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Hormones & Pharmacological Agents


12 years, 2 months ago

2855  0
Posted on Mar 19, 2008, 9 a.m. By Bill Freeman

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Although the decline in testosterone production as men age ("andropause") is not as dramatic as the drop in women


Although the decline in testosterone production as men age ("andropause") is not as dramatic as the drop in women’s estrogen production with the onset of menopause, testosterone decline is a serious issue for many older men. Among other problems, declining testosterone production is strongly associated with impotency and libido problems.


Anti-aging benefits that have been associated with testosterone replacement therapy may include increased libido and sexual potency; improved erectile function; improved mood and increased feelings of well-being; decreased fatigue; increased red blood cell count; reduction of LDL cholesterol and overall cholesterol levels and strengthening of the bones. Results of research published in 2002 revealed that men who have higher levels of "bioavailable" testosterone - testosterone that is not bound to protein - appear to perform better on tests of mental performance than men with lower levels of the hormone.


Symptoms of testosterone deficiency include: reduced libido, fatigue or a decrease in physical stamina, difficulty in maintaining erections, memory impairment, weight gain, depression and anxiety, increased risk of heart disease, and decreased muscle mass


Testosterone replacement needs to be managed by a physician to ensure that a patient receives only enough of the hormone to replenish lost levels. Many forms of administering testosterone have been developed, including intramuscular injections, suppositories, transdermal patches, attached to the midriff, thigh, or arm, as well as to the scrotum, oral micronized capsules, and sublingual lozenges. Oral administrations seem to be the least effective method.


Testosterone should only be supplemented under medical guidance.


If testosterone replacement is administered to men with normal or near-normal levels of the hormone, any number of dangerous side effects may occur. Most notably, excess doses of testosterone may inhibit the body’s ability to produce testosterone. Testosterone replacement carries with it the risk of stimulating both benign and malignant prostate tumor growth. In addition, because it can reduce HDL cholesterol levels, testosterone replacement may be associated with an increased risk of coronary artery disease.

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