Cleaning out my mailbox, there was an article on this in Science Daily from earlier this year that’s important for older men and the women who love them to know.
Low testosterone levels complicate recovery from hospital stays, according to a study from the University of Texas.
Testosterone levels fall in men after age 40 as part of the aging process. However, some see sharper declines than others. I know of cases in which men in their 30s have been diagnosed with this condition.
Testosterone is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland and affects a large array of body functions. Levels are measured by an inexpensive blood test. This test is not part the normal lab work with a physical exam and has to be requested separately.
Other symptoms of low testosterone include
- Depression and mood changes
- Loss of sex drive and erectile dysfunction
- Weight gain and fat distribution
- Loss of bone density
- Lower production of red blood cells
- Lower sperm production
- Loss of muscle mass and strength
- Hair loss
Put simply, low testosterone is a big deal. The other problem is that men may be under treatment for other issues when testosterone is the real issue. That includes men who are taking antidepressants and products like Viagra.
If someone is taking these other medications and not getting the desired results, that may be a sign that a testosterone check needs to be run. Treating the wrong problem is a waste of both money and time. That’s how I found out.
You need involvement by a competent doctor. There may be risks associated with testosterone therapy among men who have a history of heart disease. The therapy is by prescription and some health plans do cover the costs of medication. (There are non-prescription products advertised on TV, but there is no indication that they work. My guess is that people reporting success with them were people who really didn’t need testosterone therapy.)
- “Testosterone therapy decreases hospital readmissions in older men with low testosterone,” Science Daily, 13 April 2016. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160413151238.htm
- “Testosterone therapy improves sexual interest, function in older men,” Science Daily, 29 June 2016. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/06/160629135231.htm
- “Large-scale studies to evaluate testosterone therapy risks,” Science Daily, 7 February 2014. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140207151319.htm
- “Low testosterone in men”, Healthline, 18 July 2016. http://www.healthline.com/health/side-effects-of-low-testosterone