Hormone replacement therapy is a standard of care for older women, but today there is new awareness of the implications of decreased hormone levels in older men. Testosterone in men, like estrogen in women, is responsible for maintaining bone density. It also helps maintain muscle strength, muscle mass, and fat distribution.
Testosterone levels usually peak when men are in their 20s; concentrations of the hormone decline more rapidly after the age of 40, with a 2% decline each year. Obesity and type 2 diabetes can contribute to the decline of testosterone production. Symptoms of low testosterone include reduced muscle mass and reduced strength, both of which can lead to frailty, fatigue, and even depression.
Treating gonadopenia, the clinical term for low testosterone, is possible through testosterone replacement therapy. However, while clinical trials find
that testosterone therapy increases bone density, muscle mass, and muscle strength, it is not without risk.
Testosterone therapy can contribute to sleep apnea, prostate disease, and deep vein thrombosis,
a condition in which a blood clot forms in a deep vein and can break loose, causing a pulmonary embolism.
Testosterone therapy is relatively new, and there is no long-term data decisively measuring the risks against the benefits.
Men who are considering boosting their testosterone through hormone therapy should speak with their doctor. Typically, a doctor will monitor testosterone levels for some time before deciding whether testosterone therapy is indicated for their patient.
In general, unless there is a medical condition causing the decline in testosterone — rather than normal aging — a doctor is unlikely to advise testosterone therapy. Instead, they will suggest safer ways to boost testosterone, such as resistance exercise.
At Tower Lodge Care Center, in Wall, NJ, we specialize in geriatric care, and are highly qualified to care for the unique needs of seniors, both men and women. We take a restorative approach to care, and carefully consider the best way to maximize each resident’s ability to maintain function and enjoy life.
Tower Lodge Care Center offers long-term care, rehabilitative care, short-term rehab, respite care for those times when family members just need a break, and hospice care.
Better yet, contact us, at 732-681-1400, or by clicking here to schedule a tour.