How hormone levels might affect your quality of life

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Regardless of gender, all humans produce the hormone testosterone. However, men have much higher levels of testosterone than women.

 

Testosterone is a chemical messenger that is responsible for the development of male sexual characteristics. In addition, testosterone helps regulate muscle size and strength, red blood cell production, bone mass, and fat distribution.

 

As men age, their testosterone levels begin to dip. Although a natural result of aging, lower testosterone levels, also called hypogonadism, can contribute to any number of side effects – some of which men can find interrupt their quality of life. The medical resource Healthline says that testosterone starts to decrease after age 30, falling by 1 percent for each year thereafter.

 

Some men may even suffer from low testosterone (called low-T), which is the underproduction or lack of production of this hormone. Typically, this is linked to chronic medical conditions, such as obesity, diabetes and other hormonal conditions. Although not all men will experience low-T, learning to recognize its signs and symptoms can help those who develop the condition address it that much more quickly.

 

Changes in sexual function: Changes in sexual function resulting from low-T can include decreased libido/desire, inability to have or maintain erections, fewer spontaneous erections, and infertility. Since testosterone is linked to healthy sperm production, lower levels may reduce the number of healthy sperm or their mobility.

 

Insomnia and trouble sleeping: Sleep disturbances may be linked to low-T. These can include trouble falling asleep or frequent waking.

 

Weight gain: Men with low-T may suffer from increased body fat coupled with decreased energy levels that can make exercise less appealing. Weight gain — particularly in the abdominal area — may also occur in conjunction with a condition called gynecomastia, which is swollen or tender breasts.

 

Reduced muscle mass: Other physical changes can include reduced muscle bulk and strength. Decreased bone mass or mineral density is also possible.

 

Emotional changes: Emotional changes may be a byproduct of lower testosterone or feelings of helplessness over a seemingly irreversible condition. Fatigue, low self-confidence, sadness, depression, and even trouble concentrating are possible.

The Urinary Care Foundation says that low-T is quite common. Roughly 4 out of 10 men over the age of 45 have low testosterone. Low-T also affects 2 out of 10 men over the age of 60 and 3 out of 10 men over the age of 70.

 

If symptoms of low-T prove bothersome, testosterone replacement therapy, or TRT, may be prescribed. These include skin gels, shots, long-acting pellets, patches, and pills. The American Urological Association suggests discussing the pros and cons of TRT with a doctor who is skilled in diagnosing low-T. TRT should not be used by men planning to become a father anytime soon.

 

It should be noted that, while the Mayo Clinic says there are no definitive studies that point to HRT being effective, the accumulation of anecdotal evidence is undeniable.

Local anti-aging and regenerative medicine expert Dr. Brett Osborn believes that “while HRT is not for everyone — for instance, those with a strong family history of hormone-sensitive cancer — if you and your physician do opt for HRT, use only bio-identical hormones.”

 

Bio-identical hormones are those that are created in a compounding pharmacy and match one’s own specific hormonal needs.

 

In addition, he strongly urges that you “avoid ever using oral testosterone or oral estrogens” because both, when broken down metabolically, have the potential to be carcinogenic.

 

Rather, he suggests that bio-identical transdermal creams or injections are the best options.

 

“Do not underestimate the roles that hormones play in your biochemistry and your overall well-being. I would urge everyone to explore with their doctor the option of hormone replacement therapy. Restoring a youthful hormone profile not only has the potential to make you feel great, but also may slow down the aging process.”

And just in case you need further proof of Dr. Osborn’s belief in HRT, consider this: He checks his own hormone levels every six weeks — and adjusts his HRT accordingly.

Article Source: http://www.palmbeachpost.com/lifestyles/health/how-hormone-levels-might-affect-your-quality-life/sgXf5J82C1ntK2KEdQkM5O/

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Testosterone Therapy Beneficial to Men with Heart Disease

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New study finds that testosterone supplementation enables a reduction in the risks of major cardiovascular events, such as strokes, heart attacks, and death.

