In this celebrity culture how we look and act has become more significant than ever before, that is why we have seen a huge increase in surgical and non surgical procedures such as breast implants, Botox , liposuction and hair transplants.
As well as physically changing our appearance, how we feel and come across to others is also now important, particularly for those in the media with much of it fuelled from Hollywood.
Physical appearance has never been quite as important to men as it has for women. Society, the media and men for that matter have quite wrongly put enormous pressure on women to look good for as long as they can where men get away with ‘they just get better with age like a fine wine’ nonsense.
However as men grow old things do change that makes them feel inadequate. First they begin to loose muscle tone, then energy and probably more important to a man than any sagging jowls, the loss of libido.
Viagra can help with libido but not the other two. So the first thing to be offered to men to help with all three was Human Growth Hormone, which has had some success.
But the real element that makes a man a man is Testosterone.
Testosterone is a steroid hormone that in men is produced in the testicles and adrenal glands. In high levels it is responsible for making a foetus male. Later it is necessary for the production of sperm, the presence of libido, the production of muscle tissue and male characteristics such as facial hair and mental and physical energy.
As men get older, levels naturally decline and it starts around the age of 30. The average young male produces about 6mg a day but older men produce much less. The symptoms of tiredness, low sex drive; erectile dysfunction and even depression have given rise to the controversial subject of the male menopause –the andropause. But it is very difficult to diagnose such a condition. There is a rare disease known as Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome that has links to increase risk of heart disease, type 2-diabetes and early death but that to is difficult to identify. That is because the range for normal levels of testosterone varies considerably between male adults from 8-31 nmol per litre of blood (nmol is a unit of measurement of trace levels of a chemical substance).
Testosterone levels also vary throughout the day. The most accurate readings would be first thing in the morning and these would have to be repeated before a picture of deficiency emerged. Levels can also be reduced by alcohol, stress and chronic illness.
Taking a testosterone supplement by injection is nothing new. However a great deal of investigation needs to take place before administering the hormone, to rule out other underling causes. After all increasing testosterone unnecessarily is linked to hair loss, high blood pressure and atherosclerosis, were fatty deposits block up the arteries. Heart failure, liver damage and blood clots are also common and if a male is suffering from undiagnosed prostrate cancer, then an increase in testosterone can stimulate the growth of the tumour.
The natural production of the hormone may stop altogether with long-term overuse. To get back to any kind of normal testosterone production would mean stopping the supplementation with all the side effects of withdrawal which includes weight loss, depression and impotence. The alternative is to take the drug for life.
So if you are suffering any symptom that makes you believe you are suffering with low levels of the hormone first get properly diagnosed. See a specialist and don’t be afraid to get a second opinion if you are not happy with the diagnosis.
Genuine low levels of testosterone should be treated but it needs to be embarked on with extreme care and under close supervision.