The lack of testosterone in aging males can lead to a number of different symptoms and conditions including loss of libido, erectile dysfunction, depression, decreased cognitive ability, lethargy, osteoporosis, and loss of muscle mass and strength. This collection of symptoms is known as andropause, or ADAM (androgen deficiency of the aging male).
Many studies support the possibility that declining testosterone levels may be, in part caused by a series of chronic medical conditions that nearly all aging men experience. These include central obesity, hypertriglyceridemia, low high-density lipid cholesterol, hypertension and insulin resistance. Other conditions resulting in testosterone deficiency in older males include acute illness, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic kidney disease, and depression. Because of lifestyle choices that contribute to poor nutrition, illness, inactivity, and in some cases excessive alcohol consumption, some men are decidedly at risk for low “T”.
The Good News–Treatment Options For Men
Hormone replacement therapies delivered orally, by intramuscular injection, patch, or creams/gels may be effective. Men with true androgen deficiency experiencing andropause may benefit directly from hormone replacement involving testosterone though leptin, estradiol, cortisol, prolactin, thyroxine, growth hormone and dehydroepiandrosterone each play a part in a hormone imbalance. With proper treatment the negative effects on body composition, hair loss, cognition and memory, bone mineral density, muscle strength, angina symptoms, energy levels, sexual function and mood may be mitigated or eliminated altogether.