Testosterone is an important male sex hormone produced primarily in the testicles that control the physical features of men. This hormone brings the physical changes in men that help them become a man from a boy. It also help’s men maintain various health-related factors like bone density, fat distribution, muscle strength, facial and body hair, red blood cells, sex drive, sperm production and keeping their sexual life active and happy.
As men getting older,the levels of testosterone in their blood often drop. With age, changes that contribute to hypogonadism occur in both the hypothalamus and testes resulting in low testosterone levels. The decline in testosterone with aging has been referred to by a variety of names including male menopause, climacteric, viropause, andropause, ADAM (androgen deficiency in aging men), or age-associated hypogonadism. Unlike female menopause, serum testosterone concentrations in men decline steadily after young adulthood, and by age of 80 years, the testosterone secretion rate decreases to approximately half that of a younger man, and there is much inter-individual variability. The decline in bioavailable testosterone may be at least partially responsible for the decreased muscle mass, osteoporosis, mood disturbances, and frailty seen in older men.
In one of the reports from IOM – Institute of Medicine related to testosterone treatment states that there is insufficient evidence to conclude that testosterone treatment in older men has well-established benefits. Risks associated with testosterone replacement in elderly men include fluid retention, gynecomastia, worsening of sleep apnea, polycythemia, and acceleration of benign or malignant prostatic disease.
Trulyhypogonadal men regardless of their age group between 30 or 80, who have no contraindications to testosterone replacement therapy (eg, prostate cancer) may benefit from testosterone replacement.
Testosterone therapy in older men has produced benefits may be not too many but to a fewer lot definitely. This inconsistency could be related to the difference in dose and duration of time and treatment.
Some benefits of therapy that were seen are as follows:
- It has improved all aspects of sexual functions.
- It also helped in improving mood swings and depression.
- Bone strength was also improved along with bone density.
- It tends to improve walking distance at a small amount.
If you have any concern related to the low T levels then you must talk openly about the symptoms that are bothering you. Few tests are conducted to find out the T levels in the body. If after the tests it is found out that your T levels are low and you need therapy then you should clearly discuss the risks, benefits and side effects of the treatment with your doctor without any hesitation. This will help you in choosing the right form of treatment for you.
In conclusion, while it is true that most studies of testosterone replacement in older men have not produced substantial increases in strength, testosterone therapy continues to hold safe and true promise for older men.