As women age, their hormone levels naturally decline. Typically starting around age 30 or so, human genetic code has been programmed to reduce these levels, though the effects are more noticeable for many people after 50 years of age. These effects can include things like: muscle shrinkage, vision and hearing deterioration, and decreased brain and lung function.
Of the hormones that significantly drop off as women get older, testosterone has proven to be among the most powerful anti-aging hormones. Symptoms of age-related low testosterone levels are relatively recognizable and may include:
- Decreased mental acuity and memory. Testosterone has been linked to memory, one of the body’s most fragile mental functions. With age, humans are slower to learn new things, new information is processed less carefully, and details may be fuzzy or abbreviated.
- Decreased energy and overall sense of well-being. Low levels of testosterone can lead to difficulty getting to sleep and staying asleep at night. Lack of or disrupted sleep generally can leave women feeling exhausted and drained.
- Increased risk of heart disease. A lack of testosterone can sometimes lead to increased levels of total and LDL cholesterol which puts women at risk of developing heart disease.
- Loss of bone mass and density. Normal testosterone levels promote increased bone density. A decrease in bone mass and density also increases the risk of serious falls and fractures.
- Decreased libido. While testosterone is known commonly for affecting the male libido, it also has an impact on the female libido. Decreased levels of testosterone in women can lead to fewer sexual thoughts and desires.
- Increased body fat mass. As the female sex hormones progesterone and estrogen begin to fluctuate through age, estrogen tends to become the dominant one leading to weight gain particularly around the abdomen.
- Decreased muscle mass and strength. Normal testosterone levels promote increased muscle mass and bone density. A decrease in testosterone also increases the risk of serious falls and fractures.
In many cases, alternative treatments like testosterone therapy or hormone replacement therapy can reduce the symptoms of low hormone levels and, in some cases, can reverse the effects altogether. There are several types of alternative treatments for testosterone supplementation including:
1) Hormone Pellets
Nearly the size of a grain of rice, these small solid cylinders are made up of testosterone and are inserted just beneath the skin, typically in the upper hip. The hormone is then released into the blood stream at a steady rate over the following 4 to 6 months. They will eventually dissolve and need to be replaced for continued therapy.
2) Injection Therapy
The Grossman-preferred method of testosterone delivery, the hormone is administered via a tiny, almost painless needle similar to those used for insulin twice per month.
3) Topical Creams and Patches
While these are available in brand name and generic prescriptions, they are expensive; sometimes upwards of $4,000/year or more. These treatments require daily application and can be an inconvenience when traveling.
4) Oral Testosterone
This option is rarely used due to the risks that have been found associated with liver toxicity. Although formulas have been developed to prevent degradation by stomach acid, other types of treatment are often preferred. We prefer the Sublingual administration of testosterone. Allowing the tablet to melt beneath your tongue allows a direct absorbtion through the mucous membranes and bypasses the digestive system. We offer sublingual tablets to our patients.
If you feel that you may be suffering from the effects of low testosterone, you may find tremendous benefits in considering testosterone therapy.
We recommend that you come in for a wellness evaluation to see if any of our alternative medical treatments is right for you!