We are in an epidemic of testosterone deficiency with 1 in 4 men over 30 suffering from low testosterone or low T. Conservatively; this translates into sixteen million men with less than optimal levels of testosterone. When a male has low T they experience declines in just about every category of life: energy, stamina, libido, muscle mass and strength, coupled with increase in the experience of fatigue, tiredness, lethargy, lack of motivation, and yes weight gain.
Even worse, low T can lead to prostatic hypertrophy with the symptoms of a frequent urge to urinate, lost of sleep because of getting up many times a night to void, and difficult starting a stream. As men reach their 40’s, most will start to notice subtle physical and emotional changes also, they will see an increase in abdominal fat and increasing weight gain alone with irritable mood and depression symptoms.
What is the normal testosterone level? At a Consensus Conference it was concluded that a normal range for a mid morning level of testosterone was 350ng/dl to 600nd/dl. A recent study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology stated that a level of testosterone below 550ng/dl places a male at increased risk for cardiovascular events. In men with levels greater than 550ng/dl there was a 30% reduction in heart attack and 24% reduction in strokes.
The science based on low testosterone the facts are:
1. Reduction in energy, motivation, self confidence and memory, muscle mass, and strength
2. Depressed mood, increased body fat and increased abdominal girth, irritable mood.
3. Decrease sexual performance and function. Decreased strength, and duration of erection.
4. Increase risk for premature death from any cause
5. Increase risk for cancer death
6. Increase risk of death from cardiovascular events
7. Increase risk for stroke
8. Increase risk for memory loss
9. Increase risk for systemic inflammation
10.Increase risk for clinical depression
If you have not had your level checked it is important to take the time to have it checked. The way testosterone is administered is the key your success. Many times it is given a form that can leads to wide fluctuations in values. If the level of testosterone is increased rapidly, it will convert into estradiol in the adipose tissue and lead to another whole host of problems. This will be addressed in the next article on estradiol in men.