When most people think of PMS they think of women. However, researchers recently discovered that many men suffer from a condition similar to PMS called irritable male syndrome (IMS). Men with IMS often experience mood swings, stomach cramps and even hot flashes. These symptoms and others are caused by a drop in the male hormone testosterone.
IMS can manifest at any time because, unlike women who experience monthly hormone cycles, men experience a daily hormone cycle. Males' levels of testosterone are highest after waking and fall throughout the day.
A variety of symptoms are linked to irritable male syndrome. A man experiencing IMS may experience the following symptoms:
Changes in the male hormone cycle can also cause males to experience the following:
The male version of PMS can cause men to feel antisocial and depressed and can leave them unable to concentrate.
Men experience a natural drop in testosterone every day. However, there are certain outside factors that can cause testosterone levels to fall:
There have been a number of studies focusing on male PMS. Many of these studies have been conducted on animals. One such study was conducted on Soay sheep.
In the study, scientists noted that the testosterone levels in the sheep were highest in the autumn months, during which time the male sheep experienced an increase in mating activity. In the winter months, hormone leaves dropped dramatically and the sheep become nervous and anxious around females. The decrease in testosterone also caused the males to lash out at one another.
If you think you might be experiencing irritable male syndrome, schedule an appointment with your doctor. He will be able to determine if your symptoms are caused by a natural drop in testosterone or from a more serious medical condition.
If your doctor determines that your symptoms are indeed caused by normal changes in testosterone he will likely give you advice on coping with IMS symptoms. Sometimes IMS symptoms can be alleviated with topical creams, such as male progesterone cream or AndroGel®.
Your doctor might also suggest you take the following to help control your IMS symptoms:
In order to help balance hormone levels and avoid irritable male syndrome, men should try to eat a well-balanced diet. Men should try to breakdown their diet in the following manner to help balance their hormone cycle:
With this diet plan and approximately 30 to 40 minutes of exercise each day and six to eight hours of sleep each night, most men can reduce the symptoms of IMS and stabilize their hormones.
Fields, S. (n.d.). "Male PMS and Low Testosterone Levels Linked". Retrieved August 1, 2007, from http://www.4-men.org/testosterone/pms.html.
Kwiatkowski, J. (2003, January 28). irritable male syndrome . Retrieved August 1, 2007, from http://www.wordspy.com/words/irritablemalesyndrome.asp.
Moody men blame their hormones (2002, February 27). Retrieved August 1, 2007, from http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/1844648.stm.
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