It's no longer a secret that
an adult man's testosterone levels decline with age. Each man
follows his own individual pattern. Some decline rapidly, some
more slowly. Some start out at a relatively high "peak,"
others at a relatively low "peak." Sooner or later,
though, the result is the same for all.
Eventually, nearly every man
reaches a point where his testosterone no longer drives his sex
life as well as he might like, and (just as importantly, but
less well-known) no longer supports a wide variety of non-sexually
related organs and tissues in an optimal way.
The relationship between gradually
declining testosterone and a fading sex life is well-understood
by every man (and every woman, too!), even if he or she doesn't
have a degree in medicine. What's not generally appreciated by
most men, and is just beginning to be appreciated by many practicing
physicians, is that declining testosterone also shares a large
part of the responsibility for a variety of other symptoms and
diseases long thought to be part of "normal aging."
These include heart disease, prostate disease (benign or cancerous),
muscle and bone weakness, depression high cholesterol, abdominal
weight gain, and loss of mental acuity.
For years, the media have promoted
"hormone replacement" for women, repeatedly reminding
us that it will prevent a substantial portion of such serious
age-related conditions as heart disease and oteoporosis. We're
also starting to read and hear that "hormone replacement"
may preserve women's mental functioning, too, not only stabilizing
emotions and "nerves" during menopause, but also preventing
a significant amount of senility and Alzheimer's disease at older
ages. It's simply common sense -- that if declining female sex
hormones (estrogens and progesterone) contribute to these symptoms
and disease in women, declining male sex hormones, especially
testosterone, might do the same in men.
Although the conventional medical
wisdom hasn't quite come around to that point of view, more and
more evidence suggests that, like hormone replacement in women,
replacing men's testosterone as it declines can protect men from
a variety of age-related conditions, including:
- Preventing the decline in
sexual interest and ability or reinvigorating sexuality even
if it has already begun to diminish.
- Preventing atherosclerosis,
angina, heart attacks, strokes, and high blood pressure.
- Normalizing cholesterol and
- Keeping prostate glands healthy.
- Preventing the "low-grade"
depression and "sour disposition" so common
in men as they become grandfathers.
It is becoming clearer and
clearer that the risks of these and many other "normal"
symptoms of aging can be significantly lessened by appropriate
replacement of testosterone, as well as by a variety of other
There is no question that natural
testosterone replacement is central to the treatment of all facets
of "male menopause."
For this reason, most of this
book concerns the clinical uses of testosterone. But please don't
forget that, for the best results, reversing or staving off the
ravages of aging must involve a multifaceted strategy that includes
an excellent diet, vitamin and mineral supplements, appropriate
herbs, regular exercise, limited alcohol intake, complete elimination
of tobacco and other drugs, stress reduction, and any other measures
that promote "general good health."