Testosterone is a hormone normally associated with men but is also found in women. Testosterone is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands, testes and ovaries. It contributes to muscle mass, strength, and endurance, decreased fat, increased exercise tolerance, enhancement of well-being and psychological status. Testosterone protects against cardiovascular disease, hypertension, body fat, and arthritis. It leads to improved lean muscle mass, increased bone density, decrease in cholesterol, improved skin tone, improved healing capacity, and increased libido and sexual performance. Testosterone is the best hormone to increase collagen and elastin in the skin. It prolongs the quality of life by decreasing the diseases of aging, as does estrogen in the female. Testosterone is also present and extremely important in the female as well as the male, making supplementation absolutely recommended for both men and women. Testosterone is the second most important hormone for energy and well being.
Menopause in females is a widely discussed, well-studied phenomenon, yet its equivalent in males – andropause – is virtually ignored.
They are very similar experiences. Both typically occur from age 40 on and are caused by a reduction in hormone levels. Both can be accompanied by fatigue, depression, irritability, aches and pains, reduced sexual interest, enjoyment and/or performance, general signs of aging and increased risk of chronic degenerative disease.
While women are very savvy about hormone replacement, men are left to suffer silently, even though the obvious therapy, testosterone replacement, has been available for over 50 years.
Typically when hormones in men are discussed it is usually in reference to the abuse among athletes, which has given rise to the perception that all testosterone is dangerous. Add to that the unfounded fear that testosterone causes prostate cancer and the misunderstanding escalates.
Testosterone replacement in men, done with bioidentical testosterone in physiologic doses, is not only safe, but also protective. This is well supported in the medical literature. Testosterone has been shown to increase muscle strength and lean body mass, improve sexual response, prevent osteoporosis, protect against cardiovascular disease, increase energy, fight impotence, and improve mood and sense of well-being. A recent published study showed that men with higher testosterone levels live longer.
Multiple medical studies have proven that testosterone does not cause prostate cancer. Interestingly, men typically get prostate cancer when they are older and testosterone levels are naturally at their lowest. In fact, low levels of testosterone are associated with more aggressive tumors. No study has shown that supplementing with testosterone increases your chances of getting prostate cancer. If one does develop prostate cancer, testosterone supplementation might accelerate the growth levels of the tumor. Therefore, there is a need to monitor the PSA on a regular basis when supplementing with testosterone.
Men who receive testosterone replacement typically report they feel sexier, stronger, and healthier. They state that it makes them feel as they did when they were in their prime. After all, this is what replenishment of hormones is all about. It is about restoring hormones to youthful levels so you can feel as you did when you were at the peak of your physical and mental ability. Testosterone can slow down the physical decline that robs men of their energy, strength, and libido. Testosterone can restore muscle tone and improve stamina. Testosterone can improve mood and overall sense of well-being. Why would men not want this healthy hormone?