Northeast Wisconsin
  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • March 2018
Written by 

The importance of testosterone for men

Testosterone levels for men declines as they age — it is inevitable. It begins around the age of 40 and levels continue to drop by 1-2 percent yearly after age 40. Most men do not begin to notice until their 50s when the negative symptoms of low testosterone, or low T, become too uncomfortable to ignore.

Low testosterone is also referred to as hypogonadism, testosterone deficiency syndrome, or andropause: the male menopause. Symptoms of andropause are often missed due to the gradual onset. Development of symptoms can progress over 10-15 years! Symptoms can include: fatigue, reduced energy, difficulty concentrating, sleep disturbances, moodiness/irritability, depression, declining libido, weaker erections, impaired sexual function, decreased muscle mass/strength, which in turn can lead to increased body fat, osteoporosis, increase in LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, impaired fasting glucose levels, and increased cardiovascular risks. The occurrence of low T has been found to be concurrent in a number of chronic health conditions:

  • Obesity and/or larger waist circumferences – 52 percent
  • Diabetes – 50 percent
  • Hypertension – 42 percent
  • Hyperlipidemia (elevated cholesterol/lipids) – 40 percent
  • Erectile dysfunction – 19 percent

Testosterone deficiency is projected to be associated with the development of approximately 1.3 million new cases of cardiovascular disease and 1.1 million new cases of diabetes. Correcting low T may help reverse insulin resistance and help keep arteries more flexible, allowing for essential dilation/constriction with blood flow. Keeping this in mind, it would indicate that testosterone replacement therapy is important for men.

Yet, there still remains significant controversy regarding its use, since there have been studies indicating increased risk of prostate cancer and cardiovascular events with testosterone use. This in turn prompted the FDA (2015) to issue warnings to physicians and patients. However, the (2016) Registry of Hypogonadism in Men (RHYME) study asserts testosterone use does not cause an increased risk of adverse cardiovascular events. Additionally, the following medical groups are in agreement: The European Association of Urology, International Society for Sexual Medicine, European Menopause & Andropause Society, Canadian Men’s Health Foundation, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, and American College of Endocrinology, and furthermore Debruyne et al. research revealed that, “testosterone treatment is not associated with increased risk of prostate cancer…” British Journal of Urology, International (2017).

It is evident that testosterone is important for men. So what can be done to restore optimal testosterone levels? There is plenty to be done and it is not just about a prescription either! It starts with you taking charge of your future by increasing your knowledge, making changes toward a healthier lifestyle and having balanced hormones to allow for a happier, healthier life.

How to start

  • Begin to eliminate bad habits related to sleep, diet and exercise
  • Get your cholesterol checked
  • Control your blood pressure/cholesterol if they are high
  • Don’t smoke
  • Increase physical activity to at least 30 minutes daily, most days of the week
  • Eat a healthy diet with more fruits/vegetables and less saturated/trans fats
  • Find a provider who specializes in male hormones — get your hormones tested!
  • Consider starting a wellness program to include:
    • Lifestyle/nutritional guidance
    • Supplement recommendations
    • Sexual health consultation
    • Thyroid care
    • Hormonal replacement (if needed)
  • Start on high-quality, pharmaceutical grade supplements to start feeling better faster
  • Drug store/big retail chain brands do not guarantee quality ingredients. These often contain fillers or binders that may cause additional health issues

Testosterone replacement therapy, when done correctly with careful monitoring and follow-up labs, can make a world of difference. If you or someone you know is experiencing signs/symptoms of low testosterone, be proactive, get tested and start making changes today.

Vicky Romanski, FNP-BC, APNP

Vicky Romanski, FNP-BC, APNP, is a functional medicine Nurse Practitioner at Wise Woman Wellness, LLC. Romanski combines the best of conventional, functional and integrative medicine to help women with female, thyroid and adrenal hormone issues to live healthier, more abundant, joy-filled lives. She is also the Wise Woman Wellness Men’s Vitality Program Director and helps men eliminate their uncomfortable hormone imbalance symptoms and increase energy and longevity. Wise Woman Wellness is an innovative wellness and hormone care center located at 1480 Swan Rd, De Pere. Please contact her at 920-339-5252 or via the internet at www.wisewomanwellness.com

Website: wisewomanwellness.com
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