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What do Women Want to Know about Male Menopause?

A Chat with Jed at the Power-Surge Web Site

Jed was recently the guest in an on-line chat on Power Surge,, a Web site and online community devoted to menopause. Here's a transcript of that chat.

interviewer "Dearest" from Power-Surge

Dearest: My guest tonight, Jed Diamond, is Director of MenAlive (, a health center for men and the women who care. A licensed psychotherapist for 35 years, Jed Diamond is an internationally recognized educator in the area of men's health and empowerment.

Jed is the author of seven books including the landmark bestseller, "Male Menopause". The book details the hormonal, physiological, psychological, interpersonal, social, sexual, and spiritual changes that occur in all men between the ages of 40 and 55.

He has also authored, "Surviving Male Menopause: A Guide for Women and Men," and his latest book, "The Whole Man Program: Reinvigorating Your Body, Mind, and Spirit after 40". Jed has shared his expertise on the midlife male condition on numerous shows, such as "The View" and "Good Morning America."

It's a pleasure to welcome you to Power Surge, Jed.

Jed Diamond: Thank you, glad to be here

Dearest: Jed, other than the standard tests men are given, what specific tests should they ask their doctors for as they approach midlife?

Jed Diamond: Testosterone, free testosterone, estradiol, cortisol and other hormones.

Dearest: Just out of curiosity, why would men check for estradiol?

Jed Diamond: We all have hormones and the balance is important, particularly testosterone and estrogens.

Cookie531: What symptoms would occur if these hormones are not in the proper ranges?

Jed Diamond: Irritability, anger, low libido, erectile dysfunction, weight gain, and others.

Dearest: The average man has access to the same (if not better) quality health care that women have, yet they don't seem to be as proactive in their health care as women. Why is the average man resistant to learning new ways of improving his health until they face a major health crisis?

Jed Diamond: Men tend to be "if it ain't broke, don't mess with it" We also have the macho, be strong, don't let anyone know you're hurt thing.

RetreadMommy: If a man has been on a triple hormone blockade for cancer (Proscar, Lupron, and Casodex) how might this affect him differently once he comes off of them?

Jed Diamond: Yes, we are quite complex and individual and these kinds of drugs can have significant and different effects.

Moongoddess: Are there Natural supplements formulated just for men to help them through their Male Menopause?

Jed Diamond: Yes, testosterone is the most common and most all the ways it is used are natural. This is a major benefit for men over what many women have experienced using hormones that are not the same as in their body.

Dearest: Jed, What can a male do long before he enters middle age to prevent heart disease and the other conditions that afflict them as they age?

Jed Diamond: The basics for sure: Exercise, eat well, deal with depression and emotional ups and downs, and most importantly, get into a support group

Dearest: Thanks. Jed, I've had male guests speaking to men about how to help their partners through menopause. What do you recommend WE can do to help our partners through male menopause?

Jed Diamond: Learn as much as you can. Recognize it is fearful for most men to discuss it. Tune into their needs for health and sexual vitality.

YoungOldMe: How is DHEA related to testosterone? Thanks.

Jed Diamond: DHEA is a hormone that has health benefits. It also can be converted to both testosterone and estrogen.

Dolo: Is it better to supplement with natural testosterone, or something like DHEA or pregnenolone to boost the body to produce more on its own, if it would effectively?

Jed Diamond: Good question. It depends on where hormones are. I recommend checking levels of all of them and working with someone who understands hormonal issues in men.

MommyElly: Can heart problems such as angioplasty and use of medications cause these dysfunctions? No sex drive, inability to perform.

Jed Diamond: Yes, both the problems themselves such as heart disease and diabetes, for instance, as well as the drugs to treat them can contribute to sexual and male menopause problems.

Dearest: I know you're writing a book on Men and Depression. Are the signs of depression different in men from those women experience? Other than that men might not be able to have an erection when they're depressed. (and that doesn't quite affect women)

Jed Diamond: Sometimes they are the same, but often they are different. Women, for instance, often experience more sadness and men experience depression more with anger and irritability.

Cookie531: Women go through menopause due to fluctuations in their hormones. If a man's hormones are in the correct ranges, are they STILL considered to be in male menopause due to their age alone?

Jed Diamond: People differ on this issue. I think of Male Menopause, like adolescence. We all experience it, the difficulty and symptoms vary, but not whether we will go through it.

Dearest: Most of us know the benefits of soy for peri and menopausal women. however, what role does soy play in prostate health?

Jed Diamond: It seems to help men keep prostates healthy. I use a lot of soy and in cultures such as Japan where soy use is high, prostate cancer and other problems are low.

Dearest: Yes, I'm aware of that - Power Surge is a great advocate of soy isoflavones. Thanks, Jed.

