Testosterone supplementation is a HOT topic these days. There have been a few years of increasing public demand for this hormone to make men more like men. It is known to increase energy, increase muscle mass in response to exercise, and increase sex drive. Recently, use of testosterone has been linked to heart attacks and sudden death, and it has long been purported to be responsible for prostate cancer in men.
The truth is that testosterone is vital in both sexes for healthy life, but it is a knife with at least two edges. First, it is NOT wholly responsible for prostate cancer or sudden cardiac death or every man is his 20’s would be dead or dying. Testosterone levels are at their peak at that age, as is virility, and health. Testosterone levels decrease by 47% (roughly half) between the ages of 20 and 70. So what’s going on with prostate cancer and heart disease increasing as we age?
It is not testosterone causing the problems, but higher estrogens. Testosterone is converted to estrogen in all tissues of the body tested, but especially in fat. The conversion also increases with age. Like all diseases, prostate cancer and heart disease appear as a result of the interplay of our genetic predilection to them mixed with our environment (in this case our age, weight, and fitness). Good reasons to check for low testosterone in men would be low libido, depression, and listlessness (emotional and physical fatigue). Salivary testing is more accurate as I will write about later. It will also indicate what the correct supplemental testosterone dose should be. Testosterone pellets are being implanted in both men and women providing more hormone than may be good for health. Certainly the levels of all 3 forms of estrogen in both men and women should be followed because it is elevation of these coupled with testosterone that will lead to prostate cancer, acute coronary death, blood clots in legs and lungs, and other problems. Testosterone is not the “fix-all” that the public and many doctors have come to believe. But with proper measuring of it and its metabolites, it can be safely and successfully administered in those who are deficient. The key is understanding normal hormone’s metabolic pathways. That is what we do here at Upper Valley Family Practice and Urgent Care!
Come in and let us measure where you are at and supplement in the way that uniquely fits your needs, and do so with safe and natural Bio-Identical Hormones!! Call us today: (208) 356-8883
Found this helpful? Take a look at our other blog posts, especially last weeks about Viral Infections.