I have seen so many of my patients benefit from testosterone replacement. Some of the benefits include improved energy and vitality, better athletic performance with improved workouts, better sexual performance and significant weight loss. I hope that many men can take advantage of this great opportunity to dramatically improve their health and well-being. By reading this article, you will understand the ways that testosterone can improve your heath. By considering this, you will have the opportunity to feel younger with more energy in the short term and age better with good health in the long term.
Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone, responsible for male sexual development and critical in maintaining your erectile function, libido, normal energy levels and mood. Testosterone also controls a whole range of physiological functions throughout the body. As you reach your 40s, your testosterone levels begin to decline. This decline leads to a reduction in your energy and a slowing of metabolism. Thus, it is very common to develop a paunch in your 40s and 50s. This reflects the weight gain that occurs with decreased metabolism. At their initial visit, it is common for my patients to complain that they are gaining weight despite not changing their eating habits.
Unfortunately, this weight gain is mostly fat and not muscle. More concerning is that there is an increase in visceral fat. This is the fat around organs such as the liver, kidney and intestines and is the most dangerous fat because it generates inflammation in the body. This leads to clotting and organ damage including cancer. The clotting leads to heart attacks and strokes. Increased visceral fat also leads to insulin resistance, which sets a pathway to type 2 diabetes mellitus. The increased fat also causes decreased testosterone production. Thus, a negative cycle is initiated in which decreased testosterone leads to increased fat, which decreases testosterone further.
The good news is that by taking testosterone you can start to reverse this cycle. By taking testosterone, some of your fat will be converted to muscle. This helps reduce the dangerous visceral fat, which will reduce your inflammation. By reducing your visceral fat, insulin resistance starts to decrease, and that vicious cycle starts to get reversed. This is a key reason why multiple studies have shown cardiac benefit from testosterone replacement. Also, testosterone can improve lipids, raising the good HDL cholesterol while lowering the bad LDL cholesterol. This cardiac benefit is why testosterone replacement can save your life.
I also have many male patients whp are not overweight but come in feeling tired with low energy and sometimes even depressed. They recognize that they just don’t feel that familiar pep they felt a few years earlier. When started on testosterone replacement, they start to feel much better within a few weeks to a few months. Even better, their short-term and long-term health is much improved so they can enjoy these positive changes for many years.
I would like to provide a caution that if you have a low testosterone level, that decreases motivation. This may impair your ability to take the initiative to take steps necessary to improve your health. If you do take that step, you will start to feel great. You will have more energy and vitality. This increased energy will lead to improved mood. Many of my patients also report being more productive at work as they are able to focus better for longer periods of time. Your sexual performance will also improve with increased libido and better sexual function. You will also lose visceral fat and convert some of your fat to muscle. This will not be a miracle weight loss of “30 pounds in 30 days.” Rather, you are more likely to experience gradual weight loss. This is the type of weight loss that leads to long-term results.
If you decide to take advantage of this health opportunity, the good news is that there is minimal to no downside. A common misconception is that testosterone causes prostate cancer. Multiple studies have shown that testosterone does not cause prostate cancer. In fact, those with a low testosterone level are more likely to be diagnosed with more advanced prostate cancer. This is because your increased fat leads to increased inflammation, which is a breeding ground for cancer. Studies show that those with cured prostate cancer (PSA less than 1) who take testosterone replacement get the benefits of testosterone with improved overall health. Another misconception is that testosterone increases your risk for clots. This is because your blood count increases with testosterone. However, your platelets do not increase, so your risk for blood clots is not increased. Also, testosterone will reduce your fertility. When your levels increase, this will tell the pituitary gland to reduce the hormones that lead to testosterone production. These same hormones lead to sperm production. Thus, there will be reduced sperm production and decreased fertility. This is reversible and for most of my patients, this decreased fertility is not clinically relevant.
In summary, to improve your energy and vitality while improving your mood, you should consider testosterone replacement. If you proceed with testosterone replacement, you will convert some of your fat to muscle and will most likely lose weight over several months. Your sexual function will also improve. Even better, your overall health is likely to improve with improved cardiac health, improved brain health and improved bone health. You will feel great with improved energy in the short term and have overall better health in the long term.
By Warren Slaten, MD
Dr. Slaten is a wellness physician specializing in regenerative pain treatments and lifestyle counseling. He is certified in advanced bioidentical hormone replacement. You can learn more at his website: www.njhormones.com.