The endocrine system is a complex network of organs and glands like the hypothalamus, pituitary, and thyroid glands, that are responsible for secreting various hormones, or chemical messengers. Testosterone (T) and other hormones communicate with tissues and cells to regulate several significant bodily functions.
Hormones control imperative processes, from healthy growth and sexual development to metabolism. They operate like an intricate game of telephone, requiring feedback signals to start and pause production.
Even though testosterone is one of the most influential chemical messengers in the body, aging can cause T levels to decline. According to Harvard researchers, T levels drop by 1% each year after 40, and by age 70, T they could be 30% below normal.
Why does Testosterone Production Decline?
There are two types of testosterone; bound and free testosterone. Bound testosterone is already attached to proteins, therefore making it inaccessible for the body to use. Low T is a medical condition in which the level of total testosterone dips below 300 ng/dL. Aging is only one of the factors that cause T levels to decrease.
Chronic inflammation, autoimmune, pituitary, and hypothalamic diseases can cause men to develop low T later in life. Direct trauma to the testes, hypothalamus, or pituitary glands can create a temporary or permanent decrease in testosterone production. According to Craig Hospital, 80% of men with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) develop hypogonadism after an accident.
Stress has been linked to several medical complications in men and women. Stress raises cortisol levels, a powerful steroid hormone, and the body’s natural alarm system. Recent research found that too much cortisol can reduce or stop testosterone production.
While consistent moderate to high-intensity exercise can support and maintain healthy testosterone levels, over-exertion can have an adverse effect. One study found that if men push themselves too hard during workouts, they can develop overtraining syndrome (OTS). The combination of an excessive training regimen and inadequate rest or recovery periods can cause androgen deficiency in male athletes.
Medications like opiates are linked to abnormally low T levels in male patients. One study found that two-thirds of men on chronic opioid therapy also developed hypogonadism.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the worldwide prevalence of obesity has tripled between 1975 and 2016, with over 39% of adult men categorized as overweight and 11% of adult males are obese. Overweight is considered a BMI of greater than or equal to 25, and obesity is a BMI greater than or equal to 30.
High BMI is linked to low T in adult men. Researchers believe it’s because excess weight, particularly belly fat, causes free testosterone to change into estrogen or estradiol, thereby dramatically lowering free T levels.
Testosterone and Ageing
Testosterone is an essential hormone in infants, especially during the second trimester, because of its role in brain development.
T levels will continue to fluctuate throughout a lifetime. It triggers significant growth spurts in boys at seven, and jumpstarts puberty in boys once they turn twelve. Even though testosterone is the primary male sex hormone, in adolescent boys, it also supports the growth of healthy and strong bones by increasing red blood cell production and calcium.
Males between the ages of 17 to 20 tend to have the highest T levels, whereas, at 30, men begin to lose about 1% of all bound and free testosterone. Bioavailable T levels especially decline by 2-3% every year after 30.
According to an article in The Atlantic, 13 million American men 45 years or older have low T, but almost 90% of them go undiagnosed. The prevalence of low T only increases with age. UW Health’s Men’s Health Clinic estimates low T affects 12% of men in their 50s, 19% in their 60s, 28% in their 70s, and 49% in their 80s.
The average level of total testosterone for men in their 50s is 606 ng/dL, and by 65, the level drops to 523 ng/dL.
Hormone replacement therapy has helped men over 30 around the world treat the unwelcome side-effects of low T. Men can manage their weight, physical, mental, and sexual health with the right combination of medication, lifestyle, and nutrition changes.
Finding Hormone Replacement Therapy in Miami Beach
Miami Beach is a gorgeous island off the coast of South Florida that’s filled with sprawling beaches, beautiful parks, and classic 20th century Art Deco style buildings lining Ocean Drive. There are over 90,000 residents, and the median age for men is 41. Currently, there are over 120 clinics offering hormone replacement therapy, including Renew Vitality Miami.
Maintain Your Vigor with Renew Vitality
Dr. Thierry Jacquemin and the rest of the Renew Vitality Miami team of medical professionals take a different approach to hormone replacement therapy. While some offices will only offer medication, Dr. Jacquemin believes in working one-on-one with patients to identify the root cause of their issues. Our team specializes in creating personalized wellness programs that treat men with a variety of underlying conditions so they can live healthier and happier lives.