The big 4-0 has come and gone. In some ways, you feel as young as ever. But in others, things are changing. Maybe you feel less energetic in the gym or less motivated at work. Maybe you’ve lost interest in sex or can’t perform the way you used to. Maybe you’re struggling with mood changes, insomnia, concentration problems or hair loss.

These are all signs you may have entered ‘male menopause’. This natural phenomenon affects many men as they age due to declining testosterone levels. Your shifting hormones can transform many aspects of your health and well-being, and the consequences can be considerable.

The team at Balanced Medical Solutions in Hayward, California, help men throughout the Bay Area get their life back. Our specialists can help you find hormone treatment options that work for you and recommend lifestyle changes that support your efforts.

The Role of Testosterone in Men’s Health

You may think of testosterone as fuel for your libido, but it’s so much more. As the primary male sex hormone, it’s responsible for the development of male sexual characteristics such as muscle mass, facial hair, and a deeper voice. It’s also crucial for sustaining bone density, supporting mental clarity, regulating your mood, controlling body fat distribution, and helping you maintain your energy levels.

In other words, inside and out, testosterone has a major impact on how you look, feel, and function.
So, what happens when it starts to decline?

From its peak during young adulthood, testosterone production declines approximately 1% per year after age 30. By age 70, some men have 50% lower testosterone compared to their peak level.

Understanding Andropause

Andropause — also called ‘male menopause’ or ‘man-o-pause’ — isn’t a myth. According to the American Urological Association, around 2 in 10 men over age 60 experience low testosterone levels. That number increases to 3 in 10 for men in their 70s and 80s.

Just as it does for women, your changing hormone levels can affect your physical health, emotional well-being and cognitive abilities. Symptoms of low testosterone (or “low T“) in men include:

  • Decreased libido or sexual desire
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Fatigue and low energy levels
  • Reduced muscle mass and strength
  • Increased body fat, especially around the abdomen
  • Reduced bone density, which can lead to osteoporosis
  • Mood changes, such as irritability or depression
  • Difficulty concentrating or memory problems
  • Headaches
  • Night sweats
  • Insomnia
  • Thinning hair or hair loss
  • Decreased testicular size

Think you might have low testosterone? Take our free hormonal imbalance quiz

You can see how important it is to keep your testosterone levels in check as you age. But have you ever wondered what you can actually do to affect your hormones?

How Your Lifestyle Influences Your Hormones

You may be surprised to learn that the choices you make every day, from the food on your plate to the number of hours you spend sleeping, have a profound impact on your hormonal balance. The following factors can all contribute to lowering testosterone levels and accelerating hormonal decline.

Diet and Testosterone

Consuming excessive amounts of processed foods, unhealthy fats, and sugars can negatively influence testosterone levels by contributing to insulin resistance and obesity. These conditions are associated with lower testosterone levels due to increased fat accumulation and metabolic disturbances​.

Exercise and Testosterone

Neglecting physical activity, especially types that involve resistance and strength training, can have a detrimental impact on your testosterone levels. This decline is often exacerbated by the associated increase in body fat and decreased muscle mass that come with a sedentary lifestyle.

Stress and Testosterone

Managing stress is crucial for maintaining healthy testosterone levels. When you’re constantly stressed, your body produces higher levels of cortisol, a hormone involved in the ‘fight or flight’ response that directly interferes with testosterone production.

Sleep and Testosterone

Failing to achieve sufficient deep sleep may lower testosterone levels. The highest daily levels of testosterone production occur during REM sleep, which occurs late in the sleep cycle and makes up approximately 25% of your total time asleep.

How You Can Ease Andropause Symptoms With Lifestyle Changes

Making strategic lifestyle changes can significantly reduce andropause symptoms and help you feel better from day to day.

Eat the Right Foods

A balanced diet rich in key nutrients such as zinc, which is essential for testosterone production, and vitamin D, known to support hormone function, can be particularly beneficial. Foods high in antioxidants and healthy fats, like fruits, vegetables and fatty fish, should also be integral parts of your diet to help combat inflammation and support hormonal health.

Consume Alcohol in Moderation

Heavy drinking can suppress testosterone production and lead to decreased libido and erectile dysfunction. Quitting or reducing alcohol intake can help reverse some of the damage and support other lifestyle changes that help you maintain optimal hormone levels.

Exercise Regularly

Activities like resistance training, weight lifting, and aerobic exercise don’t just bump up your testosterone levels. Regular exercise also helps with keeping your heart healthy, shedding excess fat, and maintaining muscle mass and bone density. In addition, staying active can boost your mood and energy, providing a natural remedy for the fatigue and irritability that can come with andropause.

Get Better Sleep

Doctors recommend getting seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep per night. Good sleep hygiene includes setting a regular sleep schedule, following a consistent bedtime routine, practicing healthy habits (like having a 30-60 minute device-free buffer before bedtime), and optimizing your bedroom for sleep.

Manage Stress

Adopt stress reduction techniques such as mindfulness, yoga, deep breathing, and meditation. Regular practice can help lower stress levels, improve your overall hormonal balance, and reduce symptoms associated with low testosterone. Spending time in nature and ensuring you get sufficient leisure time can also mitigate stress.

Support Your Mental Health

Social isolation can worsen feelings of depression and anxiety at any stage of life. Engaging in regular social activities, pursuing hobbies you enjoy, and seeking support from peers or professionals can help manage the psychological and emotional symptoms associated with andropause.

Integrating Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)

Lifestyle changes are a great first step to managing the symptoms of male menopause. But if you’re hitting all the marks and still suffering, then what?

Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) can be a powerful tool to have in your aging arsenal. Men who’ve benefited from TRT talk about more than just ramped-up libidos and bigger muscles; they mention better moods, more zest for life, and even sharper thinking. It’s like turning back the clock to a time when you felt more robust and vital.

Every man is different, and so is every TRT plan at Balanced Medical Solutions. We offer both traditional hormone replacement therapy and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), as well as peptide therapy and treatments for specific andropause symptoms such as ED, testicular atrophy, weight gain, and loss of muscle mass.

If you’re a good candidate for TRT, we can administer the treatment via several different methods. Whether you prefer the simplicity of a topical gel, the immediacy of injections, or the steady delivery from pellets, we’ll find a solution that fits your lifestyle so you can start feeling like yourself again.

Get Proactive About Hormone Balance and Healthy Aging

Andropause is a natural part of getting older, but its impact on your life can be frustrating and embarrassing. When you understand the link between your lifestyle choices and your hormonal health, you can navigate this transitional period with greater ease.

If you’re experiencing signs of andropause, consider reaching out to Balanced Medical Solutions. Our experienced providers offer comprehensive medical evaluations and personalized treatment plans to help you take control of your hormonal balance and enjoy a better quality of life.

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