The Importance of Testosterone Testing
When I started seeing men in need of testosterone supplementation, I could not find any clinical guidelines for dosing or systems of administration, in the medical literature. Interestingly, in the general field of wellness, testosterone was first recognized as the feel-good hormone women needed to maintain and improve their sex drive in their 40s and later years. Although testosterone is the male hormone, little is reported on its use in men for similar purposes, in either conventional or alternative medical literature. Rare articles in the scientific journals reflect a sense of surprise when men treated with their own hormone for impotence, depression and involutional melancholia react well to testosterone. In July 2000, Dr. Jay Adlersberg of WABC reported that more than 4 million men in the US suffer from low testosterone. He also added that low testosterone can cause ” impotence, depression, and fatigue”. His report concluded with patient testimonials praising the remarkable results of testosterone supplementation. After six months in the study, the participants reported increase in lean body mass, sex drive and energy levels.
Similar to the situation with women, the level of testosterone in men is not routinely measured when undergoing routine physical examinations. In those unusual cases where the levels are measured, the value considered normal is variable, the range of healthy quite broad, thus most levels are deemed within normal range.
This returns diagnosis of problems back to the area of clinical judgment of subjective symptoms. However, the road to finding solutions is a lot steeper with regard to men. Andropause, or male menopause is still a dirty word in our society. Andropause has not emerged from the closet yet, although it certainly has reared its ugly head. Just like with women, men do not experience the same symptoms. They do not have incapacitating hot flashes and night sweats. They don’t have periods, a situation that precludes the choice of an arbitrary point in time the change can be pinned on. Thus diagnosing hormone deficiencies in men, requires more detective work. And just think of how long it took women to start talking about menopause openly! No wonder men are so far behind in this area. However, there is no reason to give up or continue ignoring the existence of andropause. Men need help with hormones just as much as women do.
And the payoff is just as high.