Testosterone Therapy Can Make A Difference
Men today are the first generation in history to have available safe, reliable, and effective help for increasing sex drive, restoring erectile function, protecting against heart disease and stroke, reducing the risk of prostate disease, increasing energy, building stronger bones and muscles, relieving depression, lowering cholesterol while raising HDL (“good”) cholesterol, reducing weight, and preventing age-related losses in mental acuity.
Early Testosterone Research and Preparations
Research in the 1930s led to an understanding of the importance of testosterone for masculinity, opening the door to large scale testosterone research. Beginning in the early 1940s, scores of studies and clinical observations were published demonstrating the potential value of “testosterone” replacement.
As pharmaceutical companies awakened to the possible profits from the newly discovered male hormone, a long line of synthetic “hormones” (drugs) were created to try to “improve” on Nature.
Formerly, oral anabolic steroid drugs (e.g., methyltestosterone) served as the only “legitimate” source of exogenous “testosterone”. Like Premarin® and Provera® in women, these drugs produce a significantly unnatural hormonal environment in men’s bodies that fostered negative side effects. Particularly methyltestosterone and related drugs resulted in an alarming number of cases of liver disease including jaundice, hepatitis and hepatic cancer, many of which were fatal. Beginning in the 1960s, the irresponsible use by athletes and body builders of anabolic steroid drugs to build muscle strength appeared to confirm the dangers of the so-called “testosterone replacement”.
These unhappy circumstances still haunt the practice of medicine today, yet interest in testosterone replacement therapy for men has undergone a welcome renaissance with the growing realization of the benefits of therapy coupled with the availability of high-quality, inexpensive natural (or “bio-identical”) testosterone.
Modern Natural Testosterone
With the advent of modern testosterone preparations, the old chemical analogues became obsolete. Biosynthesized from plant precursor sources (such as soy and Mexican yam), yet molecularly identical to that produced by the human body, the new formulas sport advanced delivery systems such as creams, gels, and patches.
Natural hormones are identical in molecular structure to those the body produces, therefore cannot be distinguished from the inborn hormone, and the body treats them as such. Hence the moniker “bio-identical”, or identical-to-human, testosterone. Like other naturally occurring substances, such as air, water, and vitamins, natural hormones cannot be patented.
Signs of Andropause
The term “andropause” emphasizes the hormonal basis of the changes that men undergo, which all too often can go overlooked. Whereas female menopause results from a relatively abrupt change in the estrogens and progesterone, the symptoms of andropause are caused by a more gradual fall off in testosterone.
- Reduced libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Ejaculatory problems
- Disturbed sleep
- Heart disease and atherosclerosis
- Prostate enlargement/cancer
- Muscle weakness
- Thinning skin
- Slow wound healing
- Poor concentration/memory lapses
- Increased aches and pains, particularly in the neck, shoulders, and back areas
- Apathy and feelings of “burn out”
- Diminished overall sense of wellbeing
For years, the concerns associated with age-related decline of hormones have been accepted as part of the aging process – something that men can do little about. For many, chronic stress and worry compound the symptoms listed above. This undermines the sense of strength, energy, vitality, ambition, determination, and sexuality that form the core of masculine identity and health. Thankfully, men have options now to restore waning levels of hormones to age-related normal levels in a safe manner.
Benefits of Testosterone Therapy
For restoring sexuality and the diverse aspects of men’s health known to deteriorate with age, natural testosterone (and other natural androgens), as well as specific vitamins, amino acids, herbal and botanical products are demonstrably more effective and safer than synthetic “hormones” and pharmaceutical drugs.
While it’s easy to focus exclusively on testosterone therapy for the symptoms of aging, a full-health review is important for men as they approach andropause. Exercise, healthy eating habits, routine testing and physician follow-up create a prescription for optimal results with testosterone therapy.
If You’re Considering Testosterone Replacement…
As with many medical conditions, there’s no “one-size-fits-all” answer. Individual health history, steroid laboratory values, whether to attempt to bolster testosterone with botanicals prior to prescribing bio-identical testosterone, and other factors are often discussed in a male health appointment. With the decision to begin testosterone therapy, follow-up testing to track metabolites of testosterone helps guide dose and treatment. Yearly testing and consultation with your medical practitioner is recommended to review safety and efficacy of treatment long-term.
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