WGSurfer2: I may have missed this while I was having problems, but how is male menopause diagnosed and how do I find a doctor that even recognizes it?

Jed Diamond: It's not easy, since it's just being understood. We diagnose based on physical as well as hormonal markers. We also have a simple test that men and women can take to see if they are going through it.

Dearest: Women take an FSH test. What kind of simple test can men take? Not that FSH tests are so reliable.

Jed Diamond: One is testing testosterone levels as well as SHBG (Sex hormone blinding globulin). There is also a questionnaire I've developed.

Dearest: Is it on your Web site at ? The questionnaire?

Jed Diamond: It's in my books and I'd be happy to send it to anyone who e-mails me.

MaryO: How can we get the men into a support group? I can't imagine my husband talking about his problems, especially relating to midlife, in a group setting. He's more the type to go out and get a "midlife crisis" sports car.

Jed Diamond: Men often do that until they find out it doesn't work. You'd be surprised how many men join groups when they are asked by other men and they know it is safe. I've been in a group for the last 25 years.

Nan: In your research, have you seen supplements used with success in treating male menopause, and if so, which ones?

Jed Diamond: The main ones that work are testosterone, DHEA, and a number of others for more specific aspects such as Saw Palmetto for prostate health.

Dearest: Jed, what are some of the causes of ED (erectile dysfunction) and also, which prescription medications can affect a man's libido?

Jed Diamond: Being overweight is one of the main ones. Related to that is diabetes which is on the rise. Heart problems, depression, and also the medications men take are factors.

Dearest: What was the motivation that caused you to start MenAlive?

Jed Diamond: I saw so many men who found it hard to communicate, but needed a place where they could be heard. Also thousands of women wrote to ask me how to help their men.

MrsUnderstood: Do you have suggestions for wives whose husbands overdo physically forgetting they are not 20 years old?

Jed Diamond: It isn't easy accepting our physical limitations. We all want to stay active forever. I counsel men to stay active. Most injuries occur with "weekend warriors."

Dearest: Define "weekend warrior," please?

Jed Diamond: Guys that tend to exercise intermittently and then overdo it.

Dolo: Is lowered libido a good test for how much testosterone to supplement in raising levels, and how can you know how much may be needed?

Jed Diamond: Low libido can be caused by many factors, i.e. depression, stress, etc. Knowing about Testosterone levels can only be obtained by a blood or saliva measure.

Dearest: What are your thoughts on Viagra? What are the side effects? Isn't it risky, especially for men who've had heart and blood pressure issues?

Jed Diamond: Viagra does one thing quite well. It helps men who are having difficulty with erections. It doesn't do anything for libido or for relationship problems. It is generally safe is used as directed and under a physicians care.

Dearest: Oh, and the average age for women to become "menopausal" is 51.4 - is there an average age for a man to become menopausal?

Jed Diamond: For men we often call it Andropause and the age range is broader--35 to 65. That's what makes it difficult to know when you are going through it. It can be quite subtle.

Moongoddess: How do we cope when we are both going through this at the same time?

Jed Diamond: It will either drive you both bonkers or we can empathize with each other and help us go through it together. His and her books are quite popular.

WGSurfer2: Are there any issues with taking hormone supplementation concurrently with SSRI's such as Efexxor?

Jed Diamond: There shouldn't be any negative interaction, but should always be done under doctor supervision.

YoungOldMe: What do you recommend for keeping the mind sharp? Thanks.

Jed Diamond: Keeping trying new things, going back to school, spending time with teenagers.

Dearest: What foods do you recommend or recommend avoiding for middle-aged men to prevent disease and provide optimal health?

Jed Diamond: AS mentioned soy products are good. Tomato products help prostate health. A little liquor is, in fact, heart healthy. Low fat (at least saturated fat) is healthful, but mostly be joyous when we eat.

Dearest: Thanks and same question about nutritional supplements?

Jed Diamond: The truth is that most have not been tested adequately for specific benefits. We are just now finding out, Scientifically, what is truly helpful.

Dearest: Things like Selenium, Co-Q10, vitamin E?

Jed Diamond: The jury is still out on all of them. There are studies now in progress that should tell us some truths in the next few years.

Dearest: Interesting. Thanks.

SturdyWoman: Many many woman are being prescribed antidepressants for menopausal symptoms, is this true for men?

Jed Diamond: Menopause and andropause often overlap with depression. Since we are just learning the facts of both, we often misdiagnose. We need to be careful with antidepressants and know when to give and when not.

Dearest: Do you think it's true that more women go through depression than men, or do you think women just talk about it more openly?

Jed Diamond: Hotly debated and one of the topics in my upcoming books, The Irritable Male Syndrome, and Male Depression.

Dearest: Hotly debated the fact that more women go through depression than men?

