Declining Testosterone May Not Be a Normal Part of Aging
If you are a man, it is a known biological fact that as you get older, your testosterone levels will slowly and naturally decrease over time. Conventional wisdom has said that older men with declining testosterone, are merely experiencing the “normal” results of ageing.
However, while it is true that testosterone production does tend to drop off steadily beginning in your twenties, recent research seems to suggest that significantly low testosterone in older men, and its resulting problems, may be more a function of lifestyle, than a “normal” part of ageing.
The study was conducted by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, and was presented at The Endocrine Society’s 94th Annual Meeting in Houston. Speaking at the conference, co-author of the study, Gary Wittert, MD, said,
“Declining testosterone levels are not an inevitable part of the ageing process, as many people think. Testosterone changes are largely explained by smoking behavior and changes in health status, particularly obesity and depression.”
Their study looked at 1500 hundred men ranging in age from 35 to 80, testing their testosterone levels five years apart. Unlike what the researchers expected, over the five year period despite the age of the subject, testosterone declining was only, on average, about 1%. As they looked at the data of the subgroups in the study, another pattern emerged. Regardless of age, those with the most significant drop-off in testosterone levels, also shared certain habits and lifestyles.
They discovered in the intervening five years since the first test, those men who became obese, quit smoking, or complained of depression or other emotional issues, showed the biggest percentage drop in testosterone. Unmarried men in the study also showed a greater drop, than the married men in the study. Wittert says this is likely due to other studies that have indicated that married men are actually healthier and happier than their unmarried counter parts.
Signs of Low Testosterone
This study is interesting in that it shows how much we still do not understand about low testosterone, and why it occurs.
The Australian’s results echo many other studies that show a correlation between things like ageing and lower testosterone, and low testosterone and depression.
But, correlation does not imply causation. We still do not know what these relationships truly are.
Is lower testosterone a normal part of ageing? Or do men’s testosterone levels drop due to the typical behavioral changes that occur when you age?
Or does it work the other way around? Does a drop in testosterone, influence those very behaviors? Obviously, much more research needs to be done.
In the meantime, we do know that for a lot of men, the symptoms usually associated with “growing old” – fatigue, depression, mood swings, sexual issues – could be related to low testosterone.
What is considered the normal level of testosterone varies from man to man. In addition, other conditions can cause these kinds of symptoms. If you are experiencing any of these, the only way to know for sure is to see your medical professional and have your testosterone levels evaluated.
If, after proper laboratory testing, you do have low testosterone, or Low-T, you may be a candidate for testosterone optimization, using bioidentical hormone replacement therapy or BHRT.
BHRT for men has been found to improve energy, improve libido, and restore an overall better quality of life.
However, Testosterone Replacement therapy may not be for every man. There are other ways we have to help you age optimally and be your best at any age, but it all starts with an initial conversation with a certified age-management professional.
Do you think you may have Low-T? Would you like to find out?
Have you tried Hormone replacement therapy? What were your results?
Would you be interested in finding out more about how to make lifestyle changes that could maximize your testosterone levels?
Start the conversation below.