What is Andropause?
Jokingly known as Manopause, andropause is the age-related decline of testosterone, the primary male sex hormone. Beginning as early as age 30, the body’s production of testosterone decreases, and testosterone levels lower by about 1% per year beginning between age 30 and 40. By age 45, nearly 40% of men are considered to have low testosterone. Lowered levels of testosterone in the body lead to a variety of physical and psycho emotional symptoms including fatigue, insomnia, infertility, reduced libido, erectile dysfunction, increased body fat, gynecomastia (or the development of breast tissue), reduced muscle mass, feelings of physical weakness, loss of self confidence, depression, irritability, decreased motivation, and difficulty concentrating.
How can Functional Medicine help?
The best way to assess the root cause of men’s health issues like andropause is a simple blood work panel drawn at LabCorp. From this blood panel, we can assess for hormone levels, and get a clear picture of testosterone levels, as well as any other health issues that might be contributing to symptoms. Unlike clinics that use expensive testosterone replacement therapy, we at Austin Quan Yin see great success with supplements that target and support the body’s own production of hormones using herbs and nutrients. These professional grade products are effective at helping the body to increase hormone production naturally, without the high cost or risk of side effects from hormone replacement therapy.
Lifestyle choices play a huge role in how severe the symptoms of low testosterone will be. Without regular exercise, a healthy diet, restful sleep, and stress reduction any interventions will be less successful. And, on the flip side, low testosterone exacerbates the negative effects of poor lifestyle choices. For instance, a diet high in refined sugars and carbohydrates will cause an increase in glucose. Testosterone works to help the body tissues to take up more blood sugar in response to insulin. Men with low testosterone are much more likely to have insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Both the low testosterone, and lifestyle choices must be worked on at the same time to help prevent health problems.
Functional Medicine works to change the root of the problem, addressing both the symptoms and the underlying cause. We are experienced in guiding men on making lifestyle changes they can stick with!
How can acupuncture and Chinese medicine help?
Acupuncture has great benefits for hormone production and hormone balancing. By helping to regulate the sympathetic nervous system, acupuncture sends signals of calm to the body. This allows the body to switch out of flight or fight mode, and into the rest and digest mode. Although testosterone is actually produced during the flight or fight mode, so is cortisol, a stress hormone that (in excess) negatively affects the production of testosterone. Most people in modern society live in a constant state of stress. Without actively working to lower cortisol, men will begin to see this affect their testosterone levels. Acupuncture’s benefits for lowering cortisol have been well documented. Additionally, Chinese herbs for hormone balance can be used to naturally increase testosterone levels.
You’re unique, your healthcare should be too.
At Austin Quan Yin, we take an individualized and holistic approach to your health. Our practitioners are all certified herbalists Using a combination of professional-grade supplements, diet and nutritional support, and Chinese herbal formulas and acupuncture, we have all the tools to help men in Austin, TX regain their health and vitality!