Why men should be concerned about low testosterone.
Testosterone is the major sex hormone in men and plays a critical role in a number of bodily functions, including muscle size, strength, bone growth, sex drive, positive mood, and red blood cell production. Often times people make the assumption that the only functions of testosterone are bigger muscles, hair production, and a healthy sex drive. However, testosterone is also responsible for healthy cardiovascular function, bone density, and longevity. Quality of life for men is dependent on healthy testosterone levels.
Men can experience decreased testosterone due to physical conditions, diseases, and environmental toxins. We are living in a time when it’s not just the aging male who experiences decreased testosterone. The Massachusetts Male Aging Study studied hormone levels of several large cohorts of men ranging in ages 40-65 and how hormone levels change over time. The study found what was to be expected, that as men age there is a decline in testosterone. What was surprising is that 55 year-old men in 2004 had 17 percent less testosterone than a 55 year-old man in 1987. The study also found that free testosterone, which is what is biologically available and therefore more impactful, had dropped more than 45 percent.
Lifestyle choices such as poor diets, lack of exercise, obesity, and smoking can reduce testosterone. There are also environmental toxins that are contributing to declining testosterone levels at an earlier age in men. Research has shown that chemicals such as those found in plastics, known as Endocrine disruptors, are playing a role in low testosterone levels. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that affects the body’s hormonal system and function. Endocrine disruptors are found everywhere in our environment including food containers, agriculture, personal care products, and in our drinking water. Symptoms of low testosterone include:
- Diminished erectile quality, particularly at night
- Decreased libido
- Mood changes
- Reduced cognitive function
- Fatigue, depression, and anger
- A decrease in muscle mass and strength
- Decreased body hair
- Skin changes
- Decreased bone mass and bone mineral density
- Increase in abdominal fat mass
The reality of low testosterone does not just affect muscle size, it affects ones interpersonal and psychological well-being. Many of our patients at Natural Bio Health have seen their primary care doctor describing the list of symptoms above and are offered antidepressants and other medications to treat only the symptoms, but the root cause is left untreated. Unfortunately, the lack of knowledge on how to adequately treat low testosterone contributes to this form medicine, not bad intentions. Practitioners are also afraid to prescribe testosterone due to the belief that it causes prostate cancer, heart attacks, and strokes in men. However, research has shown that men being treated with testosterone therapy are at a lower risk of prostate cancer. Research has also shown that men taking testosterone reduced their risk of heart attack and stroke.
Replacing testosterone in men is critical for optimal health. Identifying the causes which contribute to the lower levels of testosterone is also important. At Natural Bio Health, treatment for low testosterone is offered while we also encourage healthy lifestyles, including diet changes, exercise, and correcting underlying disease states.
For men, bioidentical hormone therapy (BHRT) is a drug-free method of restoring vital male attributes while helping to reduce conditions such as low libido, diabetes, prostate cancer, heart disease, depression, disease, and memory loss. Bioidentical hormone therapy (BHRT) can help lower cholesterol, reverse type 2 diabetes, and reduce blood pressure while addressing loss of virility and vitality.
If you or someone you know may be suffering from low testosterone symptoms, we invite you and encourage you to complete a hormone wellness evaluation at Natural Bio Health with our hormone wellness team.
To schedule your complimentary consultation, contact us here. We serve patients in Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Round Rock, and College Station.
Author: Ashley Johnson, FNP – Natural Bio Health Wellness Team
Reference cite sources:
Haider, A & Haider, K., 2018. Journal of Clinical Oncology, Incidence and severity of prostate cancer (PCa) in 792 hypogonadal men with and without long-term testosterone therapy (TTh): Results from a controlled registry)
Sharma, R., Oni, O., Gupta,K., Chen, G., Sharma, M., Dawn, B., Sharma, R., Parashara, D., Savin, V., Ambrose,J. , Rajat S. B, Normalization of testosterone level is associated with reduced incidence of myocardial infarction and mortality in men, European Heart Journal, Volume 36, Issue 40, 21 October 2015, Pages 2706–2715, https://doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehv346