Testosterone is a key hormone for both men and women. In men, this hormone and anabolic steroid is produced in the testes, and men produce at least 40 percent more testosterone than women. It is important to men because it helps them maintain bone density, muscle strength, muscle mass, sperm production, and red blood cell production. In addition, it gives men their healthy sex drive.
Production of testosterone peaks in men around forty, and men between the ages of 50 to 70 can show a drop in their testosterone levels by as much as forty percent. Men over 70 years old have testosterone levels that sometimes drop as much as sixty-eight percent. Certain factors other than age can also cause lower testosterone levels. These factors include obesity, smoking, and drinking more than 28 alcoholic drinks per week. When testosterone levels become very low, deficiencies show up in men in following ways:
- Increased fat mass
- Memory loss
- Moodiness or sadness
- Reduced bone density
- Reduced libido
- Reduced muscle strength and mass
Reduced testosterone levels can cause problems for some men and put them at risk for heart attacks, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and depression. However, the normal range for testosterone production is quite large, which means many older men, even if their testosterone levels have decreased significantly, may still be within the normal testosterone level range.
For men whose levels are below the normal range, they may wonder whether testosterone therapy is the answer for them. Unfortunately, according to the National Institute of Aging (NIA), “while prescription testosterone replacement therapy is available, it may not be advisable for most older men because many effects of hormone therapy remain unclear. It is not yet known, for instance, if testosterone replacement increases the risk of prostate cancer.”
Although there is controversy about older men with naturally low testosterone levels using testosterone therapy, your doctor may recommend testosterone therapy for reversing deficiencies related to mood, energy levels, or libido. If you notice any of the problems mentioned above, talk to your doctor. Even if he doesn’t advise testosterone therapy, he may propose a different solution as there are daily advances in the field of medicine.
To learn more about testosterone therapy, visit the Digital Urology Journal . It contains an article written by Dr. Wayne J.G. Hellstrom of Tulane University’s Medical Center in New Orleans titled Testosterone Replacement Therapy or purchase Testosterone Replacement Therapy: Is it Right For you? or Testosterone and Aging: Clinical Research Directions.