Testosterone decline can begin as early as 30 years of age. A study in 2006 found that testosterone levels are getting lower every year in the average population. 24/7 stress and persistent organic toxins do play a role in this decline. A seventy five year old man has a 50% decrease in the levels of bioavailable testosterone when compared to a thirty year old.
Testosterone is an essential hormone in men and women. The testosterone (androgen) receptor is found in most tissues. Bioidentical testosterone replacement has dramatic benefits on health, mood, well-being and sexuality. Andropause is defined as a stage in life in which there is inadequate testosterone production for optimal health and well being. Andropause can be a gradual process and varies from one man to the next, but just like female menopause, can have severe long term health consequences. The SHORES study in 2006 showed that men with low testosterone died 88% sooner than men with high testosterone. Another study in the journal CIRCULATION showed that high levels of testosterone correlated with lower mortality for cardiovascular disease, cancer and all-cause. In fact, there was a 40% decrease in mortality in men with Testosterone levels of 564 as compared to 350! And as the authors pointed out, despite these statistics, fear of prostate cancer has kept men from getting testosterone replacement therapy.
Does testosterone replacement therapy increase the risk of developing or exacerbating prostate cancer? Current research (Morgantaler) concludes that “there is not now-nor has there ever been a scientific basis for the belief that testosterone causes prostate cancer to grow”. Recent studies linking testosterone replacement therapy to increased cardiovascular mortality were statistically erroneous and have been withdrawn by the authors involved.
Testosterone deficiency has many deleterious metabolic effects. There is increased cardiovascular system dysfunction which can lead to heart attack and stroke. There is a strong association between testosterone deficiency and type 2 diabetes in men. Decreased testosterone is also associated with dyslipidemia, osteoporosis, arthritis and depression.
Women as well as men require optimal testosterone. Women have about 10% of the male circulating testosterone levels. Optimal testosterone is needed for a sense of well being, strength, nipple and clitoral sensitivity, body composition and bone density.
Symptoms of testosterone deficiency in males include fatigue, depression, irritability (grumpy old man syndrome), reduced libido and erectile dysfunction, decreased sexual desire, decreased morning erections, loss of drive and competitive edge, stiffness and pain in muscles and joints and decreased effectiveness of exercise workouts.
Female testosterone deficiency is manifested by impaired sexual function, loss of libido, fatigue, loss of well being, decreased muscle mass and strength, lower bone density, depression, anxiety, lack of self confidence, an “imbalanced” feeling, memory loss and abdominal fat and weight gain.
Bioidentical testosterone replacement therapy addresses and improves all of these issues and is protective against all cause mortality. Replacement therapy should be considered if many of these symptoms keep you from being your best and enjoying your life. As always, please consult a physician who truly understands the hormonal balance in the body and the consequences of disrupting this balance. Thanks for reading…