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 "Androgen Deficiency - Low Testosterone"

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How Low Can You Go?

The symptoms just didn't appear out of nowhere, nor did they come upon him like a NFL runningback on a draw play.

Poor sleeping. Sweating at night. Mood swings. Loss of libido.

"I knew something was up when my sex drive took an extended vacation" Bob stated.

"I decided to do some checking on the Internet about my symptoms and they would always lead me to the same pages and conclusions.

Menopause? I can't have menopause!

I just couldn't figure it out and actually it was my suggestion when I saw my doctor. She wasn't even considering the possibility of low testosterone. It turns out, I knew more about the subject than she did."

Testosterone Facts

The American Urological Association states that 1 in 10 men between the ages of 40 and 60, while 2 in 10 men over the age of 60 have low testosterone levels, which is medically referred to as Androgen Deficiency in the Aging Male.

Generally, the only time physicians begin to think "low testosterone" is when men begin to complain of low sex drive or sexual desires. With some men however, their testosterone levels are so low that depression and loss of life interest take place.

Testosterone is the most important sex hormone in the male body. It is responsible for physical changes during puberty, such as facial hair, a deep voice and muscle mass. Throughout adulthood, testosterone helps maintain sex drive and keep a man’s muscles and bones healthy. Some men, however, some do not produce enough of this hormone, resulting in low testosterone. And this can affect men of any age.

Men who are obese, have hypertension or are diabetic are twice as likely to have low testosterone. Genetic abnormalities, as well as problems in the testes, hypothalamus or pituitary gland, can also cause testosterone deficiency.

Testosterone levels also slowly decline as men age. Levels drop by about 10 percent every decade starting at age 30. In some older men, whose levels drop below the normal range, this may be accompanied by various physical symptoms.

Some signs to watch for include low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, reduced muscle mass and strength, decreased bone density, difficulty concentrating, depression and unusual fatigue.

Testosterone Replacement Methods

Low testosterone is typically treated with testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) to increase testosterone levels to the normal range.

There are also several FDA-approved therapies available, such as:
GELSTestosterone replacement gels are applied once daily to the upper arms, shoulders and/or abdomen. The gel dries quickly and is absorbed by the skin, releasing testosterone into the bloodstream.
PATCHESTestosterone replacement patches are worn for 24 hours and changed daily. The patch is applied to the upper arms, thighs or torso.
INJECTION — Testosterone injections are either self-administered or given by a doctor at regular intervals. Testosterone levels peak about three days after the injection and slowly decline over time.

The benefits of these therapies include enhancement of energy level and mood, increased lean body mass and muscle strength, decreased body fat, improvement of sex drive and erectile function, and increased bone mineral density, which can reduce fracture risk.

However, there are possible side effects, including sleep disturbances — called “sleep apnea” in men who are overweight or who have lung disease — increased red blood cell count and an increase in prostate size. Men who are on testosterone replacement therapy are checked twice a year for prostate cancer.

Bob of Detroit said the testosterone cream gave him immediate results.

“I felt I was 18 for about two weeks,” he said. “My libido has returned and my energy level came back. I bet there are a lot of guys out there who have no clue this might be happening to them. Very much like women, men go through a hormonal change. It happens.”

Drew Voight

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