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SYMPTOMS

  • Lack of Energy
  • Low Sex Drive
  • Difficulties in getting erections or erections that aren’t as strong as usual
  • Loss of Strength and Muscle Mass
  • Irritability / Mood Swings
  • Depression
  • Hot Flashes
  • Increased Body Fat

LONG TERM RESULTS

  • Osteoporosis (soft and brittle bones; yes guys, just like women)
  • Plaque in the arteries (rupture of these plaques leads to heart attacks)
  • Abnormal Cholesterol (increase in “bad” cholesterol [LDL and VLDL]) and abnormal triglycerides
  • Heart Attacks
  • Strokes
  • Dementia
  • Type II Diabetes (because of increase in fat around your organs [visceral fat] leading to insulin resistance

Everyone needs testosterone (not just men, but women too!). Testosterone is actually a pro-hormone (i.e. testosterone, itself, is not active in the body). In men, testosterone is converted into two vitally important active hormones:

  • Dihydro-testosterone (DHT)
  • 17-Beta Estradiol
    • (yes guys, you make estrogen and it is essential for your health!)

Every tissue in your body responds to active testosterone (dihydro-testosterone) and estradiol. Some of the benefits are:

  • Strong and healthy bones
    • Dihydrotestosterone builds bone
    • Estradiol “remodels” bone to keep it strong
  • Optimized cardiac output (i.e. strong pump) – this is the effect of Estradiol
  • Optimized vascular tone (i.e. opens up or dilates arteries so that the heart works less hard to achieve good blood pressure and deliver oxygen to the tissues) – this is the effect of Estradiol
  • Building and maintaining lean muscle – dihydrotestosterone
  • Dissolving and preventing plaque in your arteries – Estradiol
  • Reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia – both
  • More stable mood – both
  • Healthier skin and nails – both
  • Libido (sexual energy) – dihydrotestosterone

There are, of course, many more benefits, but I think I’ve made the point.

TESTOSTERONE MYTHS

  • Causes blood clots and your risk for stroke
  • Acceleration of prostate cancer growth
  • Makes you sterile

The “gold standard” in medicine are randomized controlled clinical trials (RCT’s). There are NO RCT’s that show testosterone causes blood clots or increases your risk for stroke; this is because men make estrogen in proportion to their testosterone – it is estrogen that is protective for heart, vessels and brain. It is true that testosterone increases your red blood cell counts (so what, living at altitude and vigorous exercise do the same thing!).

Your prostate is like a sponge; at low levels of testosterone your prostate is “saturated” – just like a sponge it can absorb no more, no matter how much there is. So, it is a myth that testosterone causes increase in prostate size or leads to prostate cancer.

While supplementing testosterone causes a reduction in the stimulus of the brain to tell your testes to produce sperm, there are NO randomized controlled clinical trials showing that testosterone causes sterility! However, if you want to produce sperm that are at maximum fertile strength, you should discontinue supplementation with testosterone for at least three months (there are other medications that can act on the testes to increase sperm production).

So, look at yourself. Do you have any of the symptoms listed above. If so, you should be evaluated for low testosterone.

Last, aging (the way we look at it in the United States) is NOT normal. While you are programmed to eventually die, YOU have the choice as to how you will age – vigorous or frail! Testosterone and hormone optimization is one vital tool into determining which of the two you will be.

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