Age-related prostate enlargement, or benign prostatic hyperplasia, and sexual performance and erectile dysfunction are some of the most widely recognized men’s health issues, and the number of drugs that have been developed over the years to treat these conditions prove it. But, there’s another aspect of men’s health that is often overlooked by conventional physicians. That’s why I’m sharing some of the therapies, including my top solutions, I recommend for men’s health concerns.
Andropause: Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Just as declining levels of estrogen usher in menopause in women, age-related reductions in testosterone are part and parcel of hypogonadism—or andropause—in men. Therefore, it’s not surprising that andropause is a men’s health concern that affects virtually all men to some degree. Yet few physicians routinely measure testosterone levels in their older male patients, even when they exhibit symptoms of andropause, such as problems with sexual desire or performance, osteoporosis, sarcopenia (age-related muscle loss), weight gain, depression, cognitive dysfunction, and fatigue.
At Whitaker Wellness, we prescribe testosterone replacement therapy to improve and reverse many signs of andropause. It gives men more energy and vitality and enhances their sense of well-being. It increases bone density and muscle mass, while reducing body fat. Markers of cardiovascular health, such as cholesterol levels, are improved. And interest in sex—as well as erectile function in some men—is renewed.
Testosterone replacement therapy requires a prescription, and may be administered in several forms. However, I do not recommend using oral testosterone as it may harm the liver. To find a doctor in your area knowledgeable in testosterone replacement therapy, visit the American Academy of Anti-Aging’s website.
Erectile Dysfunction: L-arginine
Even though most men don’t like to talk about it, erectile dysfunction is a very common men’s health concern, as it affects roughly 42 percent of men between the ages of 40 and 70.
If I had to choose just one natural treatment for erectile dysfunction it would be the amino acid L-arginine. Why? L-arginine is a direct precursor to nitric oxide, a gas molecule that acts as a chemical messenger for numerous functions in the body, including the formation of erections. Several clinical trials have also found that supplemental L-arginine improves erectile function. The suggested dose of L-arginine is 1–2 g three times a day, taken on an empty stomach. Caution: Do not take L-arginine with Viagra-like drugs, nitroglycerin, or if you have herpes or low blood pressure.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia: Go-Less®
If you’re a man over the age of 50, you’re probably aware that age-related prostate enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH) makes nighttime visits to the bathroom more common and urine flow less robust. For years, I’ve been recommending saw palmetto and pygeum for men in this age group because numerous studies show that these herbs reduce these symptoms and are safe and effective natural treatments for benign prostatic hyperplasia.
While I still recommend saw palmetto and pygeum for preventing and treating BPH, a few years ago, I came across another supplement that is perhaps even more remarkable. A proprietary blend of pumpkin seed extract and soy isoflavones, and appropriately called Go-Less®, it works by relaxing the bladder muscles and inhibiting the 5-alpha reductase enzyme, which converts testosterone to di-hydrotestosterone, a hormone that contributes to BPH. But what’s most impressive is that in one study, Go-Less reduced nighttime urination frequency in older men by 40 percent after six weeks. Not surprisingly, sleep satisfaction also improved. The recommended daily dose is 600 mg.
Now it’s your turn: What do you do to prevent or treat these or other men’s health concerns?