Testosterone replacement therapy remains a hotly debated topic in the medical world. As an Ageology physician, I, along with the rest of the Ageology network, strongly believe that testosterone replacement therapy lengthens both a man’s lifespan (how long he lives) and healthspan (the period within lifespan where an he is healthy and thriving, not just surviving) when prescribed to treat a lack of this hormone.Here are some additional benefits:
• Testosterone (T) combats several cardiovascular risk factors, including cholesterol, blood vessel constriction, and inflammation—all of which are key factors in the buildup of plaques that lead to heart attacks.
• T administration relaxes blood vessels and helps bring more oxygenated blood to the heart.
• A study of transdermal (through the skin) testosterone replacement created improvements in insulin resistance and reduced total and “bad” LDL cholesterol
• Increases muscle mass
• Sharpens memory and concentration
• Boosts sex drive
• Improves energy levels.
While the benefits are enticing, many men are still unsure or unaware of how testosterone replacement therapy can help them feel better and age well. It’s up to Ageology to spread the news and provide accurate and up-to-date information on this medical treatment.
Now, I’d like to go back to the Korean eunuchs I discussed in my previous post. My guess is that when a man has his testicles removed in boyhood, before reaching puberty (as was the habit back then), the impact on his health over his lifespan is dramatically different than the impact of dwindling levels in an adult man. If you have testicles, that research doesn’t really apply to you.
You may be sold on the value of T replacement, but worry about what you’ve heard regarding the potential impact of this hormone on prostate cancer risk. According to the authors of a recent review on T, as well as many other experts who’ve looked hard at the overall research, “there is no compelling evidence that T replacement to levels within the normal healthy range contributes adversely to the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease or prostate cancer.”
Men with prostate cancer are not good candidates for T replacement, but if you do not have the disease, and you have symptoms like erectile dysfunction, lack of libido, weight gain, loss of muscle mass, low energy, and a fading vitality, contact an integrative metabolic medicine (IMM) physician today to get your levels tested.
The range considered “normal” for testosterone is enormous. If you go to your doctor and get a reading of 300 ng/dL (nanograms per deciliter), you’ll be told you’re within normal range. The same thing could happen if your levels test out at 1100. A man’s testosterone levels can be as high as 1100 to as low as 300 and still be in the normal range. A skilled IMM physician considers a complex combination of factors, especially symptoms suggestive of testosterone deficiency, when deciding whether to try a course of testosterone replacement.
Chances are good that a man with symptoms suggestive of T deficiency is actually in the scope of deficiency. At Ageology, we believe anything below 320 ng/dL merits a consideration of testosterone replacement therapy.
• Kelly DM, Jones T H, Testosterone: a vascular hormone in health and disease, Journal of Endocrinology, June 1, 2013:R47-R71.
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