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Testosterone deficiency: Should men use testosterone pills as they get older?
Don't feel like having sex? Do you often feel tired? Many men now suspect that their testosterone levels are dropping. Then does it help to swallow extra pills to increase hormone levels? Some doctors promise relief. But what's behind it? Could an additional testosterone intake help or is it a health hazard?
The new Viagra?
The “Low-T” phenomenon is currently causing a sensation in the USA. More and more men believe that they produce too little testosterone and therefore lose their potency and strength. The market for preparations with these hormones has exploded in recent years.
What do the studies say?
Scientific studies have shown that a testosterone deficiency increases the risk of becoming ill, for example, male depression and diabetes.
Do testosterone supplements help?
A study published in the Public Library of Science suggests that older men using testosterone products reduce their risk of having a heart attack. The study was not without controversy: scientists criticized methodological shortcomings.
Chicken or egg?
It is still unclear whether the diseases examined are the result of a low testosterone level or whether the low testosterone level is no longer a result of the diseases. Diabetes and heart failure, for example, have a massive impact on hormone levels.
What is testosterone for?
The male hormone controls the male's potency and libido in interaction with other hormones. In men, a high level of testosterone inhibits systematic thinking and promotes intuitive actions. It increases self-confidence, and people less doubt their emotional assessments of what is right and wrong.
During puberty, the impatience increases with increasing testosterone levels, adolescents with high testosterone levels are susceptible to immediate rewards and push for visible results. Conversely, they have problems waiting for something. This is because testosterone acts on brain regions from which the reward impulses emanate.
Muscles and bones
Testosterone promotes the formation of muscles and bones. With this hormone, boys build more muscle in adolescence than girls. The female testosterone level is on average 10% of the male. Testosterone formation also supports performance by contributing to blood formation.
Low testosterone level makes sense
In men over 40, the level of the hormone generally drops. There are probably biological reasons for this. Testosterone promotes impulsiveness, the sexual desire of different sex partners and thus slows down long-term family planning. Put simply, a high testosterone level makes sense for men to produce children, a lower level makes sense to raise them.
When is a testosterone level too low?
Setting limits for a “correct” testosterone level is difficult because a drop is normal. If a 40-year-old man complains that he no longer thinks about sex as he did when he was 20, it shows no health problem. It looks different if he suffers from a drop in performance, tiredness or tiredness, and this could have something to do with hormone levels. However, these symptoms are not specific.
When is testosterone deficiency pathological?
On the other hand, an often genetically caused pathological testosterone deficiency can be clearly identified: men are sterile, their beards do not grow, their bones are brittle. An intake of testosterone is necessary here.
The following applies to all hormone preparations and vitamins: only people who suffer from a real deficiency should take them. The “low-T” phenomenon, on the other hand, is a typical promise of eternal youth and potency. But if you take in too much testosterone, you may experience problems just like you do with a hormone deficiency. Typical consequences are thrombosis because the hormone releases too much red blood cells.
Psychotherapy or hormone therapy?
Anyone who suffers from the fact that their living environment is different at 70 than at 25 does not need hormone therapy, but psychotherapy.
As with other hormones, a healthy lifestyle is important so that testosterone does not drop too much in old age. If you do not eat excess weight in old age, but exercise the body moderately but regularly, your testosterone level will remain within limits. Consistent sport, especially strength training, even increases the level of the hormone. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)