As men reach their mid 20s, just as with the other major hormones the male body produces, the body begins to slow down production of testosterone. This is why, very often, men as young as 30 experience significant symptoms as a result of testosterone depletion. Some of the symptoms associated with testosterone depletion are decreased libido (your sex drive), inability to produce or maintain steady erections, decreased muscle mass, increased levels of body fat, depression, poor concentration, mental cloudiness and suboptimal cholesterol profiles.
Ask yourself, are you suffering from any of the following?
9 out of 10 Men Ages 30+ Have Low Testosterone Symptoms
Increased Central Body Fat
Depleted ability to gain muscle
Depleted Sex Drive and/or Sexual Function
WHY DO MEN NEED TESTOSTERONE REPLACEMENT?
As men age, production of the hormone testosterone begins to decline and they experience symptoms of low testosterone. Testosterone is the hormone that is responsible for maintaining mental focus, energy, metabolism, muscle mass, fat levels, and sex drive. By balancing a man’s hormones with Bioidentical Hormone therapy, men can restore their vitality and reduce the symptoms of andropause.
WHEN SHOULD I CONSIDER BIOIDENTICAL HORMONE THERAPY?
In general, your body’s natural hormones begin to decline after your mid-20s and hormone imbalance symptoms are frequently present by your mid-30s. Men and women often start replacing hormones between the age of 35 and 40. If you are experiencing symptoms of hormone imbalance, it is best not to wait.
HOW LONG UNTIL I SEE RESULTS USING BIOIDENTICAL HORMONES?
While it varies with each person, and depends on which hormone therapy you are using, you can expect to see results within three to six months. This amount of time is needed to allow for the proper balancing of your hormones.
What is testosterone?
Testosterone is the primary sex hormone produced in men’s bodies. Testosterone stimulates the development of the penis and testes, growth of facial and pubic hair, deepening of the voice, changes in body-shape, growth of bones, and increased muscle mass and strength. It helps maintain sex drive as well. Mood is also affected by testosterone, and low levels of the hormone can cause severe and prolonged depression as well as fatigue. Testosterone is produced mostly in the testes and a small amount is produced from steroids secreted from the outer part of the adrenal glands called the adrenal cortex. Women’s ovaries also produce a small amount of testosterone.
How does the body know how much testosterone to make and release?
The testes receive chemical signals from the pituitary gland, which is located at the base of the brain. The pituitary gland receives signals from the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus secretes gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). This signals the pituitary gland to produce and secrete follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). LH signals the testes to produce testosterone. If the testes begin producing too much testosterone, the body sends signals to the pituitary telling it to make less LH. This, in turn, slows down the production of testosterone.
How does aging affect the body’s ability to make testosterone?
Not only does the amount of testosterone produced decline with age, the morning spike of testosterone seen in young men is blunted in older men. The pituitary glands of older men also may produce less luteinizing hormone (LH), which decreases testosterone production. Testosterone in aging men is more likely to bind to sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), which reduces the amount of bioavailable or freely circulating testosterone that is available to the body. However, aging also is frequently associated with increasing obesity, and obesity is associated with decreased SHBG levels. Thus, measurement of non-SHBG bound testosterone may be needed in aging, obese men.
Can low testosterone be seen in younger men, too?
Yes. Certain genetic conditions such as Klinefelter’s syndrome, Kallmann’s syndrome, and Prader-Willi syndrome can cause lowered testosterone production in boys and young men. In addition, testosterone production can be lowered by bilateral cryptochid testes injury, inflammation, and tumors. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy also may damage testosterone-producing cells. Finally, many patients who are HIV+ have low testosterone levels.
Can a low testosterone level cause other problems?
Studies have shown that men with low testosterone can become frail, lose muscle mass and suffer bone fractures due to osteoporosis. Some data have suggested that testosterone therapy can lead to increases in muscle mass and strength. Researchers also have shown that men who are testosterone-deficient may be more likely to experience depression and reduced quality-of-life than men who produce adequate amounts of the hormone.
POSTED February 6, 2014 in response to recent articles printed and inquires (FAQs) received:
Recent articles have been published entitled, Low-T therapy Increases Heart Attack and Stroke Risk in Men and Popular Testosterone Therapy May Raise Risk of Heart Attack. The reports cite that in some cases Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) is commenced without first checking the patient’s blood for their T levels.
The FDA states that blood serum testosterone levels of less than 300ng/dl are categorized as hypogonadal or “Low-T”. Other organizations use slightly higher blood levels as indicative of Low T. The men in this study achieved mean testosterone levels to only 332ng/dl. That low level is considered at risk for increased heart attack.
Abraham Morgentaler, MD, Associate Professor of Urology at Harvard Medical School responded to these claims and points out that, “There’s a rich literature history spanning more than 20 years that shows low testosterone itself is a risk factor for cardiovascular events.”
In addition, there is no mention in these studies on the effect of estradiol on cardiac function. Testosterone will naturally convert (or aromatase) into estradiol and those with low testosterone are likely to have low estradiol. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) measured blood estradiol in 501 men with chronic heart failure. Compared to men in the balanced estrogen quintile, men in the lowest estradiol quintile were 317% more likely to die during a 3-year follow-up, while men in the highest estradiol quintile were 133% more likely to die. Obviously, estradiol is an important consideration and while this study tested men with known chronic heart failure, we know that low testosterone itself is a risk factor for cardiovascular events according to Dr. Morgantaler.
The important points are that Low T should be confirmed with blood tests and estradiol monitored during treatment in addition to T levels and CBC. Bella Vita routinely conducts these tests on our male patients.