In a recent study, a research team from the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute studied 755 male patients, ranging from 58-78 years, who all had severe coronary artery disease, the most common type of heart disease. They were separated into three different groups, receiving varied doses of testosterone, administered intravenously or by gel. At the end of the first year, 64 patients who weren’t taking any testosterone supplements had serious adverse cardiovascular events, whereas only 12 who were taking medium doses of testosterone and 9 who were taking high doses did. At the end of 3 years, 125 patients who had not received testosterone therapy suffered severe cardiovascular events, whereas only 38 medium-dose and 22 high-patients did. Patients who were given testosterone as part of their follow-up treatment did much better than patients who had not been given testosterone supplementation. The non-testosterone-therapy patients were 80 percent more likely to suffer an adverse event. “Although this study indicates that hypo-androgenic men with coronary artery disease might actually be protected by testosterone replacement, this is an observational study that doesn’t provide enough evidence to justify changing treatment recommendations,” said Dr. Muhlestein, co-director of cardiovascular research at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute. “It does, however, substantiate the need for a randomized clinical trial that can confirm or refute the results of this study.” This new study confirms the findings of a previous study from the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute, which found that testosterone therapy did not increase the risk of experiencing a heart attack or stroke for men with low testosterone levels and no prior history of heart disease.

The Intermountain Medical Center research team will presented their study at the American College of Cardiology’s 65th Annual Scientific Session on Sunday, April 3 at 12:15 p.m., CDT.

The Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute is made up of clinical and research professionals who aim to advance cardiovascular treatment. Intermountain Medical Center is the flagship facility for the Intermountain Healthcare system, which is based in Salt Lake City.

Article Source: https://www.worldhealth.net/news/testosterone-supplementation-beneficial-men-heart-/

 

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Testosterone decline associated with increased mortality risk

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Men experiencing a pronounced, age-related decline in testosterone level are more likely to die of any cause during a 15-year period vs. men who have testosterone levels in the 10th to 90th percentile, according to findings reported in the European Journal of Endocrinology.

Stine A. Holmboe, MSc, a doctoral student in the department of growth and reproduction at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and colleagues analyzed data from 1,167 men aged 30 to 60 years participating in the Danish Monitoring Trends and Determinants of Cardiovascular Disease (MONICA1) study, conducted between November 1982 and February 1984, as well as the follow-up examination 10 years later (MONICA10), conducted between 1993 and 1994. Researchers measured levels of testosterone, sex hormone-binding globulin and luteinizing hormone at baseline and follow-up, and then followed the cohort for up to 18 years (mean, 15.2 years) using data from national mortality registries. Researchers used Cox proportional hazard models, with age as the underlying time scale, to assess the association between intra-individual hormone changes and all-cause, CVD and cancer mortality.

During follow-up, 421 men (36.1%) died (106 cancer-related deaths; 119 CVD-related deaths). The estimated mean intra-individual percentage change in hormone levels per year for the cohort were –1.5% for total testosterone, 0.9% for SHBG, –1.9% for free testosterone and 1% for luteinizing hormone. When estimated cross-sectionally, however, mean percentage changes in hormone levels per year were –0.4% for total testosterone, 1.2% for SHBG, –1.1% for free testosterone and 1.1% for luteinizing hormone, according to researchers.

Researchers observed that men who experienced the most pronounced decline in total testosterone — men in the lowest 10th percentile — saw the greatest increased risk for all-cause mortality (HR = 1.6; 95% CI, 1.08-2.38) vs. the reference category. The risk corresponded with an annual total testosterone decline of at least –0.6 nmol/L.

Across tertiles of SHBG levels, researchers found no significant differences in all-cause mortality; however, there was a U-shaped trend observed, with increases in all-cause mortality for those with a change in SHBG levels below the 10th percentile (< –0.7 nmol/L per year) or above the 90th percentile (> 1.1 nmol/L per year) vs. the middle group.

Men with the most pronounced decline in free testosterone also saw an increased risk for all-cause mortality; however, this was significant only in the tertile model (HR = 1.45; 95% CI, 1.09-1.92), according to researchers. There were no disease-specific associations observed, and associations were independent of age, baseline hormone levels and lifestyle factors.

“A possible causal link between an increased tempo in age-related [testosterone] decline and subsequent health is unknown and remains to be investigated,” the researchers wrote. – by Regina Schaffer

Article Source: https://www.healio.com/endocrinology/reproduction-androgen-disorders/news/in-the-journals/%7Bb9ffabec-a385-4c19-b01b-4981f05e01d1%7D/testosterone-decline-associated-with-increased-mortality-risk

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5 Common Low Testosterone Health Myths Debunked

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As men age, they face a very serious problem than a decline in testosterone levels. In fact, five percent of older males live with low testosterone levels.

