Male testosterone levels peak at approximately the age of 17. The levels remain sustained until a man reaches his 30s or 40s. At that time, testosterone levels begin declining. Additionally, only half of the chemical compound in the blood is available. The other half binds with globulin. As a man gets older, the globulin binding process increases, which further depletes the available amount of free testosterone. Under normal conditions, unbound testosterone levels vary from between 270 to 1,070 ng/dl.
Low Testosterone Levels
When testosterone levels fall, men may experience anxiety, depression, generalized fatigue and decreased muscle mass along with a disruption of sleep patterns. Interest in intimacy often wanes or erectile dysfunction may occur. Abnormally low testosterone levels have also been associated with an increasing risk of developing cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Though traditionally equated with sexual function, the hormone also plays a role in dilating various blood vessels, which include the coronary arteries.
The array of symptoms may influence men to make an appointment with their health care provider. Following an examination, blood testosterone levels are commonly evaluated. If levels are deemed too low, men may benefit from male hormone replacement therapy or testosterone supplementation via topical gel applications.
Physicians generally recommend that men apply the gel after a shower to ensure that the skin is free of oils that might interfere with absorption. Men apply the prescription once daily to the abdomen, shoulders or upper arms. While undergoing male hormone replacement therapy, patients must be monitored for effectiveness and possible adverse effects.
Possible Supplementation Risks
An increase in testosterone commonly increases red blood cell production. For a man suffering from anemia, the reaction is desirable. However, too many red blood cells in the absence of anemia lead to a greater risk of developing blood clots. As such, physicians must monitor red blood cell counts. Additional possible adverse reactions include breast tenderness, sleep apnea or worsening sleep apnea.
Studies suggest that men having higher testosterone levels have a reduced risk of the cellular changes that cause prostate cancer. However, approximately half of men over the age of 50 have cancerous cells that are not causing symptoms. Among other compounds, prostate malignancies depend on testosterone to grow and reproduce.
In this light, there is concern that older men receiving supplementation may be at a greater risk. As a safeguard, physicians often require a prostate biopsy in order to determine if cancer cells are present before prescribing male hormone replacement therapy. Men receiving supplementation also need continual monitoring for the possible development of other testosterone-dependent disease processes. These maladies include benign prostate enlargement.
Savannah Age Management Medicine has the knowledge and the expertise to maximize your potential for optimal health and well being through physician prescribed Male Hormone Replacement Theraphy and bio identical hormone optimization.