It’s natural for men’s hormone levels to drop as they get older, but that doesn’t make it any less unpleasant. In addition to the aging process, conditions such as hypogonadism can cause low levels of testosterone which can negatively impact male health.
Testosterone is required for reproductive functions, but it also is needed to build muscle, maintain healthy red blood cell levels, and maintain bone density. Hormone replacement therapy for men has advanced over the years to provide multiple methods of relief to men with low or decreasing testosterone levels.
Many changes are associated with the age related decline in the hormone testosterone. This is referred to as andropause, or “male menopause.” Andropause is a very common and treatable condition but it often goes under diagnosed and under treated.
Some men may go through a rather sudden change in testosterone levels that might correlate with the hormonal changes that women experience at menopause. However, most men have a slower more subtle hormone decline experiencing symptoms over a period of time.
When hormones are replaced or restored back to levels considered normal for younger males, men may experience a dramatic reversal of many of these changes.
On average, a man’s testosterone level begins to decline at a rate of 1% per year after age 30.
It is estimated that 20% of men aged 60-80 years have levels of testosterone below the lower limit of normal.
The diagnosis of low testosterone, also known as “low T” is based on signs and symptoms but must be confirmed by a blood test.
Following testosterone replacement therapy, proper monitoring of lab values are critical to achieve optimal testosterone replacement.
loss of testosterone is one of the major causes of osteoporosis in elderly men. Several studies have reported the beneficial effects of testosterone therapy on bone in older men, showing an increase in bone mineral density and slowing of bone degeneration.
studies have demonstrated that testosterone minimizes several important risk factors for a heart attack, including:
its the most common symptom when bioavailable levels of testosterone are low, perhaps because an associated decrease in sexual function results in depression, irritability, and mood swings. In a study that examined the association between levels of sex hormones and depressed moods in 856 men ages 50-89, bioavailable testosterone levels were 17% lower in depressed men. The results suggest that testosterone treatment may elevate depressed moods in older men who have lower levels of bioavailable testosterone.
low testosterone is associated with an increase in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome.
A healthier lifestyle aids in higher hormone levels, and higher hormone levels induce a more active, healthier lifestyle. When hormone levels decline, we become less active and can gain weight. As weight is gained, hormones are stored in fat and become unavailable to be used by the body. Lack of exercise, excessive alcohol use, smoking, and a poor diet can all have effects on reducing hormone levels.
For the best results, hormone restoration does not only include testosterone supplementation, but a lifestyle change that combines exercise, proper diet, and the proper use of vitamins and natural supplements. If you think you are experiencing signs and symptoms of “Low T” or need recommendations on changing your lifestyle, our Pharmacists are here to help you with questions that you may have.
Men who supplement with testosterone can experience health risks. It is very important to discuss the risks versus benefits of testosterone therapy with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any testosterone or hormone supplementation therapy. One of the most common risks associated with testosterone therapy is the possible risk of heart attack and stroke.
You’re unique, so your medication should be as well. Compounding allows patients to make adjustments to prescriptions in a way that can make prescribed treatments work better for them.
Apothicare has experienced, fully-trained pharmacists and technicians that work with you and your doctor to make sure your prescriptions are as effective as possible.