Although many of us understand that low testosterone levels can result in changes in health, we may be believing the wrong information when it comes to low testosterone. These misconceptions around low testosterone could prevent you from getting the help you need to feel energized, strong, and essentially like yourself once again. So, instead of still believing the myths around low testosterone, uncover the truth that can help you finally deal with your low testosterone.

5 myths about low testosterone

Low testosterone is normal to aging: This myth is partially true in the sense that yes, testosterone levels do generally decline as you get older but this drop can also be abnormal. Testosterone decline does occur at a normal rate, but for some men, this rate is much greater. So, if you think it’s normal, you could be preventing yourself from getting treatment for this alarming decline in testosterone. When testosterone drops at an abnormal rate, that’s when a man’s overall health can become impacted. If you experience any of these symptoms, your testosterone levels have dropped below normal and you should speak to your doctor.

Low testosterone only affects older men: Because low testosterone is associated with aging, it is believed that only older males live with it. Low testosterone can affect any man at any age. In order to determine whether you have low testosterone, you should discuss any symptoms you experience with your doctor so they can piece them together along with any medical testing.

Testosterone replacement increases sperm count: This is a complete and utter myth, as increasing sperm count is something that testosterone replacement cannot do. In fact, testosterone replacement can actually lower sperm count. On the other hand, testosterone replacement therapy can help you feel like yourself again by reducing fatigue, increasing muscle, and lift mood and libido.

Testosterone replacement increases the risk of heart disease and cancer: Early studies have outlined the potential risk to the heart with testosterone replacement therapy, but as of late, findings suggest that the risk of heart disease may actually decrease. In regards to cancer, it is still quite controversial among those men with pre-existing prostate cancer. So far, though, the data does show that testosterone replacement therapy does not cause prostate cancer.

It’s safe to order testosterone replacements online: Testosterone medications are a controlled substance that can only be prescribed by your doctor. Using such therapies without the guidance of your doctor can put your health at risk. Taking in excess testosterone may actually hinder your body’s ability to produce testosterone naturally on its own. Furthermore, excess testosterone can increase the risk of stroke or blood clots. Before going online and purchasing testosterone replacement medications, speak to your doctor first to determine whether or not you have low testosterone.

 

Article Source: https://www.belmarrahealth.com/5-common-health-myths-debunked/

 

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Swings in dad’s testosterone affects the family — for better or worse — after baby arrives

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Postpartum depression is often associated with mothers, but a new study shows that fathers face a higher risk of experiencing it themselves if their testosterone levels drop nine months after their children are born.

The same study revealed that a father’s low testosterone may also affect his partner — but in an unexpectedly positive way. Women whose partners had lower levels of testosterone postpartum reported fewer symptoms of depression themselves nine and 15 months after birth.

High testosterone levels had the opposite effect. Fathers whose levels spiked faced a greater risk of experiencing stress due to parenting and a greater risk of acting hostile- such as showing emotional, verbal or physical aggression — toward their partners.

The study was published in the journal Hormones and Behavior on Sept. 1. The findings support prior studies that show men have biological responses to fatherhood, said Darby Saxbe, the study’s lead author and an assistant professor of psychology at USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

“We often think of motherhood as biologically driven because many mothers have biological connections to their babies through breastfeeding and pregnancy.” Saxbe said. “We don’t usually think of fatherhood in the same biological terms. We are still figuring out the biology of what makes dads tick.

“We know that fathers contribute a lot to child-rearing and that on the whole, kids do better if they are raised in households with a father present,” she added. “So, it is important to figure out how to support fathers and what factors explain why some fathers are very involved in raising their children while some are absent.”

Saxbe worked with a team of researchers from USC, University of California at Los Angeles and Northwestern University.

A snapshot of paternal postpartum depression

For the study, the researchers examined data from 149 couples in the Community Child Health Research Network. The study by the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development involves sites across the country, but the data for this study came from Lake County, Illinois, north of Chicago.

