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Wellness Care for Andropause

WANG LI HUA Physician


Wellness Care for Andropause


Are you a middle-aged man with low energy?


TCM believes that kidney Yin and Yang imbalance due to Kidney Qi deficiency is the root cause of male menopause (andropause) in middle-aged men. The symptoms include:


       1. Physiological symptoms

Decreased energy, fatigue easily, reduced appetite, constipation or diarrhoea, bone and joint pain, muscle atrophy and weakness, back and leg pain, hair loss and abdominal obesity.


       2. Mental and emotional symptoms

Attention deficit, declined memory, impatience, irritability, untrusting or apathy, pessimism, hopelessness, and loss of passion for life.


       3. Neurological symptoms

Breathing difficulty, localized numbness, stabbing pain, itchiness in the limbs, random pain or crawling sensation under the skin. Dysautonomic symptoms mainly present as palpitations, chest pain, unstable blood pressure, dizziness, tinnitus, scotoma, hot flashes, and intermittent sweating. Other symptoms include insomnia, vivid dreams, light sleeps, forgetfulness, and slow reaction. 


       4. Decreased libido

Decreased libido, reduced intercourse frequency, impotence, inability to ejaculate, and low semen volume.


The cause of andropause is multifactorial. It’s associated with age, stress, chronic illnesses such as diabetes, depression and cardiovascular diseases, bad habits such as smoking and alcoholism, poor living environment, lack of physical activity, and abdominal obesity.  


How to boost your energy level when you are over 50?

       1. Make health a priority

Make sure you are pro-actively learning scientific ways to take care of your body. An annual physical is a good way to stay on top of things as well.  


       2. Control portion sizes

Keep up with regular meal times. Make sure you eat a quality breakfast, full lunch and light dinner. Do not over eat or skip breakfast.


       3. Quit smoking and limit alcohol intake

There are over 30 carcinogenic chemicals in cigarettes. Smoking is one of causes to impotence and infertility. Alcohol can be damaging to your digestive and detoxification systems, namely, your digestive tract and liver. Both tobacco and alcohol increase your risk of hypertension, stroke, stomach problems, cirrhosis, and liver cancer. 


       4. Spiritual practice

Optimism and a positive attitude can optimize your physiology and slow aging. Develop hobbies and interests to nourish your mind and body. Help others often. Be content. Learn about different ways for stress relief, and seek professional help if necessary. 


       5. Work-life balance

Maintain a good work-life balance.


       6. Regular exercise

Adequate exercise can strengthen the body’s constitution, improve immunity and cardiopulmonary function, increase metabolism and make you more energized. It is also good for weight loss, obesity prevention, delaying aging of the brain and reducing risks to diseases such as hyperlipidaemia, hypertension and diabetes. 


       7. Avoid sexual indulgence

Sexual activity is good for your health, but sexual indulgence leads to kidney deficiency that can negatively affect many other bodily functions, induce diseases, and accelerate aging.  


       8. Happy family life

Reduce arguments and negative interactions to prevent mood swings.


TCM physicians prescribe different culinary medicine based on TCM differential diagnosis.


       1. Liver and kidney Yin deficiency: light-headedness, tinnitus, palpitation, hot flashes, irritability, dry mouth, insomnia, vivid dreams, warm palms and soles.

Figwort and foxglove root chicken soup: Ningpo figwort root (xuan shen) 9g, Chinese foxglove root (sheng di) 15g, remove internal organs of silkie chicken. Stuff the herbs in the chicken and seal it. Simmer the whole chicken with adequate water until cooked. Salt to taste. Serve warm.


       2. Spleen and kidney Yang deficiency: vertigo, abdominal pain, fatigue, weakness, swelling, nocturia, and pale tongue.

Walnut lotus seed congee: walnut 20g, lotus seeds 18g, gorgon fruit (qian shi) 18g, rice 60g. Make the ingredients into congee. Salt to taste. Serve warm.   


       3. Heart and kidney disharmony: palpitation, irritability, mood swings, vertigo, tinnitus, forgetfulness, and insomnia.

Longan lily bulb congee: longan 30g, lily bulbs 30g, 6 red dates, rice 100g. Make the ingredients into congee. Sweeten with crystallized sugar. Eat it in the morning and the evening, twice a day.


Additional culinary medicine recipes:


1. Tofu seaweed soup

Ingredients: One block of tofu, seaweed 100g, green onion, ginger and salt to taste

Directions: Cut the tofu into cubes, seaweed and ginger into thin slices, and green onion into small pieces. Add all ingredients, except for green onion, into boiling water and cook for 10 minutes. Sprinkle on the green onion and a few drops of sesame oil before serving.

Benefits: Tofu is rich in many essential minerals, such as iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium. It also contains carbohydrates, vegetable fat, and proteins. Seaweed can slow aging and improve immunity.


2. Sautéed black fungus and cabbage

Ingredients: Black fungus 50g, cabbage 200g, cooking oil, salt, green onion and ginger to taste

Directions: Soak black fungus till it has softened, and rinse it in hot water. Tear the black fungus and cabbage into small pieces. Brown green onion and ginger in cooking oil, and then add the rest of the ingredientsto sauté.

Benefits: Black fungus contains a special collagen and is rich in iron. It is good for detoxification, cardiovascular health and anaemia. Cabbage is rich in vitamin C. It can improve one’s immunity, and it’s good for healing canker sores. The fungus and cabbage combination is very nourishing for the body.