Testosterone 2017-08-21T19:15:44+00:00

Men’s Testosterone 

Lost your sex drive?

TESTOSTERONE

Testosterone is a sex hormone found in humans and vertebrates. This naturally occurring androgen (male hormone) is produced by the testes in men and the ovaries in women. Men have around 10 times the amount of testosterone that women have. Testosterone is the most potent circulating hormone of the naturally occurring androgens. In men it is vitally important for overall health and wellness. Unfortunately, testosterone begins to decrease after age 40 and andropause begins bringing with it all the effects of aging. Within the last few decades, more and more studies have dramatically demonstrated that low levels of testosterone in men are detrimental to their health. Testosterone is so much more than a “sex” hormone. It also provides non-sexual health benefits that are important for men to know about.

Testosterone enhances well-being and psychological stability. It is a memory enhancer. Testosterone helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. It prevents depression. Testosterone receptors in the brain need testosterone for mental clarity, cognitive performance, short-term memory and mood stabilization.

Testosterone levels have a direct correlation to heart and vascular health. Evidence suggests that low levels of testosterone are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, including the risk of heart attacks and strokes, in men. Statin drugs, with their potentially harmful side effects, are not healthy solutions for lowering cholesterol.

The more testosterone that is in the body, the less fat that will be in that body. Testosterone reduces visceral fat. Healthy levels of testosterone help to prevent intra-abdominal obesity and improve insulin concentrations in older men. It also reduces insulin resistance and improves glycemic control in men who have type-2 diabetes.

Lean muscle mass and strength are increased with testosterone. Testosterone also increases endurance and exercise ability, improves body composition by increasing lean muscle mass and improves stamina when participating in athletic activities such as running, biking, swimming, golfing and cross training.

Testosterone increases bone mineral density. As the body grows older our testosterone levels begin to lower. When this happens, muscle mass begins to be replaced with adipose tissue (fat) and the beginning of osteoporosis and osteopenia occur. Studies have shown that more than 40% of men over the age of 65, will die within 12 months after suffering a hip fracture. If and when a man falls in his 60’s-90’s, having optimal bone density is the difference between a bruised hip and a fractured hip.

Testosterone is the primary male hormone responsible for erections, sexual desire, sensitivity, orgasm, performance and satisfaction. Studies have shown that the more satisfying the sexual relationship a married couple enjoys, the more likely they are to live longer and happier lives. Up until recently, a decrease in sexual activity as we aged was considered normal. That is no longer the case.

Recent studies have shown that testosterone is not the cause of prostate cancer, as was once believed to be the case, nor does it cause an increased risk of prostate cancer. Moreover, prostate cancer is almost never seen in the peak testosterone years of the early 20’s. Instead, an increased risk of prostate cancer has been shown in aging men with low testosterone. The prostate needs testosterone to function properly.

Because testosterone levels drop gradually as men age, most men notice subtle changes over time but have a difficult time trying to pinpoint why they don’t “feel” like they used to. These symptoms can stem from having low testosterone levels.

Acne can occur if one has a susceptibility. This is dose-dependent and will subside when the dose of testosterone is lowered. Male breast enlargement has occurred in rare cases. This will regress with dose reduction as well. There is a slight increase in red blood cell count with testosterone replacement; however, this is benign. The medical term for this is erythrocytosis. Some physicians have confused this with a blood disorder called Polycythemia Vera. They are not the same.

Most laboratories give normal reference ranges for testosterone between 300ng/dl to 1000ng/dl. These levels take into account all males between 10-90 years of age. According to Members of the American Endocrine Society and The Second Andropause Consensus Panel, testosterone levels less than 250ng/dl are considered very low, 400ng/dl is considered low and 500ng/dl is considered borderline low. The level for most males at their peak fitness is 700ng/dl -800ng/dl/.

There are two types of testosterone used to restore testosterone levels. They are bio-identical testosterone and synthetic testosterone. Bio-identical testosterone has the same chemical structure and molecularity as testosterone that the body produces. It is metabolized by normal metabolic pathways of the body. Bio-identical testosterone is safe and does not produce harmful metabolites. Synthetic testosterone should not be confused with bio-identical testosterone. They are produced so that they can be patented. Synthetics are more likely to have side effects not seen with bio-identical testosterone, including liver and kidney disease, an increase in blood pressure, aggression and insomnia.

There are a variety of methods of testosterone replacement: injections, patches, creams, gels, sublingual troches, oral tablets and subcutaneous pellets. Injections are painful and have a roller-coaster effect. Patches are not user-friendly. Oral administration is harmful to the liver. Creams and gels have to be applied 1-2 times a day. Pellets are surgically inserted under the skin. None of these methods are as convenient as when the body produces its own testosterone, but not replacing testosterone to optimal levels is detrimental to one’s health. The two methods we prefer are transdermal creams and subcutaneous pellets. The transdermal cream is applied two times per day and the body receives a steady amount of testosterone as well, but the cream must be applied twice a day, every day. Once implanted, pellets deliver a steady dose of testosterone. Within 4-6 months the pellets have been depleted and more must be implanted.

Medical literature worldwide demonstrates the beneficial effects of maintaining optimal testosterone levels. We believe that within the next 10 years testosterone levels will be monitored and addressed like lipid levels and glucose levels are today. Having low levels of testosterone is a precursor to disease and increased mortality. It is our belief that testosterone is a vitally important hormone for men’s health. We feel it is important that men in their 40’s to 90’s should be aware of their testosterone levels. If their testosterone levels are low we recommend testosterone replacement therapy utilizing either bio-identical testosterone transdermal cream or subcutaneous pellets.

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