Mothers in the study were 18 to 40 years old; African-American, white or Latina; and low-income. They were recruited when they gave birth to their first, second or third child. Mothers could invite the baby’s father to participate in the study as well. Of the fathers who participated and provided testosterone data, 95 percent were living with the mothers.

Interviewers visited couples three times in the first two years after birth: around two months after the child was born, about nine months after birth and about 15 months after birth.

At the nine-month visit, researchers gave the fathers saliva sample kits. Dads took samples three times a day — morning, midday and evening — to monitor their testosterone levels.

Participants responded to questions about depressive symptoms based on a widely-used measure, the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression. They also reported on their relationship satisfaction, parenting stress and whether they were experiencing any intimate partner aggression. Higher scores on those measures signaled greater depression, more stress, more dissatisfaction and greater aggression.

Relatively few participants — fathers and mothers — were identified as clinically depressed, which is typical of a community sample that reflects the general population. Instead of using clinical diagnoses, the researchers looked at the number of depressive symptoms endorsed by each participant.

Men’s testosterone levels were linked with both their own and their partners’ depressive symptoms — but in opposing directions for men and for women.

For example, lower testosterone was associated with more symptoms in dads, but fewer symptoms in moms. The link between their partners’ testosterone levels and their own depression was mediated by relationship satisfaction. If they were paired with lower-testosterone partners, women reported greater satisfaction with their relationship, which in turn helped reduce their depressive symptoms.

“It may be that the fathers with lower testosterone were spending more time caring for the baby or that they had hormone profiles that were more synced up with mothers,” she said. “For mothers, we know that social support buffers the risk of postpartum depression.”

Fathers with higher testosterone levels reported more parenting stress, and their partners reported more relationship aggression .

To measure parenting stress, parents were asked how strongly they related to a set of 36 items from the Parenting Stress Index-Short Form. They responded to statements such as “I feel trapped by my responsibilities as a parent” and “My child makes more demands on me than most children.” A high number of “yes” responses signaled stress.

Relationship satisfaction questions were based on another widely-used tool, the Dyadic Adjustment Scale. Parents responded to 32 items inquiring about their relationship satisfaction, including areas of disagreement or their degree of closeness and affection. Higher scores signaled greater dissatisfaction.

Mothers also answered questions from another scientific questionnaire, the HITS (Hurts, Insults, and Threats Scale), reporting whether they had experienced any physical hurt, insult, threats and screaming over the past year. They also were asked if their partners restricted activities such as spending money, visiting family or friends or going places that they needed to go.

“Those are risk factors that can contribute to depression over the long term,” Saxbe said.

Treating fathers with postpartum depression

Although doctors may try to address postpartum depression in fathers by providing testosterone supplements, Saxbe said that the study’s findings indicate a boost could worsen the family’s stress.

“One take-away from this study is that supplementing is not a good idea for treating fathers with postpartum depression,” she said. “Low testosterone during the postpartum period may be a normal and natural adaptation to parenthood.”

She said studies have shown that physical fitness and adequate sleep can improve both mood and help balance hormone levels.

In addition, both mothers and fathers should be aware of the signs of postpartum depression and be willing to seek support and care, Saxbe said. Talk therapy can help dads — or moms — gain insight into their emotions and find better strategies for managing their moods.

“We tend to think of postpartum depression as a mom thing,” Saxbe said. “It’s not. It’s a real condition that might be linked to hormones and biology.”

Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Southern California. Original written by Emily Gersema. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

 

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Is testosterone replacement therapy the right thing for aging males?

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A study suggests that exercise can reduce the risk of heart damage for middle-aged adults and seniors. According to the study, even those who are obese will benefit from physical activity. Wochit

Testosterone (T) is a naturally occurring hormone in men, and most of it is produced in the testicles.

At puberty, T production escalates, bringing about masculinizing changes in muscle mass.  also promotes sex drive, sperm and red blood cell production, bone mass and determines how men store body fat.

It can impact quality of life issues as well, like mood, energy and motivation.

Beginning at about age 30, T production begins to decline on average by about 1 percent per year, plummeting late in life. This causes all sorts of problems, including lack of sex drive, inability to sleep, loss of muscle and bone mass, increased belly fat, the list goes on. Reversing these symptoms and improving the quality of life is the reason T replacement therapy (TRT) clinics supervised by physicians have sprung up around the country.

