The big "T". Testosterone. Are their detrimental effects of a low T levels? The answer is a resounding YES. The disease state that is created with declining T levels is called hypogonadism. Like estrogen, there are many T receptors in the brain and when T levels get low, those low levels are associated with depression, a tendency towards social isolation, decreased spatial memory, lack of confidence, and a decreased sense of overall wellbeing.

Hypogonadism affects many body systems. It leads to a decrease in lean body mass and an increase in visceral body fat. This is the fat of the "pot" belly. This is the fat that is the most dangerous to begin to accumulate because it increases risk of heart disease and Type II diabetes. And this type of fat creates a vicious cycle because as it accumulates it decreases testosterone production further aiding the increase of visceral body fat.

The reality is men experience hormonal decline just like women experience hormonal decline. The only difference for men is, there is no "event" like menopause to indicate a definite hormonal change. For men there is a gradual hormonal decline that many are calling "andropause."

If you are male, over 40 and answer "yes" to any of the following questions, it may be time for you to get your T levels checked.
  • My muscles are flabby or I have a hard time building lean muscle.
  • My sex drive isn't what it used to be.
  • I have lost confidence.
  • I am moody and easily irritated.
  • During sex, I have difficulty maintaining an erection.
  • I feel tired all the time.
  • I am depressed.
  • I don't have the stamina I once had.
  • It's difficult to recover after physical activity.
  • I'm anxious or worried all the time.
By: Patricia Grady, LMT, CMT

Patricia Grady, LMT, CNT attended the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, taught Kinesiology and Pathology at the Central Oregon Community College, is a licensed massage therapist from the Utah College of Massage Therapy, an AFPA Certified Nutritional Therapist, Lifestyle Coach and Weight Management Counselor at AgeWiseMD.

Patricia Grady, LMT, CMT