Aging brings both welcome and unwelcome changes to the body. The art and science of medicine is to live life, retaining the positive aspects of health, and overcoming the negatives. We believe it is a gift to age maintaining a strong vibrant mind and body.
Testosterone is necessary for healthy aging in men. It interacts with many other hormones and converts to other important steroid hormones. A loss of this important male hormone can manifest as loss of wellbeing in many areas of daily life.
Most men suffer for years before acknowledging that they’re not who they used to be. It often comes as a direct blow to their ego to admit they are losing their edge. When symptoms are mild, men go through typical denial – “I’m just tired, overworked, stressed” etc. etc. The truth is that they are making lower and lower levels of testosterone and it’s showing. Men hate to admit or discuss changes in sexual performance or libido. With lowering levels of testosterone, they also get frustrated and irritable more often, their confidence diminishes, energy declines, body composition changes and mental sharpness decreases.
Testosterone is the male hormone of fertility, with the ability to convert to other hormones, most importantly estrogen. Men also need estrogen, but not in the same ratio or quantity as women. Extensive medical research in hormone replacement and therapy has shown that testosterone has important benefits for male health and the cardiovascular system, yet there has been confusion owing to manipulated data.
Symptoms of Low Testosterone:
- Change in body composition
- Weight gain with increase in fat
- Lower energy
- Reduced mental sharpness
- Reduced memory
- Decrease in confidence
- Insomnia, poor sleep
- Decreased sexual performance and libido
- Increased fatigue
- Muscle aches
- Bone weakness
- Heart disease
- Changes in mood
- Decreased stamina
- Loss of memory and motor skills: Testosterone has a powerful effect on the brain. Declining levels reduce mental sharpness, memory, concentration and confidence. Sleep quality and mental sharpness are also compromised. Men often become more impatient and irritable with age, directly related to a decline in testosterone. Yet, unlike female menopause, andropause or male menopause has no clear definition and is an arbitrary definition of low testosterone that occurs with aging. It is typically experienced around the same age that women experience menopause, however, and brings a similarly accelerated decline in mental and physical health.
- Loss of muscle mass and strength: Decreasing testosterone changes body composition. Gaining and maintaining muscle mass becomes harder, while the accumulation of fat becomes easier. Energy levels decline, contributing to the decline in overall health.
- Loss of libido and difficulty ‘performing’: Declining libido and sexual performance are some of the first signs of decreasing testosterone that men realize. Unfortunately, it takes a long time for many to admit to these subtle changes.
- BPH (benign prostatic hypertrophy): With decreasing testosterone levels, the prostate gland enlarges. This is thought to be caused by a change in the testosterone to estrogen ratio. Men find that their urine flow becomes weak, often referred to as “dribbling”.
- Diabetes: Testosterone has been shown to help control blood glucose and increase insulin sensitivity in men.
Testosterone levels decreases with age
Testosterone levels change throughout your life, peaking in your 20’s. Once you reach your early 30’s, a very gradual decline sets in. Usually, it’s just one or two percent a year. By the time, you’re in your early 40’s, you have likely lost from ten to twenty percent, which is generally sustainable. The effects of decline are usually felt in the upper 40’s to mid-fifties. By the time, you reach your 70’s, you’re down to around 10% of the levels you had in your mid-20’s, and the effects are significant.
Some men take testosterone-like products from the Internet to enhance bodybuilding. However, this can be harmful in the long term. Muscle building is just one of the results of testosterone. Without proper dosing and monitoring, the negative effects can also increase.
Symptoms of low testosterone are also an indication of declining health. It’s important to consult a physician who understands how to properly dose and monitor testosterone replacement. The Anti-Aging Medical Centre in Chicago, Connecticut, and New York offers a safe, simple and scientific bioidentical hormone replacement therapy program for replacing testosterone in men.
Testing should also be done judiciously. Studies have shown blood testing to be more predictable, accurate and reliable than saliva testing, for estrogen, progesterone and testosterone alike. However, again it’s important to know how to best use these tests to obtain optimal information. An experienced and knowledgeable physician will request the right tests at the right time to assist in achieving hormonal balance.
It is important to report to your physician all pertinent medical history, for example, any history of prior androgen use, hormone therapy or surgery such as vasectomy. Any use of narcotic pain medication should also be reported, as this will affect testosterone levels.
Once hormone balance is achieved, periodic monitoring is necessary for many reasons. Although not very common, changes can take place in the body which require dose adjustments. Other medications and environmental changes can also affect hormone dynamics.
Fortunately, with high-quality hormones, adequate monitoring of clinical symptoms and labs, hormone replacement becomes a seamless, hassle-free part of your daily routine, allowing you to live a healthy functional life.
Replacing diminishing levels can result in a dramatic boost to your entire health and vitality. However, every man has his personal range of optimal testosterone levels, which need to be fine-tuned by a trained physician. The Anti-Aging Medical Group in Chicago, Connecticut, and New York offers bioidentical hormone replacement therapy for men with a safe and correct replacement of testosterone while monitoring essential parameters.