Tired. Gaining weight. Chronically fatigued. Mood swings. Or just feeling “a little off”?
Is it just the stress of daily life or could it be something more?
Odds are, it is something more. Those symptoms are common of hormone imbalance. PMS and Menopause are well-known conditions of imbalance of the female sex hormones, but did you know that MEN can also have sex hormone imbalance? They can!
Though the onset is not as abrupt as females, male sex hormone imbalance, casually known as ‘Manopause,’ seems to be associated with advancing age, declining fitness levels, and existing disease states. (1) Often, Manopause “gets our attention” to bigger issues affecting our body’s level of function.
Understanding the hormones involved in Manopause is critical for successful management of symptoms. Hormones are chemical messengers produced by glands, which act on other organs in the body through the endocrine system. The most common culprit in Manopause is the hormone, Testosterone. Testosterone is an important sex hormone that travels the bloodstream to the reproductive tissues and organs, delivering messages for normal development of the male organs, regulating mood, and sex drive. Testosterone is also important in stimulating facial and body hair growth, bone growth and muscle regeneration, which give males a distinctively different body type than females. Because of the impact testosterone has on building muscle, the pelvic floor muscles should be an area of focus to improve symptoms of Manopause.
Manopuse is of interest to Pelvic Rehabilitation Physical Therapists because our primary focus of practice is the pelvis. The pelvis houses bone, muscle, fascia, nerves, blood vessels, and organs that when stressed, tight, weak, or traumatized can contribute to male sex hormone imbalance.
Pelvic Rehabilitation Physical Therapists assess and treat the pelvis for visceral balance, nervous system impairments, and muscle strength/endurance to help reduce the amount of stress in the pelvic region. With skill and knowledge, a Pelvic Rehabilitation Physical Therapist will customize a program of progressive strength training of the pelvic floor muscles, as well as the hips and core as part of their rehabilitative plan. This helps not only to build muscle, but also to treat the symptoms of Manopause.
Jeffrey J Zachwieja,Kevin E Yarasheski. Does Growth Hormone Therapy in Conjunction With Resistance Exercise Increase Muscle Force Production and Muscle Mass in Men and Women Aged 60 Years or Older? Physical Therapy. Volume 79, Issue 1, 1 January 1999, Pages 76–82.
Sato, K et al. Resistance training restores muscle sex steroid hormone steroidogenesis in older men. FASEB online. :17 Jan 2014.
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