Jed Diamond: My belief is that men and women are equally depressed, but since men express it more through irritability, anger, and alcohol it often is not seen as depression.

Dolo: Are you aware of any possible sexual/libido problems/side effects from blood pressure drugs such as calan or HCTZ/diuretics?

Jed Diamond: Yes. They can cause both libido and erectile side effects.

Moongoddess: Jed, are your books available in Australia? Thank you

Dearest: Does have an Australian site?

Jed Diamond: They should be, or through any on-line bookstores such as Amazon.

Cookie531: Is there such a thing as too much testosterone? We have discussed low libido and erectile dysfunction, but what about the other extreme? I.e. always ready and, how can I put this delicately, finished in 5 minutes? Or premature?

Jed Diamond: These symptoms usually not a result of too much testosterone. Usually too much is used by weight lifters using steroid derivates of testosterone, not testosterone.

Dearest: Many menopausal women complain about issues with anger and irritability. Have you heard of the irritability men experience during male menopause manifesting itself in abusive ways?

Jed Diamond: Absolutely. Men get both verbally and physically abusive. It is a problem that is misunderstood and mistreated.

Dearest: Have you found that men tend to turn to "drink" during male menopause?

Jed Diamond: Often the case or they tend to drink more for stress relief and escape.

Trish: I find that my husband has a hard time understanding female menopause. Therefore I believe understanding that he is even going through andropause will be extremely difficult. Do you have any tips on how to help him understand what he is experiencing is andropause?

Jed Diamond: One of the primary symptoms of andropause, unfortunately, is that men think the problem is all due to their wife's. Education is a slow process, but once men get a look at the material, light bulbs go off.

Trish: My husband has all the symptoms, but doesn't see it. He throws the blame elsewhere.

Dearest: Could you elaborate a bit on the "men think the problem is all due to their wives" part?

Jed Diamond: Yep, he's got it. If you see it you can help. Little by little, helping a man see that his needs are not being met and you can work together so that he can get what he needs and you can get what you need makes him more receptive.

WGSurfer2: You have mentioned irritability and anger quite a lot. Are those the primary symptoms of Andropause?

Jed Diamond: I was sure when I was going through it that all problems were because my wife: Didn't love me enough, didn't want sex enough, was too bitchy, uncaring, too caring, etc. It took awhile for me to wake up.

The big three symptoms of andropause: Irritability, problems with desire, and problems with erections.

MrsUnderstood: Most women find their symptoms lessen eventually. Is this true for men too?

Jed Diamond: Seriously, 25 to 50% of men experience hot flashes. Yes, men's symptoms lessen as well, but some get worse if not treated, such as erectile dysfunctions.

Dearest: What is the number one thing you'd recommend for men and women to do to help each other through this transitional time of life?

Jed Diamond: Recognize it is a transition and can move us to the best that life can be. We need to be very gentle with each other, very understanding of ourselves, and it helps to have some good friends who can share their experiences.

Moongoddess: From your research, what do men say they need in terms of emotional support etc. For example, I crave TLC, quietness, understanding, hot bath, etc. But what are 'Men's Fixes'?

Jed Diamond: Men want to be respected, appreciated, touched tenderly, but we also need space, time alone and support for new things.

Robin: Could Zocor make a difference with libido/desire?

Jed Diamond: It could, but varies greatly. Usually other things are involved such as closeness and interest, boredom vs. excitement.

Dearest: Can't men (and women, for that matter) have hot flashes once they've become postmenopausal?

Jed Diamond: Oh, yes, It involves the shifts in hormones that can occur over a long period of time and has to do with how big a change and how quickly hormones shift. Hot flashes do seem to change and lessen over time.

Rondaveu: My mother-in-law once told me that when a man goes through menopause he either becomes a hypochondriac or has an affair. ha! ha! She said she would have maybe had him have the affair. But seriously I notice that my husband has so many aches and pains now he drives me crazy with his obsession with how he feels like he is the only one to have an ache Is this common? My husband seems to have so many aches and pains.

Jed Diamond: Yes, that is often related to low testosterone. Get levels to normal and pains diminish. Also related to lack of exercise. Weight and flexibility training can help.

LadyMar45: I would like to know what are the signs for male menopause.

Jed Diamond: Big three: Irritability, erectile dysfunction, and loss of libido.

Dearest: Jed, thank you for a stimulating and informative chat about male menopause, men's midlife health issues. I strongly recommend Jed Diamond's books, "Male Menopause," Surviving Male Menopause, and "The Whole Man Program." You can visit his Web site at

Disclaimer: Every guest in Power Surge is a highly respected professional whose opinions are his/her own. An appearance in Power Surge does not constitute an endorsement of a guest's views.

None of these transcripts may be reprinted or reproduced without the express permission of Power Surge™ and the respective guest.

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