Testosterone is a hormone that is vitally important to the proper function of the human body. Testosterone levels decline with age, usually beginning for a man in his mid-30s. Diminishing testosterone levels have been linked with disorders such as depression, fatigue, obesity, sexual dysfunction and cognitive decline. The symptoms of low testosterone in men are not always obvious.
In addition to an increase in lean muscle mass, some men report fat loss as well. While testosterone doesn’t directly incite fat loss itself, part of it may be thanks to the uptick in muscle mass—the more muscle you have, the higher your basal metabolic rate (or BMR) will be, which means your body will burn more calories at rest. In fact, some reaserchers believe that reduced muscle mass is the primary reason a deficiency in testosterone leads to weight gain in men.
Some men have more than enough testosterone. But it’s possible for the body to produce too little testosterone. This leads to a condition called hypogonadism. The two types of hypogonadism may be caused by an inherited (congenital) trait or something that happens later in life (acquired), such as an injury or an infection. This can be treated by hormonal therapy, which requires a doctor’s prescription and careful monitoring.
More than 70% of morbidly obese men suffer from male hypogonadism. Research shows that belly fat, which contains high levels of the enzyme aromatase, which converts testosterone into estrogen, is a cause of lowering testosterone levels in men. Second, high aromatase and estrogen activity reduces the production of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GRH). Lack of GRH leads to lower levels of male’s luteinizing hormone, which in turn reduces the production of testosterone. Our physicians base a diagnosis of hypogonadism on symptoms and results of blood tests that measure testosterone levels. An initial blood screen will be done to determine Total and Free levels of testosterone. Because testosterone levels vary and are generally highest in the morning, the second blood test will be done early in the morning on a day that is convenient for our patient.
Our providers offer testosterone therapy to alleviate the symptoms that accompany declining testosterone in males. Knowledge is power, talk to our providers today about how to get started on creating a new and invigorated you!