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©2009 Au Nautral Life
VieNue is a trademark of Au Natural Life.

Bioidentical Testosterone Cream

Introduction to Low Testosterone ("Low T")

Low testosterone, or "Low T," is a condition that affects both men and women. It occurs when the body is unable to produce sufficient quantities of testosterone. Low testosterone is often associated with aging in both men and women – however, it can also be caused by many other factors, including certain genetic conditions, testicular damage or infection, and exposure to toxins, radiation, or chemotherapy. Physicians see more effects from testosterone deficiency as both men and women age, and particularly when a woman approaches and enters menopause.

In women, the ovaries produce the majority of testosterone and estrogens. With the cessation of 80% of hormonal production, a perimenopausal woman suffers from estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone deficiency. The replacement of estrogen alone does not correct an absent sex drive, loss of muscle tone, and general lack of mental “get-up-and-go”. The decrease in sex drive in women is often due to oral contraceptives which suppress all sex hormone production (testosterone, estrogens and progesterone). The treatment is relatively simple: add back some testosterone.

Men and women with low testosterone may experience symptoms such as fatigue or low energy, a decrease in sex drive and sexual function, and increased irritability or depression. Men with low testosterone may also notice a loss in muscle mass, decreased strength, and more fat around their abdomen. Longstanding low testosterone can cause a decrease in bone mineral density, increasing the risk for osteoporosis (loss of bone mass).

These symptoms are often explained away as "I'm just getting older." However, the real problem may be low testosterone. Because the symptoms of low testosterone are often subtle and similar to those caused by other medical conditions, Low T often goes untreated.

Testosterone is an important male hormone produced mainly in the testicles. While testosterone helps the body develop male characteristics during puberty, it also plays a central role in maintaining healthy sexual function, energy, mood, and body composition in adult males.

male testosterone decline with age

Testosterone is also produced in females. It is produced in the ovaries. Testosterone helps promote bone growth, and it can help relieve mild depression, some vasomotor symptoms, and vaginal atrophy and dryness. It is the precursor to estrogen. Without testosterone, there would be no "woman."

female testosterone decline with age

Low T and Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction (E.D.) can be caused by physical and/or emotional factors. It has been estimated that the prevalence of E.D. in U.S. men could be up to 30 million. E.D. has been associated with age, with a prevalence of 52% in men aged 40 to 70 years old. According to a recent study, one out of five men with E.D. had low testosterone. Low testosterone is often associated with a loss of sexual desire, as well as a number of other symptoms.

Symptoms of Low T

Low testosterone, or "Low T," is a condition that affects as many as 13 million American men. It occurs when the body is unable to produce sufficient quantities of testosterone. The medical name for low testosterone in men is hypogonadism. It can be caused by many factors, including certain genetic conditions, testicular damage or infection, and exposure to toxins, radiation, or chemotherapy.

Low testosterone is often associated with aging for both men and women. Yes, women also suffer from low T levels. Women have many of the same symptoms as men: obesity, diabetes, or hypertension may be twice as likely to have low testosterone levels.

Physicians see more effects from testosterone deficiency as a woman approaches and enters menopause. The ovaries produce the majority of testosterone and estrogens. With the cessation of 80% of hormonal production, a peri- menopausal woman suffers from estrogen, progesterone and testosterone deficiency. The replacement of estrogen alone does not correct an absent sex drive, loss of muscle tone and general lack of mental get-up-and-go. The decrease in sex drive in women is often due to oral contraceptives which suppress all sex hormone production (testosterone, estrogens and progesterone). The treatment is relatively simple: add back some testosterone.

Men and women with low testosterone may experience symptoms such as fatigue or low energy, a decrease in sex drive and sexual function, and increased irritability or depression. Men with low testosterone may also notice a loss in muscle mass, decreased strength, and more fat around their abdomen. Longstanding low testosterone can cause a decrease in bone mineral density, increasing the risk for osteoporosis (loss of bone mass).

