By Haddon Libby

Grumpy Old Man Syndrome.  We all know someone who suffers from it.  He complains about everything and nothing all at once.

Donald Trump is the poster curmudgeon for Grumpy Old Man Syndrome.  The other day while Trump was chastising fellow grouch John McCain for his poor record on veterans of war services, he had to embellish the critique by saying that McCain was, “a war hero because he was captured…I like people that weren’t captured.”

Grumpy Old Man Syndrome is an actual condition caused by a mix of lowered testosterone, health problems and long-term psychological and emotional problems that become most evident between the ages of 60 and 70.  It is thought that nearly 70% of men over 70 struggle due to various degrees of man-opause.

The natural male behavior of ‘fight or flight’ often becomes anger as we age…which explains the appeal amongst many elder males to the shouting heads at Fox ‘News’.

It also explains why literally every woman on Fox ‘News’ is blonde, attractive and under 45 years of age – exposure to attractive women has a positive affect at increasing testosterone.

Testosterone is the most important male hormone.  It is in large part why men behave like men.  As men age, they produce less testosterone and more estrogen, a key hormone to women.  From the age of 60, testosterone drops quickly.  Where a woman suffering through menopause might cry, man-opause means that men will yell.

The Mayo Clinic states that supplements are not the answer to dealing with this male life change.

Michael Gurian, author of “The Wonder of Aging: A New Approach to Embracing Life After Fifty” has extensively studied the condition.  In his findings, he found that men over fifty need to begin shifting to more age appropriate identities.  Gurian cites a personal example where it became increasing difficult to play soccer after he turned 50.  He came to realize that he had to shift away from the sport he loved to activities that he could better manage.

So how can one avoid becoming a Grumpy Old Man?

Most importantly, do things that make you happy and vital to society.  This will help deal with the psychological and emotional issues that occur because of a loss of identity due to the end of a work career.

Dr. Michael Hart, an expert in male aging, urges his patients to get in shape as overweight and out of shape men have far less testosterone than their fit counterparts.

Get eight hours of sleep in a dark room.  Poor sleep patterns rob men of testosterone.

Get plenty of sex and think about sex when you are not having it.

Eat foods rich in Vitamins C and E as well as zinc as those reduce environmental toxins that rob men of this key hormone.

Keep stress levels low.  Also, do not eat a low fat diet but eat the healthy fats found in avocado, nuts and olive oil.

Maintaining the highest testosterone possible is the key to feeling better.  As such, stay away from soy and flaxseed both are rich in phytoestrogens.  Licorice is an estrogenic food so avoid it.  So is spearmint.  Whole grains have gluten and gluten has prolactin which lowers testosterone.  As such, men should live with gluten-free diets.

Do not drink from plastic bottles as those bottles leak phthalates or BPA into the beverages and phthalates mimic estrogen. As soft drinks are typically acidic, the acids help draw the phthalates into the liquid.

Lastly, beer has 300,000 IUs of estrogen per 100 grams of hops.  Hart states that when you drink, drink vodka in moderation as alcohol turns testosterone into estrogen.

Men do not all have to become grumpy as they age – simple lifestyle and dietary changes can help men live happier, more fulfilling lives.

Haddon Libby is Managing Partner of Winslow Drake, an investment management and advisory firm, and can be reached at