What are Androgens?
Androgens are substances producing or stimulating masculine characteristics. They are involved in immune function, development and maintenance of muscle and bone, and erythropoiesis, i.e. bone marrow making RBCs. Levels of androgens can affect cardiovascular disease and emotional well-being. For example, low serum testosterone correlates with depression and accelerated arteriosclerosis.
Some signs and symptoms of lowered androgen (testosterone) levels and function are:
- Body fat increase, especially abdominal
- Concentration difficulty
- Erectile dysfunction
- Libido decrease and reduced sexual performance
- Ambition and work performance decreases
- Memory loss
- Mood disturbances, including depression, fatigue, irritability and loss of stress tolerance
- Muscle size and strength decrease, and endurance decreases
- Blood glucose elevation and insulin resistance
- Restlessness and sleep difficulties
- Lack of energy
- Declining physical coordination and agility
- Cognitive decline (memory and concentration)
- Loss of self-esteem and altered states of well-being
- Skin changes (loose skin/wrinkles) Testosterone (T) peaks in early to mid 20s, then begins a slow average annual decline of: total T by 1.6%, free T by 2%, and bio-available testosterone
After age 50, 50% of men are considered hypo gonadal – based on levels of bioavailable testosterone, free testosterone by 2.5%. Sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) rises roughly 1.6% per year.
In order to treat Andropause, or low levels of testosterone, the treating practitioner carefully reviews the patient’s complete medical history, current and past lifestyle patterns, as well as assessing all blood, saliva and/or urine test results. Then, a strategy is developed to rebuild and rebalance each patient on an individual basis. Assessing the possible interactions with any pharmaceuticals or hormones the patient is currently taking is also vital before and while considering testosterone replacement.
Testosterone is produced both in the ovaries and adrenal glands of women and is an important hormone for normal female sexual development. Women may lose their libido as they age which is secondary to loss of serum testosterone. Lack of testosterone also contributes to symptoms of menopause and lack of libido and sexual responsiveness.
Replenishment of testosterone in women contributes to the enhancement of sexual drive, relief of menopausal symptoms, restoration of energy, improves strength and also yields better results from workouts. It also strengthens our bones, preventing the onset of bone loss and/or osteoporosis and generally improves energy levels and motivation.
In Summary: The Replacement of Testosterone:
- Improves skin tone, muscle strength and tone, and protects bones, tendons and joints.
- Most women are unaware that the best hormone for the skin to prevent wrinkles and increase collagen and elastin is testosterone.
- Testosterone prolongs the quality of life by slowing the diseases of aging such as cardiovascular disease by decreasing cholesterol and increasing HDL.
- Improves sexual response and libido and also increases metabolic rate.
- Testosterone is a memory enhancer and protects against the formation of Alzheimer’s disease. It is equally as important and beneficial in females as well as males.
- Improves mood and is used to alleviate depression and persistent negative attitude.
- The New England Journal of Medicine reviewed testosterone replacement therapy for women and found it the best therapy for improving energy. It’s healthy for you and you’ll feel good too.
Causes of Testosterone Deficiency in Women:
- Adrenal stress or burnout
- Oral birth control pills
- Cholesterol lowering medications (Lipitor, Crestor)
- Psychological or physical trauma
- Surgical menopause (removal of ovaries)