Welcome to another edition of the Doctor’s Note, where we talk about what’s on our minds when it comes to your health. This week we are continuing our series on Men’s Health by talking about testosterone.
I’ll start with a few of the many myths about testosterone.
The first myth is that is causes prostate cancer. Testosterone doesn’t cause prostate cancer, in fact it prevents it. If you have a low testosterone level, you’re much more likely to develop prostate cancer than if you have a high testosterone level. In fact, recently the Urological Association has cleared the use of testosterone in men that already have prostate cancer.
The second myth I want to talk about today is that testosterone causes heart disease. Your heart is a muscle, and it needs testosterone. In fact, one of the major risk factors for heart attacks is having low testosterone levels. Most Cardiologists and Primary Care doctors do not know this important fact.
The same thing for diabetes. If you have low testosterone you are 62% more likely to develop diabetes than if you don’t.
You need an adequate testosterone level to prevent many diseases.
Testosterone levels: Where should your numbers be?
Testosterone levels are dropping. 20-30 years ago, the average male had a 25% higher testosterone level than they do now.
The normal range for a male should be between 400-1100, and you really need to be towards the higher end not the lower end.
In your 40’s, you need to get checked and see where you are on this spectrum and watch your testosterone levels. By the age of 50, most men are going to need to start thinking about some sort of testosterone replacement.
In fact, I see many men in their early 40’s with very low testosterone levels.
You need to be smart about it. You have to watch your estrogen levels and your red blood cell counts. If you do this, it can be easily managed. However, make sure the person doing this for you doesn’t shut down your own production of testosterone. There are strategies for this.
One message I want to get across to men is to realize that testosterone replacement is not just for muscles and sex drive. It’s unsafe to have a low testosterone level.
It’s for your bones, your brain, lean muscle mass, getting fat off of you, cognition and brain power. It’s what makes you a man.
Men, don’t be scared of checking your testosterone level. Be scared of not checking your testosterone level.
- Symptoms of low testosterone
- Being tired (This is what I see the most of)
- Decreased sex drive
- Lack of energy
- Losing height
- Decreased enjoyment of life
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Being overweight
- Feeling slow and sluggish
- Feeling depressed
- Decreased work performance
The theme of Men’s Health Month is getting the men to go see the doctor. And a low testosterone level is a great way to get men in to see the doctor. I can help men really take control of their health very simply by getting their testosterone levels where they need to be. It also gives me a chance to make sure they’re getting their other screening tests, and the opportunity to talk about heart health, nutrition, etc.
Say yes to testosterone.