More and more, men now recognize that the slide in energy and vitality that can start in the midlife is not inevitable. The effects of testosterone and other hormone decline are often subtle and gradual. Fortunately, there is growing awareness that these changes are not “just normal aging” and that steps can be taken to address symptoms and functional decline. The same interventions will also help you feel and function better in the future and are part of a holistic approach to preventative health for cardiovascular and most other diseases of aging.
Repair & Maintenance for Men
Most of you take care of your car or boat or other valued possession with regular servicing and preventative care. When it comes to your body and health, it’s frequently the opposite. Find out why it’s time to change that thinking.
Testosterone for Men – Key Ingredient for Optimal Health and Quality of Life
Testosterone is what makes men men; it is essential to healthy development and reproductive function. Decline in libido and erectile function are often associated with decline in testosterone production. However testosterone also continues to be important throughout the lifespan in preserving health and influencing factors important in the quality of life such as energy, drive, mental capacity and mood. Testosterone levels fall with age on average about 1-2% per year; the Massachusetts Male Aging Study found a 23% decline in free testosterone for each decade.
Between age 43 and 70 men can lose on average 2 inches in height, 15% of bone density and 10-20 pounds of muscle. These are the outward signs; on the inside blood sugar and insulin rise and unhealthy cholesterol levels develop as the body coats the organs in visceral fat and the arteries start to thicken then clog. The signs and symptoms of falling testosterone are often attributed to “normal aging”: weight gain, loss of energy and interest in being physically active, thinning skin, declining libido and erectile function yet if testosterone is low and then corrected these problems improve.
Testing serum (blood) testosterone levels is a useful way to assess testosterone values both as a baseline and as a means of tracking therapy. Typically the total testosterone level is tested however it does not accurately assess active testosterone. The more precise tests are the bioavailable testosterone and the free testosterone.
When testosterone is low due to pathological or age-related causes then restoring testosterone to the mid to upper end of the range can improve symptoms of low testosterone. This can be achieved through the direct testosterone administration or indirect hormone boosting; this decision depends on age and preference. The most straightforward approach is to administer testosterone with gels or patches or by weekly injection.
Losing weight, eating more protein, less sugar and refined carbohydrates, strenuous workouts and getting a solid night’s sleep may help reverse testosterone decline. Lifestyle improvement may boost testosterone levels by about 10%, and this may be sufficient when the decline in testosterone levels is mild and is a right approach for healthy aging with or without testosterone therapy.
Ultimately, testosterone optimization works best to offset the physiologic and psychological effects of ageing when combined with an optimal-health lifestyle.
Dr. Sweeney will assess and advise men who suspect their testosterone may be declining due to aging however she does not advise those who are seeking testosterone use for non therapeutic purposes or with a history of illicit testosterone use.
FEEL YOUR BEST- Bioidentical Hormones and Lifestyle
Dr. Maureen Sweeney uses hormone replacement as well as lifestyle management for preventative health and optimal aging. Hormones recommended are natural bioidentical hormones where ever possible. Live Young Medical located in Sidney BC near Victoria, Oak Bay, Broadmead, and Brentwood Bay. Live Young Medical also provides remote consultation to patients throughout Vancouver Island and BC.