Considering testosterone therapy to help you feel younger and more vigorous as you age? Know the risks before you make your decision. The promise of testosterone therapy may seem enticing, but there are a lot of misconceptions about what the treatment can and can’t do for you. As you get older, testosterone therapy may sound like the ultimate anti-aging formula.
Yet the health benefits of testosterone therapy for age-related decline in testosterone aren’t as clear as they may seem. Find out what’s known — and not known — about testosterone therapy for normal aging.
Testosterone is a hormone produced primarily in the testicles. Testosterone helps maintain men’s: Testosterone levels generally peak during adolescence and early adulthood. It is important to determine in older men if a low testosterone level is simply due to the decline of normal aging or if it is due to a disease hypogonadism.
Hypogonadism is a disease in which the body is unable to produce normal amounts of testosterone due to a problem with the testicles or with the pituitary gland that controls the testicles. Testosterone replacement therapy can improve the signs and symptoms of low testosterone in these men. Doctors may prescribe testosterone as injections, pellets, patches or gels.
Men can experience many signs and symptoms as they age. Some may occur as a result of lower testosterone levels and can include: Some of these signs and symptoms can be caused by various underlying factors, including medication side effects, obstructive sleep apnea, thyroid problems, diabetes and depression.
It’s also possible that these conditions may be the cause of low testosterone levels, and treatment of these problems may cause testosterone levels to rise. A blood test is the only way to diagnose a low testosterone level.
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Symptoms of Low Testosterone: Insomnia
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9 Warning Signs of Low Testosterone
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The influence of testosterone in men References. Bhasin S, et al. Testosterone therapy in men with androgen deficiency syndromes: An Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Testosterone replacement therapy faces FDA scrutiny. Journal of the American Medical Association.
Longo DL, et al. Disorders of the testes and male reproductive system In: Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine. Overview of testosterone deficiency in older men. AUA position statement on testosterone therapy. Association of testosterone therapy with mortality, myocardial infarction, and stroke in men with low testosterone levels. FDA adding general warning to testosterone products about potential for venous blood clots. Food and Drug Administration. Nippoldt T expert opinion.
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