Testosterone: So Misunderstood. Not the Dangerous Bully it has been painted.
If you were to ask the everyday guy what his testosterone level is, what do you think he’d say? Most guys probably have no idea what their testosterone level is or why they should know it.
Years ago, cholesterol suffered from the same ignorance. However, over time, education and the importance of cholesterol as it relates to cardiovascular risk factors made it something we all can appreciate.
We feel that testosterone is beginning to experience the same transformation. This hormone is starting to get the recognition it deserves as a vital and important player in men’s health. It impacts both quality and quantity of life.
What most people know are some vague misconceptions. You’ve probably heard them before. Things like:
Testosterone can cause "roid rage".
Testosterone can contribute or accelerate prostate cancer.
It is normal for Testosterone levels to drop with age as part of the "normal" aging process.
Testosterone is only for muscle heads mega dosing themselves or professional athletes called to testify before Congressional hearing committees.
What You’re Doctor May Not Know
Testosterone is in fact a "mood enhancer". It can help patients who are properly treated realize a better sense of well being while lessening depression or stress levels.
Abraham Morgentaler, Clinical Professor of Urology, Harvard Medical School has started to debunk myths surrounding testosterone and prostate cancer. He is showing testosterone is safe for men at high risk for prostate cancer. Most importantly he shows men with low testosterone levels have an increased risk for prostate cancer.
Researchers are finding a drop in testosterone with age is not necessarily "normal". It can be tied to lifestyle. Factors such as smoking and being over weight affect testosterone.
Testosterone provides a wealth of benefits for patients. We like to refer to these as "vanity benefits" and "underlying health benefits."
Vanity Benefits of Testosterone:
Increased ability to shed unwanted pounds. Especially around the mid section.
Better Mental Function
Better Sex Life (um, let’s just say it helps makes things very rigid and hard when needed)
Increased ability to build lean muscle mass.
Underlying Health Benefits of Testosterone:
Testosterone treatment has been associated with decreased risk of death. WOW.
Or to put it another way, men whose total testosterone levels were in the lowest quartile were found to be 40% more likely to die than those with higher levels.
Testosterone appears to play a positive role in longevity and decreasing mortality risk.
Should I have my Testosterone Level Checked?
Well, if you are feeling tired, spending more time on the sofa and not quite feeling like your old self, you may want to investigate your testosterone level.
Currently only 5% or so of patients suffering with low testosterone are treated. It is a big problem that physicians have yet to identify in their patient populations.
With testosterone playing such an important role in quality and quantity of life, it is important a physician knowledgeable in this realm help you navigate a diagnosis and treatment if needed.
In the end, most patient satisfaction rates run very high. It could be one of the most important things you’ll ever do for yourself.
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