Andropause and Mid-life Crisis


As men age past age 40, hormonal changes occur that perceptibly inhibit physical, sexual, and cognitive function. The outward appearance of a typical middle-aged male shows in- creased abdominal fat and shrinkage of muscle mass, a hallmark effect of hormone imbal-lance. Loss of a feeling of well-being, sometimes manifesting as depression, is a common psychological complication of hormone imbalance. Until recently, these changes were attri- buted to “growing old,” and men were expected to accept the fact that their bodies were entering into a long degenerative process that would someday result in death.

A remarkable amount of data has been compiled indicating that many of the diseases that middle-aged men begin experiencing, including depression, fatigue, abdominal weight gain, alterations in mood and cognition, decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, prostate disease, and heart disease are directly related to hormone imbalances that are correctable with currently available drug and nutrient therapies. The onset of these symptoms usually appears in the early 50s, although with smokers the onset is significantly earlier.

Andropause is about biochemical changes that brings about physical and emotional changes. Mid-life crisis is an emotional event that brings about more emotional and less physical changes .They may occur independently or they may occur at the same time in which case the impact is multiplied. I think until their 40’s men generally buy into “I am a man and I have to do all this”, cultural and social programming. They do not t question that the load is heavy. At forty as they reach a certain maturity, they may begin to question why it has to be this way. They may even become aware of the load they are carrying and wonder why they should do this.

Certain characteristics displayed by individuals experiencing a mid-life crisis often include but are not limited to a vague and undefined feeling of restlessness for what they do not know . It can include the search of an undefined dream or goal, desire to achieve a feeling of youth- fulness, acquiring of unusual or expensive items such as clothing, muscle cars, jewelery, pay- ing extra special attention to physical appearance, need to spend more time alone or with cert- a certain peers, a deep sense of remorse for goals not accomplished, an underlying desire to initiate new sexual partnerships.

A poll conducted by Desertion Survivors found that 37.1% of respondents’ spouses/partners had deserted them after 20-30 years together, suggesting a strong link to mid-life crisis, with the 20-25 year bracket being the most common, accounting for 20.9% of the overall total.

Positive effects only occur if the individual succesfully negotiates the mid-life crisis.. When they do then they realise  they  are actually in a time of their lives when they can afford to do the things they wanted to do when they were young, which may explain the indulgences in certain commodities or activities. Physically we can do specific hormones and blood tests that would help identify what hormones and issues need to be addressed. We routinely check our male patients’ blood levels of estrogen, testosterone, thyroid, and DHEA to determine what they real picture is. Psychologically, I run specific seminars and programmes that help to clean up old psychological baggage as well as develop new proactive strategies for living.

Be well

Dr Sundardas               www.NaturalTherapies.com,   www.fftcentre.com