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Posts tagged ‘andropause’

My tummy hurts!

pH scale showing common substances

Image via Wikipedia

Stomach pain. That’s just one of the symptoms of gastropause. Wow, sounds like menopause or andropause. Very similar in a way. Anyway, this term was coined by one of the doctors I really admire. He’s the well-respected author and physician Dr. Eric Bravermerman of PathMed. Gastropause is basically a period in one’s life when the functions of the intestinal tract begin to decline (similar to ovarian function decline in menopause and testicular function decline in andropause). Gastropause may manifest with symptoms such as gas, bloating and indigestion (or heartburn). This usually happens during our 30’s, making the class of drugs called PPI’s or acid-blockers some of the best-selling drugs for this age group. What triggers the onset of these symptoms? Possibly, factors such as eating cooked (dead, devitalized) food majority of the time, eating mindlessly (eating fast and not chewing food properly), and eating the wrong kinds of foods (highly refined or processed foods with artificial ingredients and preservatives). Ways to relieve these symptoms include taking plant (or animal-based) enzymes and betaine HCl. Eating more raw foods is definitely helpful as well. For acute situations, the drug alternative may be used but only for a short period. However, what ends up happening, is that most people stay on these drugs indefinitely, without making the necessary dietary and lifestyle changes to address the problem. In fact, there’s an article in the latest issue of Scientific American on the overuse of acid blockers and how it poses long-term health risks such as nutritional deficiencies, hip fracture (buy inhibiting calcium absorption) and an increased risk of bacterial infection (by increasing the pH of the stomach). One thing the article stresses is that there’s a need to re-evaluate the use of PPI’s as a prophylactic agent (for hospital patients with serious injuries to prevent gastrointestinal bleeding and stress ulcers) since only one intensive care patient is saved from serious bleeding for every 900 treated. Therefore, to prevent or relieve the symptoms of gastropause, try these things. Eat slowly, chew thoroughly, in small (frequent) portions.

For Men Only (and for those who love them)

There are a lot of symptoms of male menopause that’s commonly attributed to the normal aging process. Symptoms are usually subtle unless there’s an abrupt decline in hormones. These symptoms include the following: abdominal obesity, decreased muscle mass and strength, loss of self-confidence, depression, fatigue, hot flushes, decreased sex drive, decreased ejaculation volume, decreased strength of erections, anxiety and loss of interest in life. Among the signs of testosterone deficiency include: loss of muscle tone, wrinkles at corner of eyes or above the lips, flabby belly or increased abdominal fat, prostate hypertrophy or atrophy, small/atrophied/flaccid penis and male pattern baldness. Anyway, a lot of men usually suffer in silence because complaining is not a sign of being macho. Oftentimes, men just deal with these nagging symptoms until things get worse. For instance, erectile dysfunction could be due to low normal testosterone levels. Treatment is usually not given until a person’s level is really deficient or below normal. So, instead of getting testosterone treatment, men are given “rocket boosters” like Viagra, Cialis or Levitra or supplement-wise, tribulus, maca, or L-arginine. This is all fine and dandy. However, it’s better to address the root of the problem rather than just treating symptoms, just like anything else. Sometimes, the first symptom of low testosterone is a cardiovascular event such as a heart attack. Scary, right? Anyway, it’s also important to check estrogen levels in men. High levels could lead to gynecomastia, prostate issues and emotional imbalance while very low levels could lead to osteoporosis. So again, it’s all about balance in everything (yin yang in Chinese medicine).

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