Is Low Testosterone Killing You?
According to ABC News, low testosterone (Low-T) can be doing more than just sapping your strength and vitality – it could actually be killing you!
ABC was reporting on a recent study presented at an annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in Toronto that found men with Low-T had a greater risk of dying.
According to ABC, the study found that “men with low testosterone had a 33 percent greater death risk over their next 18 years of life compared with men who had higher testosterone.” The study was done by the University of California at San Diego.
The study looked at about 800 men, aged 50 to 91. Baseline testosterone levels were taken for all participants at the beginning of the study. The overall health of the men was then tracked over the next 20 years.
Since testosterone levels do vary from individual to individual, it is hard to define exactly what qualifies as “low testosterone.” However for the purposes of this study, the researchers identified testosterone levels of 250 nanograms per deciliter, or less, as “low.”
The men in the study with levels of 250 or less, not only had the greater risk of death, but also the “typical” signs of low testosterone such as fatigue, belly-fat, and sexual wellness issues.
The Role of Testosterone
As you probably know, testosterone is the primary “male” hormone. It is produced in the testes, and is mainly responsible for all of the traits we typically associate with “maleness.” Male fetuses start producing testosterone in the womb as early as 6 weeks post conception. Testosterone levels start to rise significantly as a boy reaches puberty.
Testosterone then peeks during your teenage years, and then level off in your 20’s.
At around 30, testosterone level starts a steady decline. Once you are over 40 you can expect your testosterone level to drop by about 1- 2% per year.
In addition to male traits such as stronger muscles and bones, body hair, deeper voice, etc., testosterone plays a major role in reproductive health, sexual performance, emotional stability, and mental sharpness.
Signs of Low Testosterone
Besides the shortened lifespans as indicated by the University of California study, men with low testosterone typically experience a general reduced sense of “feeling well.” They tend to report being anxious, or depressed, or going around in a kind of mental “fog.” Other signs of low, or sub-optimal testosterone levels include:
- Losing lean muscle and extreme difficulty in gaining it back
- Unusual weight gain, particularly increases in belly fat
- Weakness and fatigue, lack of energy
- Depression, anxiety, irritability and other kinds of “moodiness.”
- Sexual performance issues
Testosterone Therapy for Low Testosterone
The good news is you can reverse the problems associated with Low T via hormone therapy.
If you are between the ages of 35-55 and experiencing any of the above symptoms, it is not too late to add more years to your life, and life to your years, through a program of doctor prescribed testosterone therapy.
The most accurate way to assess your current testosterone level is with a series of sophisticated lab tests. Also, you medical history and lifestyle will be taken into account. Remember, as the California researchers pointed out “normal” testosterone levels can vary from individual to individual.
If your testosterone levels are found to be lower than they should be for you and your individual lifestyle, you may, benefit from testosterone therapy.
But the only way to know for sure, is to see a qualified physician specializing in testosterone optimization. Testosterone therapy is only available through a doctor’s prescription, and only after you have been screened and properly diagnosed with low T.
Have you or anyone you know tried HRT? What were the results?
Start the conversation below.