Irritable Male Syndrome
Irritable male syndrome is a condition that affects males who are typically experiencing a decrease or fluctuation in hormone levels. Male menopause is not unlike female menopause. The symptoms of a male midlife crisis include depression, irritability, erectile dysfunction, flushes and sweats, fatigue, weight gain, decreased bone mass, insomnia, decreased muscle mass, and decreased libido. Some men have more symptoms than others but all start to experience a decrease in testosterone levels as they age. This syndrome is often known as a midlife crisis because some men experience difficulties bad enough that they make life changing decisions that affect them and their loved ones. The fluctuations and lower levels of hormones normally start after a male turns 40 and can last for many years.
A man is less likely to seek help for male menopause than a woman who is suffering discomfort due to female menopause. Getting help can be very critical for a man who is suffering with irritable male syndrome especially when depression can lead to thoughts of suicide. The most important thing is that a man understands that what he is feeling is a medical and psychological condition that may need an evaluation by a doctor. Some men and women make important decisions that they may come to regret when they are experiencing menopausal symptoms. Hormone replacement therapy and other medications can help make this transitional time easier. Another important thing that can make midlife crisis easier is exercising faith in God. This can help a great deal when trying to cope with all of the emotions and changes going on in the body and the mind. "Know therefore that the LORD thy God, He is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations" (Deuteronomy 7:9).
Fluctuations in hormone levels can cause a person to feel terrible. Even when just one hormone is out of balance it can affect a person's mental, emotional, and physical health. The symptoms of a male midlife crisis can include outbreaks of acne, memory lapses, difficulty in getting a good nights sleep, appetite changes, and can even lead to digestive and bowel problems. Males that suffer with hormone imbalance can suffer with prostrate problems, frequency in urination, and a decrease in stamina. These fluctuations are not always just caused from low testosterone in men or low estrogen in women but can also be a result of imbalances with the adrenal glands, thyroid gland, pituitary gland and the pancreas.
Adrenal glands produce three different steroidal hormones that can affect the immune system and blood sugar levels. Imbalances in the adrenal glands can cause problems with the nervous system and how a person deals with stress. Irritable male syndrome can include some of the systems and problems associated with an adrenal gland imbalance. These may manifest with the person having arthritis, allergies, high blood sugar, sugar cravings, and weight gain.
The thyroid gland has a very important function in the body because the hormones it produces affect the body's metabolism. An imbalance in the thyroid gland can cause an imbalance with other hormones including testosterone. Low thyroid function symptoms can mimic some of the same symptoms of a male midlife crisis. Some of these include depression, fatigue, low libido, and weight gain. In addition, other symptoms of a low thyroid may include cold hands and feet, constipation, dry skin, shortness of breath, and intolerance to cold temperatures. Common problems with a high thyroid function may include anxiety, vision changes, fatigue, hair loss, insomnia, sweating, and weight loss.
The pancreas produces insulin which regulates the blood sugar in the body and converts the glucose from food to energy used by the cells. High blood sugar can lead to fatigue, high triglycerides and cholesterol, weight gain, increased hunger, sugar cravings, poor circulation, skin changes, and eventually a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. Some of these symptoms are similar to the ones that are common with irritable male syndrome. Someone with these types of problems should consider seeing a doctor that specializes in the endocrine system.
The most important gland for regulating hormones in the body is the pituitary gland. This gland is located in the brain and has three different sections. Each section produces certain hormones. The hormones produced by the pituitary help to stimulate all of the other glands in the body. The hypothalamus is located above the gland and helps to carry signals to the gland, working as a sort of relay system. When an imbalance occurs it can affect the entire endocrine system. Symptoms of a male midlife crisis can point to problems with the pituitary gland.
Male menopause also known as andropause or midlife crisis is a real occurrence that happens to a man when there is a decline in hormone levels. Some of the signs that a man may be experiencing this phenomenon may include but are not limited to erectile dysfunction, mood changes, and a change in behavior. A man may look in the mirror one day and realize that he is getting older but will probably be resistant to the idea. He may start acting differently, wanting to go workout, buy a sports car, change the way he dresses. The answer in coping with irritable male syndrome may not be simple. However, if a man who is suffering with the symptoms of andropause will seek help through a support group, fellowship with other Christians, through a physician, and family, he will find that the answers are there.
