gaining popularity in the bodybuilding community for its ability to increase muscle mass. Tongkat ali serves as an ergogenic acid, which helps the body respond better to exercise
It supports the body’s physical activities by increasing the supply of adenosine triphosphate. This is responsible for producing energy in the body. During strenuous physical exercises, ATP is produced faster and expelled just as fast, leading to exhaustion.
Testosterone promotes bone mass and health, so it’s no wonder that among its benefits is the ability to strengthen brittle or weakening bones in the body. Since tongkat ali increases testosterone levels, it can serve as the body’s additional arsenal against developing osteoporosis.
As far as other benefits go, there’s some evidence that suggests it can also give the immune system a boost in terms of fighting cancer-causing agents. In 2003, the Journal of Natural Products published a study by the National Cheng Kung University which concluded that tongkat ali root extracts posed great function in fighting malaria and killing cancer cells in the lungs. Two years later in the Anticancer Research journal, it was found to aid in killing breast cancer cells.
You can take tongkat ali root powder by mixing it into your tea, or as a supplement. Like everything else, remember to take it in moderation and watch out for signs of insomnia or irritability to figure out of it works for you. To avoid this effect altogether, take your supplements in the morning.
Those in the bodybuilding community have also reported a heightened sense of aggression and sexual desire, which are effects of their testosterone levels skyrocketing. Remember to take everything in moderation.
If you’re wondering if women can take this, the answer is yes! If you’re pregnant or lactating, don’t take it, and men with forms of cancer, diabetes, heart, liver, and kidney diseases should avoid it.
Always remember it’s better to consult your general practitioner first before supplementing your diet with any pills. It’s especially important to go for a checkup first if you’re taking any pharmaceutical medicines since supplements can interfere with them.