Testosterone (sometimes misspelled as testerone) is the male sex hormone. Its levels are known to dwindle with age. This leads to a series of physical and mental symptoms including sexual performance difficulties. Today, there are treatment options for low testosterone called Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT), but does this type of therapy work in men 60 years and older
Why Older Men Often Experience Low Testosterone Symptoms
Older men are known to experience lower testosterone levels as it is a normal part of aging. Statistics show that roughly 5 million men have testosterone deficiency in the USA. The exact cause of this decline has not been identified. Typically, the rate at which testosterone levels fall are imperceptible and is associated with normal aging symptoms.
A study published in September 2013 in the New England Journal of Medicine established certain testosterone levels at which various physiological functions, such as percentage of body fat, lean muscle, muscle strength, and sexual desire begin to be affected. These physical symptoms of low testosterone can be unpleasant resulting in muscle weakness, decrease in vitality, decrease in mental sharpness, a shift in mood, decrease in strength and muscle mass, and a decrease in sexual desire along with erection problems.
Is Testosterone Replacement Therapy Safe in Older Men?
One of the major factors testosterone therapies monitor is the adverse events occurrence rates during the study. Adverse events common to older men include prostate and cardiovascular events. The study shows that the same level of events was experienced within the testosterone group and the placebo group.
One of the major factors to note is that testosterone treatments vary in dosage and duration. The more observable Testosterone level changes involve treatments that use a high dosage for longer periods of time. This raises a concern about its use by the general public.
Chronic medical conditions might be induced if hypogonadal older men are placed on the therapy. Moreover, other medical conditions such as worsened sleep apnea, polycythemia, and PSA increase have been sparsely observed.
How Men 60 Years or Older Can Benefit from Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Historically, as men age past the 60 years’ mark, their testosterone levels makes a sharp downwards dive. For most men, this dive is imperceptible, while for others it is.
This is a huge problem that should not be ignored. Above the 60-years bracket, testosterone levels dip more rapidly and this validates the need for testosterone replacement therapy. The major benefit the therapy brings is the restoration of sexual vigor and agility. Older men using the therapy would witness a dramatic improvement in their sexual competence over the months.
The other benefit it offers is improved physical fitness. Patients placed on this testosterone replacement therapy witness a considerable improvement in their willingness and capacity for physical exercise.
Additionally, patients witnessed an improved sense of well-being and perception. This shows the correlation between testosterone and men’s mental vitality. It should be noted that these benefits may abound in older men with testosterone levels lower than 275 ng/dL.
Not treating low testosterone can pose risks in itself. One study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism linked low testosterone to a higher risk of death from heart disease and other causes.
Overall, it is important for doctors to explain to patients the pros and cons of the therapy before commencement and to confirm low testosterone through a blood test.
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