Symptoms of a hormone imbalance are often vague, misdiagnosed or ignored - particularly in men who are less likely to get help for their medical concerns. We’re seeing a lot more males with hormone issues and this affects their testosterone, sex drive and mental wellbeing. Like with women’s hormonal issues the antidote commonly handed out in the Western World is a pill - in the case of men, a little blue pill, namely viagra, which is really a band-aid solution.
Andropause, or male imbalance problem occurs when men's natural levels of testosterone fall below their normal range. The main male hormone is testosterone, which helps form personalities, male sexual characteristics including emotional and physical strength, body shape, deepness of voice, sex drive and performance during sex. The symptoms to look out for in yourself, or your partner, are fatigue, erectile dysfunction, decreased energy, muscle loss, depression, irritability, decreased libido and change in hair growth and skin quality.
Timeline of a problem
Often hormone issues in men can be related to an illness, inherited or are a long-term issue. The first thing we do is look at the adrenal glands, to see how much stress is being carried in the body. This stress goes straight to this area of the body. Even in children we are seeing more addiction to computer games, which in term affects the pituitary glands causing an under- or over-productive sex organ.
Once the child grows into a man and they are working in a stressful job, the testosterone should be at its peak, but because of stress, it starts dropping.
Men in their 50s and 60s are often in high powered jobs, executive positions which are stressful. They often find themselves losing their drive for life - or their mojo. They might even feel like they are just not kicking the goals they used to.
The problem is many men don’t get themselves checked out, they are less likely to go seek help or talk to someone about what they are going through.
Getting back on track
First step is eating the right food for your body to heal yourself. The seventh, or final of the body’s dhatus (tissues) is shukra dhatu, the formation cycle which is also male semen and the female egg, as it contains the essence of all the other dhatus and its main function is reproduction. Only the most nourishing foods nourish shukra dhatu, once digestion is corrected and you are digesting the nutrients again, make sure to get plenty of milk, meat juice (bone broth), ghee and nuts.
Endurance, strength, vitality, lustre and sturdiness are some of the elements which need building and reinforcing for men, this is all about supporting the element of kapha in the body.
Ways to strengthen kapha include:
- Cleansing: I recommend doing a detox two times a year to rid your body of toxins and re-set your digestive fire, agni. You can read about our detoxes here.
- Watch what you eat: Try avoid the very sour, salty or spicy foods as these deplete, rather than build in nature and promote aging. Here’s more about the 6 Tastes of Ayurveda. Good foods to eat will be ones that build protein, such as lentils, nuts, dairy, hemp seeds and tempeh.
- Drink plenty of water: Even better drink Ayurvedic medicated water, or CCF tea -- it’s made from coriander, cumin and fennel seeds and has been used by Ayurvedic doctors and practitioners for thousands of years. It’s also an easy way to detoxify your body from the overload of toxins that are absorbed on a daily basis.
Improving stamina and sex drive
Things that can improve a male’s virility are foods such as rice, dates, raisins, almonds, water chestnuts, honey, ghee and raw sugar. It’s also important to keep vata in check, with a regular routine, plenty of sleep and a conscious effort not to be carried away with stress.
Taking the stress levels down is imperative for balancing hormones and having a healthy sex drive. Other things that will help keep stress at bay are eating healthy foods, getting plenty of physical exercise, meditation, yoga, Ayurvedic massage, breathing exercises and sleeping 7-8 hours a night. Here is another article I wrote on the importance of getting enough sleep.
Just be aware there are many causes for sexual dysfunction, both in nature such as endocrine, vascular, or neurological imbalances. These should be ruled out first by your healthcare provider.
Hair loss that comes with testosterone problems
It can seem losing hair is part and parcel of intense trying times - or growing older. Hair loss can also be a sign of bigger issues. Things to prevent this are clean eating, plenty of B vitamins, folate and a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Also make sure you have regular bowel movements and head massages for relaxation, and to stimulate blood flow to hair follicles.
Men are less likely than women to discuss mental health issues and far more likely to attempt suicide. A lot of men struggle with fear, loneliness and anxiety, with their feelings bottling up inside. Taking time to do something that offers comfort and solace can help, maybe it’s working on a project around the house, catching up with a friend, doing something on your bucket list, playing sport or just taking time out -- these actions are an important part of every day, and they are often overlooked.
Get your gut working
The Ayurvedic concept of ‘agni’ (digestive fire) impacts your overall well-being – it’s responsible for the digestion, absorption, assimilation and transformation of food and sensations into energy. It’s one of the most important factors when it comes to Ayurveda. A balanced agni is key to living a healthy and fulfilling life. An unstable agni is the root of all disease. It’s really that simple.
If your gut isn’t functioning properly you won’t be operating at your peak – not by a long shot. It’s not more time in the day, stronger willpower or more sleep that will do the trick either. To increase happiness, health and success, what you need is a healthy gut. Here’s an article I wrote which appeared in Business First Magazine, about Gut health and smart decision making.
Let’s get started
The good news is, it only takes our liver six weeks to completely rejuvenate every cell - by incorporating a regular detox into your life, it’s possible to make some big changes which will impact health and virility in just 6 weeks. Most of the niggles, foggy head and aches and pains are due to your body not eliminating toxins.
If you need support during a detox, you might like to consider our 28 Day Detox and Restoration Program or one of our 7 day programs; or consult with one of our practitioners to work with you one on one.