Both men and women experience natural declines in the hormone testosterone as we age… period!
There is no debate about this in medicine.
The question is whether and when aging adults should supplement with hormone therapy. By the way, I’m not fond of the term ‘aging adult’, but for lack of a better term…I’m actually referring to both men and women who begin to experience signs and symptoms of aging.
The most powerful recent medical research studies point towards supplementing if the serum value falls below the lower one-third of the normal range.
So why don’t more ‘aging’ adults take testosterone?
I believe one reason lies in the ‘steroid controversy’ in the sports world. The word…testosterone has become taboo because of all the media attention paid in recent years to professional athletes that are healthy young men and women taking this and other forms of performance enhancing drugs essentially for monetary gain.
This has nothing to do with the physician managed use of testosterone for aging adults. In fact, many of these athletes will suffer problems later in life because of prolonged periods of supraphysiologic (above normal) levels of certain hormones such as testosterone.
Most experienced physicians that prescribe testosterone simply bring levels up into the upper third of the normal range and hopefully as part of a larger program for optimizing health, including dietary counseling and lifestyle change, nutraceuticals supplementation, detoxification, stress reduction, etc…
Lack of awareness is the second reason many aging adults with symptoms do not see a physician about their hormone levels. Many just haven’t come across the many articles written describing its benefits or met someone who has benefited from testosterone replacement to become acquainted with the benefits of supplementation.
Additionally, access to a physician who is knowledgeable and comfortable in the field of hormone replacement is scant at best. There just isn’t much formal training in primary care medicine in this area leaving it up to the physician to self study and keep up with the research and/or travel abroad for additional training.
Whether someone should supplement their testosterone levels or not should be up to the individual and their physician. Either way, it should be an educated decision and should be under the care of a doctor experienced with the management of patients on testosterone.
Testosterone augmentation can make a significant positive impact on quality of life and risk for age related decline in health, but should be monitored properly.
Speak with your primary care physician or call us at The Lamkin Clinic to discuss further the signs & symptoms associated with testosterone decline and make an informed decision for yourself.
The Lamkin Clinic Team