Although it is considered a male hormone, women also produce a modest amount of T in the ovaries. After menopause, estrogen production declines, which alters the ratio of estrogen to T, explaining why women begin taking on some male characteristics, like storing more fat around the midsection, rather than on the hips, thighs and buttocks as occurs earlier in life.

TESTOSTERONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY

Is TRT a good thing? It can be when managed responsibly. If you are older, and your T level is very low and falls below the normal range, it makes sense to address it with TRT because it can negatively impact health, increasing risks associated with diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis. Low T also may shorten life, but this is controversial because when TRT raises T levels it has not been shown to extend life.

More is not always better, and many TRT clinics are viewed with suspicion because they advertise that it’s possible to feel like you are 25 years old again, even though you are decades older. Perhaps this is possible, but at what price, and if you are taking huge doses of T, could you be damaging your health?

Research studies in 2013 and 2014 indicated that TRT increased the risk of heart disease in men 65 and older, and in younger men with a history of heart disease. However, subsequent studies refute these findings and some show a deceased risk of heart disease. Another area of concern is an increased risk of prostate cancer, but this, too, is controversial. There does appear to be solid evidence that TRT can increase the risk of blood clots and stroke, plus sleep apnea, acne and breast enlargement.

All in all, some experts believe the benefits outweigh the risks, while others are more cautious because TRT hasn’t been around long enough or impacted enough men to draw meaningful conclusions. Time will tell. In the meantime, like most things in life, moderation is the best approach.

THE BOTTOM LINE

TRT has a place and can be beneficial if managed prudently. Just be careful of extreme approaches and promises that seem too good to be true. As for AS, there is no justifiable reason for athletes to be taking them. Ever!

Written by: Bryant Stamford

Article Source: http://www.courier-journal.com/story/life/wellness/health/2017/09/07/testosterone-replacement-therapy-aging-males/569708001

 

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Testosterone therapy improves sexual, urinary function in men

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Men with hypogonadism treated long-term with testosterone therapy experience improvements in sexual and urinary function compared with men who are not treated, according to findings published in The Journal of Urology.

Abdulmaged M. Traish, PhD, of the department of biochemistry and department of urology at Boston University School of Medicine, and colleagues evaluated data on men with total testosterone levels of 12.1 nmol/L or less and symptoms of hypogonadism assigned to parenteral testosterone undecanoate 1,000 mg for 12 weeks (n = 360; mean age, 57.4 years) or no testosterone (n = 296; mean age, 64.8 years) for up to 10 years to determine the effect of long-term testosterone therapy on urinary and sexual functions and quality of life. Follow-up was a mean of 6.5 years.

Total testosterone levels were restored to the physiological range (500 ng/dL) in the treated group during the first year and the levels remained stable through follow-up; however, mean testosterone levels remained less than 300 ng/dL in the untreated group.

The untreated group experienced increases in the international prostate symptom score during follow-up compared with decreases in the treated group. At baseline, 50% of the treated group reported mild symptoms and 50% reported moderate symptoms, and 91.5% of the untreated group reported mild symptoms and 8.5% reported moderate symptoms. At the last visit, all the treated group had mild symptoms, and 61% of the untreated group reported mild symptoms and 39% reported moderate symptoms.

Post-voiding bladder volume and score on the Aging Males’ Symptoms scale decreased in the treated group but increased in the untreated group.

Among the treated group, 17.1% had no erectile dysfunction, 30.5% had mild erectile dysfunction, 20.7% mild to moderate, 25.6% moderate and 6.1% severe. At the last visit, the proportion of treated participants without erectile dysfunction increased to 74.4%, 17.1% had mild, 7.3% had mild to moderate and 1.2% had moderate. Among the untreated group, 1.2% had no erectile dysfunction, 31.7% had mild, 52.4% had mild to moderate and 14.6% had moderate. The severity of erectile dysfunction increased in the untreated group through follow-up to 51.2% having moderate and 48.8% having severe.

Prostate volume remained stable in the untreated group but increased from 31.4 mL to 33.2 mL in the treated group.

 

Article Source: https://www.healio.com/endocrinology/hormone-therapy/news/in-the-journals/%7B0c2f828d-0812-42fa-8f66-181eb9a8ee0f%7D/testosterone-therapy-improves-sexual-urinary-function-in-men

 

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