By Jon Sterngold, MD of Forum Health Santa Rosa
Men often become interested in testosterone replacement therapy when they experience ‘losing it’, or other variations on waning sex drive and erectile competence. When these symptoms are accompanied and almost certainly caused by low levels of this hormone as measured by laboratory testing, we can easily think that this is what testosterone is for – this is what it does – it fixes impaired sexual function. And it almost always does this by itself, and by facilitating the action of the erectile dysfunction drugs such as Viagra.
We also know that testosterone enables muscles to become stronger. And bigger – if one follows hormone replacement with strength training. But it also reduces our body fat content – not dramatically…
– you won’t look like Arnold just by getting your testosterone in balance, but you have a much better shot at a trim and fit body.
But perhaps of equal importance to our health and optimistic future is testosterone’s effect on the heart. Low testosterone levels are strongly correlated with increased cardiac risk and optimal levels with cardiac protection. This effect has been demonstrated in many studies and is as good a reason to achieve good levels as physical strength and potency.
For guys who have no sexual function complaints but who have suboptimal testosterone levels, supplementation is still strongly recommended for heart health.
And then there are our bones. We need optimal T levels for bone strength and we need bone strength to prevent life threatening catastrophes such as a fractured hip or thigh from a fall.
And we must not leave out the brain when considering testosterone replacement. The brain, like the heart, is chocked full of testosterone receptors and without enough of this hormone, we cannot run ‘on all eight’.
We need testosterone for focus, processing, multitasking, and for emotional balance.
Depression is a common consequence of low testosterone levels and responds beautifully to replacement.
So guys, how many reasons do you need to check your levels and easily correct them?