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It is not just an excuse for a midlife crisis – male menopause is a real thing.

And it can cause serious symptoms that affect a man’s health including a loss of energy, mood swings and even hot flushes and night sweats … just like menopause.

But, unlike women, “manopause” usually occurs more gradually and many men could be suffering from its symptoms without even realising.

Thankfully, nutritionist and wellness coach Donna Aston says keeping fit with a healthy diet and regular exercise can reduce such symptoms – and slow down or even reverse the loss of testosterone associated with male menopause.

The AstonRX program founder and best-selling author says, for both men and women, “it is really important to acknowledge that the healthier we are when we go through menopause, the less the symptoms will be”.

While female menopause is associated with the cessation of the menstrual cycle, for men it is a gradual decline in testosterone levels as they age.

The Australian Government’s Health Direct website explains that testosterone levels usually decrease at a steady rate of about 2% a year from the age of 30-40 – but there may be greater declines in testosterone in men with long-term medical conditions or who are overweight.

Sound familiar to a lot of middle-aged Aussie men?

Low testosterone levels can cause reduced libido and erectile problems, poor sleep, increased body fat and reduced muscle strength, lesser bone density, hot flushes and sweats, lower energy levels, lack of confidence, mood swings and difficulty in concentration.

“Men may not notice the signs,” Aston says.

“Many Aussie men don’t pay enough attention to their health – they are consumed by careers and the responsibilities of families.

“But poor health can have an enormous impact (on male menopause), and body fat is one of the worst things because as testosterone declines, you are losing muscle tissue.

“Thankfully, strength training can boost testosterone levels.”

Aston has previously worked privately with a host of celebrity and business clients, but her program is now available online to everyone.

Her celebrity clients who attest to Aston’s success at improving health and wellbeing include actors Sigrid Thornton and Kat Stewart, and TV and radio host Brigitte Duclos.

Aston RX is an online program to improve metabolic function and gut health – based on a person’s individual biology – with what Aston describes as the “lovely side effect” of also causing rapid fat loss.

While for most people, the catalyst for starting the program is to lose weight, the focus is not on monotonously counting calories but on correcting dysfunctions in metabolism and the body’s microbiome.

It also usually also leads to other benefits including reducing inflammation and joint pain, and increased energy levels – and alleviating the effects of menopause, for both women and men.

The program is based on science, and in most cases start with a blood test or a stool sample to work out what is going on inside your body.

And while a cohort will go through a program together, helping support each other and learning together – including webinars and online lessons in healthy cooking from the AstonRX chef – each program is different, according to each person’s needs.

And if you are sitting there thinking you’re already suffering “manopause” and it’s too late, think again.

“Our bodies are brilliant,” Aston says.

“At any age we can build muscle, reduce fat and slow bone loss.

“I used to think 50 was old, I don’t think that any more – at 50 you still have so much living to do. But you need to make sure you have the best quality of life you can.”


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