Hypogonadism is the general medical term for when a man’s body does not produce enough testosterone, often leading to Low Testosterone. There can be many reasons for this condition to occur, from congenital defects, to disease or injuries. When doctors issue a medical diagnosis of “male hypogonadism,” it is usually in children and younger adult males, and due to any number of “primary” causes, such as undescended testicles or Klinefelter syndrome.
However, the drop in testosterone as all men age, can also be considered a “secondary” cause of hypogonadism, and could be described as “age-related hypogonadism.”
Age-Related Low Testosterone
You are probably familiar with the condition women go through when they reach a certain age called menopause. The onset of menopause begins when women cease menstruating, and usually occurs, on average around the age of 51.
But men also experience a drop in critical hormones as they age, most notably, of testosterone. This condition is more commonly referred to as “andropause,” or “low testosterone,” but it could also be referred to as “age-related hypogonadism.”
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But, no matter what you call it, the symptoms all relate to the decline of the levels of testosterone in your bloodstream.
As the production of testosterone steadily decreases, beginning around the age of 35, you may start to feel the effects of age-related hypogonadism such as:
- Weakness and fatigue
- Slowing metabolism and weight gain
- Lack of energy or decreased stamina
- Depression, anxiety and other changes of mood
- Sexual issues
Just as years ago doctors discovered that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) could be very helpful for women dealing with the worst symptoms of menopause, HRT is now being used as a very safe and effective treatment for men suffering from age-related hypogonadism, or Low Testosterone.
Low Testosterone and Growing Older
Declining testosterone is an unfortunately a given of growing older. Testosterone is produced in the testes. The ability of your testes to produce testosterone is strongest when you are in your 20s and 30s.
The first thing you are likely to notice as your testosterone levels been to drop below their peak levels, is an almost insidious drop in physical strength and your energy levels. This will soon be accompanied by a loss of interest in the things you used to enjoy, some because of your waning physical ability to do them, but also because of the changes in mood and attitude that can be brought on by low testosterone. This can lead to a downward spiral of lack of strength, lack of enthusiasm, depression, loss of interest in sex, and the typical profile of the “crotchety old man.”
However, returning you to your normal hormone balance, can reverse that profile and return you to the more active and joyful life of your youth!
The Benefits of Testosterone Therapy
Returning you to your optimal male hormone levels will involve a testosterone optimization plan that will include hormone replacement therapy, or HRT. The goal of HRT for men is to not only restore you to a normal level of testosterone, but also to maintain you at that level for the rest of your life, so you can enjoy life and do great things, no matter your age.
Testosterone therapy has been shown in clinical trials to improve your mood, your physical and cognitive abilities, and most importantly, your overall outlook on life.
How is Testosterone Therapy for Men Administered?
The most effective form of HRT for men is to use bioidentical hormones. Bioidentical hormones — as opposed to those that are synthetically manufactured and patentable by drug companies, have been shown to:
- Improve muscle mass
- Rebuild and strengthen bone
- Strengthen the heart and improve blood flow
- Improve sex drive and erectile funtion
To understand the real difference between synthetic hormones and bioidentical hormones as used in BHRT, it is important to understand how hormones work. Hormones regulate body processes. They do this by “binding” to specific “receptor sites” in cells. Bioidentical hormones are exact duplicates of those made by your glands, so they fit exactly into the receptors, which makes them not only extremely effective, but extremely safe.
Synthetic hormones do not react naturally with the receptor sites. They “force” their way in, with less “binding ability,” so they do not work as well, and can also cause damage in the way of side effects. Think of it like trying to run a marathon in shoes that are not exactly your right size. You may cross the finish line, but what kind of damage will you have done to your feet in the process?
Bioidentical hormones can be taken in oral supplement form, or can also be prescribed as patches, or topical creams.
The HRT Center to Treat Age-related Hypogonadism
The only way to accurately diagnose if you are experiencing age-related hypogonadism or the symptoms of Low-T, is for your doctor to measure the amount of testosterone in your blood. Testosterone levels vary with diet, stress, and even the time of day.
What is “normal” for you may not be “normal” for someone else. This is why it is critically important that your levels are tested by a physician who is experienced in the diagnosis of andropause and certified in the administration of testosterone replacement therapies.