Cape Breton men, this one is for you!
Feeling run down, no ambition or lack of sexual desire? It may be your testosterone, B’y.
Millions of men are choosing to use testosterone replacement and for good reason. Low testosterone can cause a man to feel less than they were before.
Common signs of testosterone deficiency are reduced sex drive, lack of erection function, loss of body hair, less beard growth, loss of lean muscle mass, constant lack of energy, feelings of sadness, and weight gain (especially around the middle). Do any of these changes sound familiar? They should; they are common. Let’s dive into testosterone a bit deeper.
Testosterone is the primary sex hormone in men that is responsible for sending messages to several cells. Testosterone is responsible for sperm production, sexual desire, muscle and bone growth, and body hair. Higher levels of testosterone in men are the main ingredient in creating male features. As men age, their testosterone decreases.
We are seeing lower levels of testosterone earlier in men’s lives due to environmental changes, such as increased stress; increased plant estrogen hormones in food; and products that we use. Conditions such as diabetes and obesity also decrease testosterone and are on the rise. Low testosterone levels are also the result of marijuana use, alcohol abuse, trauma, excessive exercise, sleep apnea, and COPD, to name a few.
It has been reported that as many as 40 percent of adult men suffer with low testosterone levels. Twenty percent of these men are 39 or younger. I often treat men in their late 30s and early 40s with testosterone deficiency, and they feel much better when treated. The top three reasons that men seek out testosterone replacement are decreased well being, low energy, and low sex drive. Other common reasons include low social energy, weight gain, depression, low mood, and loss of muscle mass.
Testosterone can be measured using a blood test. There are two types of testosterone levels that can be evaluated, free testosterone and total testosterone. However, there are differences in the quality of these measurements depending on the lab that does the test, plus some men have symptoms of low testosterone despite having adequate levels according to results.
We have this problem because we don’t know what the male’s baseline was for testosterone; we don’t routinely test at younger ages. Because of this, if men present with symptoms but have “normal” testosterone levels, the Canadian Urological Association recommends a three-month trial with close monitoring of labs and symptom relief. Currently, low testosterone levels are undertreated, and this can lead to severe effects.
Testosterone has been found to be useful in the control of chronic disease. In a recent study from the State University of New York at Buffalo, testosterone was shown to reverse Type-2 Diabetes in one-third of the participants. This study also found that there were fewer deaths, heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes complications in the group of men treated with testosterone. Another recent study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed that there was no increased risk of heart attacks for men when they used testosterone replacement. Confirming that testosterone is safer then once thought!
The use of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) has increased over the past few years and trends suggest that increase will continue as our population ages. Bio-identical Testosterone is typically given in the form of a cream that is applied twice daily or it can be administered by injection, gel, nasal spray, and pellets. Men who use TRT report feeling more energy, higher sex drive, better erections, improved sleep, and an improved overall sense of self.
Testosterone has also been reported by men to provide improved muscle mass. Additionally, most men report no negative side effects or concerns after starting TRT and many refer their friends and family members to me for treatment.
As we learn more about the benefits of testosterone for both men and women, more people will seek out this important therapy to improve their well being. If you think you have a low testosterone level, you probably do. Men’s hormones matter too. Lol! Andropause can have negative effects on family life, relationships, and a man’s interest in social activities.
It might just be your testosterone B’y!
For more hormone information follow Tammy on TikTok and Instagram at tammytalkshormones.
Tammy O’Rourke is a Nurse Practitioner with a Ph.D. in Nursing. She spent the first 20 years of her career in primary care. About seven years ago she started having symptoms of several hormonal imbalances, for which her doctor prescribed medications to address anxiety, depression, and sleep issues. These medications left her feeling numb, more tired, and angry at a system that wasn’t addressing the root cause. Tammy was in perimenopause, that 8–10-year period before menopause that leaves women feeling tired, out of control, moody, lacking in self-confidence, and unwell.
She made the move to invest in her health and discovered bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, which helped significantly with her symptoms. So much so that she decided to learn more about hormones. She became certified in the United States through World Link Medical and she has been helping men and women with their hormone problems for more than four years. Tammy is passionate about her hormone practice and continues to help women and men across the country.
She recently relocated to Cape Breton Island with her husband, who grew up in Whitney Pier.
Photo by Warren on Unsplash