Would you take them something that caused accumulation of fat, bone loss, loss of muscle, depression, fatigue, low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, heart disease and early dementia? Obviously that is a rhetorical question but that is what you are doing by not optimizing your testosterone levels.
Men and women both lose testosterone as they age (some faster than others) and benefit from having this hormone replaced. Ninety-Nine percent of the men and women who I treat in my anti aging practice receive bio-identical testosterone replacement and I am going to use this blog post to explain why.
1. Why should you take testosterone?
I will start out by explaining three basic concepts. The first is that all hormones have health benefits and when you lose the hormone you lose the health benefit. Secondly, normal blood levels are not optimal. Lastly, not all hormones are created equal. In both men and women testosterone is a hormone that effects every cell in the body. It strengthens the heart, protects the brain, protects your bones, drives libido (sex drive), keeps body fat off and helps you retain lean muscle.
The list of health benefits is endless and when men and women have the highest testosterone levels (in their teens and early twenties) they generally look and feel the best. Then as a result of aging our testosterone levels start to decline. And what happens? Its harder to lose weight, we stop waking up with erections, sex starts to become a chore, our mental focus and drive starts to decline, our workouts suffer and we are much more prone to injury. This is a direct result of the bodies declining production of testosterone even if you eat clean and exercise regularly.
In addition, the science is very clear when it comes to testosterone despite what you hear in the media. Overall, men who have testosterone levels in the upper quartile of the normal range have a 25-30% less chance of dying from all causes, to include heart disease and cancer. Your risks for diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and cancer all go up as your levels decline. the truth is, by not taking testosterone you are increasing your chances of dying prematurely significantly.
Here is a link to what the experts at Harvard say about testosterone replacement: http://www.lifeextension.com//Magazine/2008/12/Harvard-Experts-Recommend-Testosterone-Replacement/Page-01
2. But I though steroids are dangerous and I don’t want to get cancer and destroy my body?
Recall that I said not all hormones are created equal. Testosterone is a steroid hormone that is naturally produced by the testicles in men and ovaries/adrenal glands in women. However, it is distinctly different from “steroids” that body builders used for years to get massive. But people still lump testosterone in with all the other steroids. True “steroids” like anadrol, winstol, deca etc are steroid hormones but actually destroy your heart and completely shut down your hypothalamus and pituitary. These “steroids” are all compounds that are completely foreign to the human body and are riddled with side effects that can permanently damage your health. Testosterone, is bio-identical and produced by your testicles and metabolized perfectly by your body and actually protects you against chronic disease. This point is probably what keeps the majority of men from using testosterone: they were always told that “steroids” were bad for you (which they are) and would never do anything to jeopardize their health.
Watch this great video of Dr. Morgentaler (world renowned testosterone expert) who discusses the safety of testosterone. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPx2dRG1zRQ
3. What is the best way to take testosterone?
You want to make sure you are using testosterone replacement under the direction of a doctor trained in bio-identical hormone replacement and is full time in the anti aging field of medicine. I have seen men who use way too much testosterone that they got from a gym buddy which can also cause problems even though it is bio-identical. In my practice I either give my patients testosterone replacement in a lipoderm cream which they apply daily or use testosterone cypionate which they inject every 3-4 days. Both will achieve excellent levels and patients will start feeling better immediately. You want to try and keep your free testosterone level in the optimal range and should have your levels checked 4 weeks after starting and every 3-4 months for the first year.
I also see men coming to me on estrogen blockers given to them by doctors who are unaware that they are actually harming their health by blocking the conversion of testosterone to estradiol (with the exception of certain patients). They also come to me unnecessarily taking HCG injections (only men who want to preserve their fertility and keep their sperm counts up need this). In addition, you want to make sure all the other hormones are optimal to include thyroid, growth hormone, DHEA, cortisol and insulin. Any imbalance in these other hormones will adversely effect the results you are getting with testosterone.
The bottom line is that testosterone is a hormone which is extremely important to both men and women and when prescribed properly it is extremely safe. The science says keeping levels in the top 25% reduces your risks of dying by 25-30%. Any doctor who specializes in anti aging or age management medicine will know how to properly prescribe and monitor testosterone replacement therapy. If you would like more information and make an appointment to get your blood levels checked, please call Dr. Breen’s office at 877-721-0047