As you age, maintaining your energy is like climbing a mountain.
At ground zero, you’re full of zest. But as you climb, your muscles become fatigued, your joints ache and your interest in reaching the peak wanes.
But when you look around, you see other men scaling the side of that mountain, almost effortlessly.
What do they have that you don’t?
Okay, you have testosterone. But, you know that your testosterone levels decrease as you age.
That’s nothing new.
Young men usually have levels of testosterone exceeding 1000 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dl). When they reach 40, those levels begin to drop about one percent a year.
The drop is imperceptible at first, but when men reach their 80s, the average level of testosterone is 200 ng/dl.
This gradual decline in testosterone levels is called andropause. So, yes, you can blame “male menopause” when you don’t have energy to mow the lawn.
But, andropause is different from menopause in that it’s a gradual decrease in hormones, while women experience a sudden decrease.
Some men experience symptoms and some don’t.
What you may not know is that andropause doesn’t just affect your energy and sex drive. Andropause symptoms range from depression and irritability to increased body fat and a general lack of motivation.
Here are a few more facts about andropause you may not know:
1. Testosterone can lower your risk of heart disease.
In a 2014 study, researchers found that men who increased their levels of testosterone through hormone replacement therapy had a 55 percent reduced risk of heart attack and stroke.
This was also the case with men who had pre-existing heart disease.
But, that doesn’t mean you should head to your nearest testosterone shot clinic. Higher-than-normal testosterone levels can put men at risk for heart attack or stroke.
Instead, you should have your levels tested by a medical professional and discuss treatment options that evaluate your lifestyle as a whole, including your diet, exercise and sleep routine.
As our Dr. Richard Pearson says, “When you just take testosterone and don’t change anything else, it’s like buying a muscle car, then just keeping it in neutral so you can listen to the radio.”
2. Testosterone helps you lose weight and gain muscle.
Speaking of muscles, a simple and well-known fact is that testosterone helps men build muscle mass.
When there are low levels of testosterone, estrogen effects kick in and put fat in the least desirable locations, for example your chest and belly.
As your weight increases, you’re also more at risk for type 2 diabetes, and men with diabetes are twice as likely to have lower levels of testosterone than men without diabetes.
Testosterone plays a part in increasing insulin sensitivity. Or, in other words, improves the ability of insulin to get into your cells.
3. Once deficient in testosterone, always deficient.
Testosterone therapy is a lifetime commitment. When your testosterone levels drop, your body isn’t able to naturally replenish them.
Which is why it’s important for you to find a medical professional you trust with a treatment that fits you as a whole.
With hormone therapy, you have two options: synthetic hormones or bioidentical hormones. Synthetic hormones are chemically modified hormones, which creates a greater risk of toxicity and side effects. And most men can’t handle the side effects long-term.
Bioidentical hormones, on the other hand, are natural. Your body recognizes the hormones and uses them as it would its own.