During the past century, life expectancy for men has grown by 65%. In 1900, men only lived to be approximately 46 years old. By the year 2014, the age increased to 76. Some of this increased lifespan is due to eating a healthy diet, regular exercise, and proper amounts of sleep. While this is true, many men are also turning to another aging solution – testosterone treatment.
There are more than a few options for dealing with low testosterone. Keep reading to learn what these options are.
A Closer Look at Testosterone
Testosterone is a hormone. It is responsible for the development and growth of male external genitalia, along with certain secondary sexual characteristics. Testosterone is produced in a man’s testicles and has a role in many bodily functions. This includes red blood cells, muscle bulk, reproductive and sexual function, and bone density. Testosterone can also contribute to cases of well-being and vitality.
As a man ages, their testosterone levels will decrease naturally. This natural reduction begins around the age of 30 and continues for the rest of the man’s life.
For some men, they will have a testosterone deficiency, which is called hypogonadism. In this condition, the body is unable to produce enough testosterone. This can result from issues in the pituitary gland, hypothalamus, and testicles.
Certain men are at risk for this condition. It includes those who have suffered an injury to their testicles or if they have HIV or AIDS. If someone has undergone radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or who have an undescended theistical as a baby are also considered at risk for this condition.
Some of the most common symptoms related to this condition include reduced sex drive, erectile dysfunction, issues concentrating, reduction in muscle mass, fatigue, infertility, the development of breast tissue, loss of bone mass, a reduction in hair growth.
Treatment Options for Hypogonadism
A doctor can determine if someone is dealing with hypogonadism through a blood test or physical exam. If a doctor finds out that a patient is dealing with low testosterone, they may conduct additional tests to figure out what the underlying cause is.
In many cases, treatment for this condition includes testosterone replacement therapy or TRT. This can be in the form of gels, patches, or injections. With TRT, a person receives benefits such as restored sexual function, increased muscle mass, and a boost in overall energy levels. However, most doctors and experts recommend using caution. There is currently not enough information out there to figure out if regular testosterone supplementation is fully safe for everyone.
Health Men and TRT
As men age, many of them will experience changes in their bodies. Some of these changes are similar to the symptoms of hypogonadism. However, their symptoms may not be directly related to an injury or disease. There are many symptoms that are thought to be a completely normal part of the aging process. These things include an increase in body fat, a change in sexual function and sleep patterns, reduced self-confidence and motivation, and reduced muscle. There are some reports from Mayo Clinic that TRT will help men who suffer from hypogonadism. However, the results are not as clear for men who have normal and sufficient testosterone levels or older men who are dealing with naturally decreasing testosterone levels. Additional studies are needed according to information from the experts.
Risks Related to Testosterone Therapy
Studies are still mixed regarding if TRT is beneficial for a normal man as they get older. There is some research that has shown serious risks with this therapy -; especially when taking for long amounts of time. This has led to many doctors being more cautious when it comes to recommending this treatment option.
According to a larger study conducted in 2010, which was focused on TRT’s safety, the report showed that the TRT safety analysis is low quality and does not properly address the long-term effects it may have. Sometimes, TRT can lead to other conditions, such as sleep apnea, increase the risk of heart disease, cause skin reactions, enlarge breasts, result in testicles shrinking, and reduce sperm production.
There may be risks involved with low testosterone levels, too. These include hip fracture, heart attack, and stroke. In the past, there were some concerns that TRT increases the risk of developing prostate cancer. However, new data does not support this link. If someone is dealing with male hypogonadism or cases of low testosterone, they should talk with their doctor regarding whether TRT is a smart treatment option. They should also cover the risks and the benefits of TRT.
Alternative Treatment Options
If someone does not have hypogonadism, but they want to feel more youthful and energetic, there are some treatment options. One is to reach and maintain a healthy weight. Men who are overweight are much more likely to suffer from low testosterone levels. If the individual loses weight, it can result in testosterone returning to normal.
Another treatment is to exercise regularly. Men who are sedentary often have reduced testosterone levels because the body does not require as much. When someone lifts weights, they can stimulate the production of testosterone. The key is to move a person’s body regularly and to use their muscles as much as possible.
It is necessary to get plenty of sleep as well, which is seven to eight hours. If someone does not get enough sleep on a regular basis, it can impact the hormones in their body. A vitamin D supplement may also be beneficial. Sometimes, supplementing with around 3,300 IUs of vitamin D each day can increase a man’s levels of testosterone.
See a Doctor for More Information
If someone needs more information about effective treatments, they should schedule an appointment with their doctor. Doing so will pay off and help ensure the individual gets the treatment option that best suits their needs and the symptoms they have. In the long run, this is going to help ensure the desired results are achieved for the individual in question.