Friday

Midlife Crisis, Depressed and Anxious, Do Something About It

Often portrayed in only humorous terms in popular culture, male midlife crisis has very real physical causes. Beginning around age 30, testosterone gradually decreases, and can lead to depression, decreased sex drive or erectile dysfunction. In addition, a corresponding increase in SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) impairs the body's ability to use testosterone.

As well, as men enter midlife, they sleep more lightly, spending less time in a state of deep sleep. This can lead to weight gain, fatigue and irritability because the body is unable to make enough of the hormones required for energy and optimal functioning.

Doing Something About Male Midlife Crisis

There are several steps you can take to improve your overall feeling of well-being and reduce the likelihood of related worries such as sexual dysfunction.

Managing stress will help you sleep easier, as well as reduce symptoms like irritability and fatigue. A daily B-complex vitamin can reduce stress, and minerals like selenium and chromium can boost energy.

Getting plenty of exercise not only has the obvious physical benefits, but it also encourages the quality deep sleep that is important for men undergoing the physical changes of midlife. You should also avoid stimulants like coffee several hours before bed.

Testosterone replacement therapy may also be an appropriate solution that helps mitigate the effects of male midlife.

How Is Testosterone Involved with Male Midlife Crisis?

A consistent finding in the scientific literature is that testosterone increase even by replacement therapy produces an increased feeling of well-being. Published studies show that low levels of free testosterone correlates with symptoms of depression and other psychological disorders.

According to Jonathan Wright, M.D., co-author of Maximize Your Vitality & Potency, the following effects have been reported in response to low free testosterone levels:

• Loss of ability to concentrate
• Moodiness and emotionality
• Touchiness and irritability
• Great timidity
• Feeling weak
• Inner unrest
• Memory failure
• Reduced intellectual agility
• Passive attitudes
• General tiredness
• Reduced interest in surroundings

Two major issues of a man in midlife crisis - depression and anxiety - are directly related to his current levels of bio-available free testosterone. Proper testosterone replacement therapy can deal effectively with much at the heart of midlife male depression by boosting the levels of bio-available testosterone in the body.

Is Testosterone Replacement Therapy Right for Me?

The first step toward testosterone replacement therapy is a physical exam and a series of blood tests, including a PSA (protein-specific antigen) test, are ordered to measure testosterone levels. If testosterone levels are low, your physician can discuss the various treatment options. Many insurance companies cover the costs of andropause treatment, and male menopause treatment can often be purchased with a tax advantaged, flexible savings account.

Male hormone replacement therapy and testosterone replacement are effective, low testosterone treatment options for men with andropause. If you have any symptoms associated with andropause, such as low energy, irritability, hot flashes, abdominal weight gain, loss of muscle strength, loss of sex drive and the inability to maintain an erection, talk to your doctor. The sooner you speak with a physician and get checked for low testosterone levels, the sooner you can begin feeling like yourself again.

What to look for in a Male Hormone Replacement Therapy Provider:

1. Look for a male hormone replacement therapy program that is tailored to your specific and individualized needs.
2. Ensure your hormone program is under the supervision of a physician that is trained in hormone deficiencies in men.
3. Monitoring of your hormone levels. The original test for andropause should only be the first in a series of tests. You will want to have your blood tested periodically to ensure the current program is optimized for your individual needs.
4. Experience. Be sure the entity with whom you work has a solid track record. If they are trying to sell you hormones -- be careful. If they are telling you what they do and how it relates to you needs in an informational frame work -- be hopeful and encouraged.

Jim Michels is an expert on how to treat low testosterone and andropause symptoms. His company renewman.com focuses on male menopause and andropause and specializes in treating male menopause symptoms through male hormone replacement therapy, testosterone replacement and low testosterone treatment

Monday

She's Mature for 21...

"She's mature for 21..." That's what they all say, but in all actuality there are many differences that are not so "mature." Here are a few to keep your eyes wide open when you are dating someone 25 years and less.

1. The first argument.

You know you are dealing with an immature woman when she can't explain herself without crying, fighting and or threatening to hurt you in some way.

2. Money.

You always have to foot the bill whenever you go out while she is always saying, "I need..." She still has alot of growing up to do in the financial department, so if you aren't willing to carry or teach her then leave her alone.

3. Health ailments.

Whether you or she is having issues mentally and/or physically, remember she is young and has a lot of life that has yet to be untapped she may grow weary of caring for you (unless of course there are benefits.) On the other hand, you may not have a lot of life to care for someone if she is the ill one. So choose what you are willing to put up with before things get too deep between the two of you and then you or she wants to bail out when things turn for the worse.

4. Children.

She may not have any and you may have a few. What's the likelihood she will want children someday? Think: when you were in your early twenties you said many things you didn't want, but ended up having everything you didn't want. If you know for certain no more children for you, then protect yourself and don't trust that she will always remember to take her pill.

5. Exs.

Does she act different toward you when you have to pick up your children from their mother's home? Does she seem like she is annoyed when you talk about exs? Do you still remain friends with exs even though she has asked you not to? These are all real issues that cause long-term problems if you don't handle them from the start of the relationship. Be open about your relationship or lack thereof with exs when dealing with a younger woman.

6. Common sense.

Common sense unfortunately isn't too common even among the best of us, so with that said, never assume a younger woman who doesn't have as much experience in emotional/physical relationships as you will understand your needs and how to treat you.

7. Street smarts.

It is very easy to take advantage of a niave young woman who has been sheltered most of her life. If you consider yourself a "good man" do her and her family a favor, don't play games! You don't want to shake hands with her father knowing full well you aren't interested in being committed to his beloved daughter. You don't want to win mom over if you know you are having trouble shaking off the exs, balancing a checkbook, or keeping your apartment tidy. Meet the parents when you know you have your self together! One thing parents can see a mile away is a man who is street smart and they will advise their daughter against dating "the old player" especially if dad, uncles, and other men in the family have and are still playing around themselves.

In closing, remember don't play and you won't get played. These young women nowadays don't really need a man like previous generations; however, there are always those who will pretend like they do.

Nicholl McGuire
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