Male Menopause SymptomsMale menopause symptoms are brought on by a drop in testosterone levels, causing lethargy, night sweats, hot flashes, mood swings, irritability, depression, fatigue, and muscle or joint pain. Andropause treatment will usually include testosterone replacement therapy. Hormones in the body affect cells, organs, and how the body functions. Hormone levels are affected by age, stress, infections in the body, and an imbalance of nutrients. Diseases that affect the heart and lungs may affect the levels of testosterone in men. In addition, some autoimmune diseases such as, arthritis or lupus may cause a decrease in hormone levels. Lifestyle changes that include nutritional supplements, exercise, and relaxation might help with testosterone imbalances. The symptoms for both men and women can be similar when hormone levels are decreasing but men usually have a gradual decrease in testosterone whereas women may have a sudden decrease in estrogen and progesterone.
Saliva or blood tests can reveal hormone levels to help a doctor determine possible treatment. A medical history and a list of male menopause symptoms are also useful to a physician who is trying to determine cause and diagnosis. Andropause treatment may include some lifestyle changes that involve adjustments to dietary habits and implementation of a regular exercise routine. Eating at least 3 meals a day with 2 snacks in between will help to keep blood sugar levels even. In addition, try drinking lots of water, limiting caffeine, and limiting highly processed foods that are high in sugar or sodium. Refined sugars and spicy foods have been known to aggravate hot flashes. Reducing saturated fats and using olive, canola, and flaxseed oil will help with cholesterol levels.
Heart disease can have an effect on testosterone levels in men. Diet and exercise are important factors for lifestyle changes to be successful. Providing essential nutrients to the body will help to decrease male menopause symptoms and provide good overall health. Try eating salmon and mackerel for omega 3 fatty acids as well as whole grains. Eating apples, carrots, spinach, beans, and oats will help to lower cholesterol and increase fiber. Take nutritional supplements to provide the body with necessary vitamins and minerals that are needed. Choosing organic non-fat milk, organic fruits/vegetables and organic meat instead of eating regular beef and drinking regular cow's milk will help to avoid over consuming unwanted hormones.
Decreased energy levels and less sexual interest may be experienced with decreased levels of testosterone. Other changes associated with declining hormones include decreased cognitive function, and depression. Some prescription drugs cause symptoms in men including, beta blockers, painkillers and anti-depressants. Andropause treatment can help restore sexual function, muscle strength, and help to prevent heart disease. Scientists have linked long-term use of testosterone with breast enlargement so doctors are concerned about prescribing high doses or long-term therapy. There are also concerns for prostrate enlargement for men who receive treatment through hormone replacement therapy. An enlarged prostrate can cause urinary difficulties and increase chances of infection.
Depression may result from a decrease of hormone levels in men. Some doctors prefer prescribing anti-depressants before opting for hormone replacement therapy. Men are not usually as astute to seeking treatment as women are. However, depression can be very serious, especially if thoughts of suicide are present. Sometimes life just seems too overwhelming, with having to work so many hours, not enough sleep, a family to feed, and suffering with male menopause symptoms just adds to the list. Maybe it is time to put one's priorities in order and seek God for help. Participating in regular worship services and reading the Bible helps one to realize that God's children do not have to bear their burdens alone. "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." (Psalm 46:1) Learning this can give hope as one learns how to trust Him for a better life. Try taking the family to regular church services and putting God first in everything; doing this will make a difference because putting God first can give assurance that He will give us the strength to carry on.
Some of the benefits that have surfaced from hormone replacement therapy for men have been thicker hair and improved skin, improved sexual desire, increased energy, decrease of irritability, improved mental outlook, and improved muscle mass. Potential risks associated with andropause treatment may include derogatory skin reactions, fluid retention, hair loss, sleep apnea, enlargement of prostrate, urinary difficulties, enlargement of breasts, and excess blood production. There are different types of testosterone therapy available. Injections can be administered in two week intervals, or a patch can be worn for up to seven days, gel or creams are available, and so is oral therapy. Before starting any type of hormone therapy see a physician for the best options and get some advice on the best type of hormone replacement available for increasing testosterone levels.