#118: Male Executive Stress & Andropause

May 29, 2024

                                                                                      Listen on..

 Imagine a man sitting in his doctor’s office, slumped over, struggling to articulate his feelings of exhaustion and lack of motivation. Despite loving his family and working hard, he finds himself dragging through each day. He wakes up in pain, struggles to concentrate at work, and barely musters the energy to engage with his family in the evenings. Weekends, once filled with fun activities, now consist only of obligatory tasks. This man is perplexed and frustrated, eager to solve his problems but unsure where to start.


The Challenge of Male Fatigue

 Many men, especially those in demanding executive roles, experience this decline in energy and zest for life. They often try to fix it themselves, as men are typically problem-solvers. However, the complexity of medical science and the art of diagnosis can make self-diagnosis and treatment challenging. Seeking professional help is crucial, but even then, the solutions offered can sometimes be inadequate.


A Gynecologist’s Perspective on Men’s Health

You might wonder why a gynecologist is discussing men’s health. As a holistic practitioner, I’ve seen the impact of men’s health on their partners and overall relationships. By understanding male health issues, I aim to support my patients better. Over time, I’ve come to care for many male executives facing serious fatigue, often dismissed by other doctors as just stress-related. This dismissal leaves them feeling marginalized and misunderstood.


The Misunderstood Andropause

Andropause, often likened to menopause, is a significant yet frequently overlooked phase in men’s lives. Unlike the more abrupt hormonal changes women experience during menopause, andropause is a gradual decline. This insidious process can lead to symptoms like reduced muscle mass, fatigue, decreased libido, and other health issues. Men going through andropause might notice a variety of changes: muscle decline, decreased physical capacity, weight gain, digestive issues, sleep disturbances, and temperature regulation problems. Acknowledging these symptoms is the first step toward addressing them effectively.


The Pitfalls of Immediate Hormone Therapy

A common response to male fatigue is prescribing hormone replacement therapy (HRT), particularly testosterone. However, starting with HRT can be a pitfall. Hormones are important but should not be the first line of treatment. When patients come to me, I prioritize understanding their metabolic health, checking for infections, and assessing other critical factors before considering hormones.


 Key Biomarkers and Underlying Causes

To address male fatigue holistically, it’s essential to examine key biomarkers:

Lipids: Necessary for hormone production.
Micronutrients: Vitamin D, B12, and omega-3s are crucial for overall function.
Thyroid Function: A vital hormone that can impact energy levels.
Adrenal Health: Adrenal fatigue can lead to exhaustion, affecting energy, blood pressure, and libido.


The Role of Vitamin D and Omega-3s

For instance, a patient with low testosterone and vitamin D levels, along with lipid dysregulation, should first address these deficiencies. By supplementing vitamin D, incorporating healthy fats like omega-3s, and ensuring a balanced diet, significant improvements can be made without immediate resort to testosterone therapy.


Holistic Strategies for Improvement

A holistic approach includes:

Sauna Therapy: Infrared saunas can improve blood flow, promote sweating, and enhance overall well-being.
Topical Nutrients: Supporting skin health can improve nutrient absorption.
Dietary Adjustments: Even small changes, like adding broccoli or a protein shake, can enhance nutrition, especially in high-stress environments.
Regular Exercise: Maintaining physical activity is crucial for overall health.


Final Thoughts

Andropause is a natural part of aging, but its effects can be mitigated through a comprehensive and holistic approach. By understanding and addressing the root causes of fatigue and other symptoms, men can regain their vitality and lead healthier, more fulfilling lives. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, consider consulting a healthcare provider who looks beyond quick fixes and focuses on long-term health solutions.

Resources: 

Metabolic Performance Profile 

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