These symptoms are often explained away as "I'm just getting older." However, the real problem may be low testosterone. Because the symptoms of low testosterone are often subtle, and similar to those caused by other medical conditions, Low T often goes untreated, with only 1 in 20 men (and even less in women) with the condition receiving treatment.

On the brain:

  • Sex drive and performance decrease
  • Energy levels decrease
  • Irritability and depression increases

On the body:

  • Lean body mass (muscle) decreases
  • Fat mass - abdominal fat increases
  • Bone mineral density decreases

Expert Opinion

Dr Gold

Low testosterone is a major problem in both men and women approaching their forties and fifties. Testosterone is an important hormone that is produced in both men and women for physical growth and support such as maintaining muscle mass, muscle growth, fat loss, energy, stamina, and sexual health. A number of studies show a fairly significant percentage of diabetics have low testosterone. And low testosterone is linked to insulin resistance.

Testosterone is a dominant hormone in men, so when it decreases drastically, it causes major problems. By the time men reach their seventies, most of them have 30 to 50 percent less testosterone than they had when they were young. This causes muscle weakness, reduced libido, depression, mood swings and loss of mental acuity. Researchers found nothing wrong with the men's testes. Instead, they found evidence that the men's pituitary glands weren't making enough luteinizing hormone. That's the hormone that tells the testes to make testosterone. These symptoms are reversible with testosterone therapy and millions of men over age 50 are now using testosterone for this reason.

Women have a tenth of the testosterone that a man does, so when it starts to diminish it can have a big impact. Low testosterone causes problems including depression, decreased bone density, low sex drive, lack of vaginal moisture, lack of orgasm and loss of energy and strength. Between 45 and 55 years of age, women begin to experience menopausal symptoms and premenopausal symptoms can occur as early as 35. This causes an imbalance in hormones. A youthful balance is a primary key to slowing down and even reversing the effects of aging.

Low Testosterone in Men is Linked to Earlier Death

The recent news is frightening. Studies are being released showing that the lower a man's testosterone level, the higher his risk of death.

The research is becoming jaw-dropping and yet most men have no idea how serious the situation really is.

Please take note...

According to just released findings in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Dr. Gail A. Laughlin and her University of California, San Diego colleagues showed that older men with low levels of testosterone may die sooner than other men their age with normal testosterone levels.

This particular study included 794 men between 50 and 91 years old who were followed for an average of 11.6 years. In general, the one quarter with the lowest testosterone levels at the beginning of the study were 40% more likely to die over the course of the study than the men with higher levels of the hormone.

Another study was carried out by University of Cambridge gerontologist Kay-Tee Khaw, MBBCh, and colleagues. They studied 12,000 British men aged 40 to 79 who enrolled in a long-term study from 1993 -1997.

More than 800 of the men died by 2003; Khaw compared the testosterone levels of these men to those of some 1,500 living study participants.

After adjusting for factors that might affect risk of death - including age, weight, smoking, alcohol use, unstable blood pressure, blood sugar problems, physical activity and social class— the link between low testosterone and earlier death remained.

Low T Risk Factors

The causes for low testosterone that occur in men can be a result of one's lifestyle. Lack of exercise, unhealthy diet, smoking, and excessive drinking are all causes of low testosterone that can be modified by changing one's living habits. These factors are responsible for damage of the pituitary gland hypothalamus.

Other reasons men may be low on testosterone include poor circulation, and hypertension. Use of prescription or non-prescription medications may also be a cause of low testosterone. Psychological problems, too, it is believed in some circles might cause a man to suffer low testosterone although there is no consensus on this.

chart 1

Low T and Diabetes

Men with type 2 diabetes may be at an increased risk for low testosterone. Recent research shows that Low T affects 33-45% of men with type 2 diabetes.

While the exact reasons for this are still unclear, research suggests that the problem lies in the body's ability to stimulate testosterone production in the testes.

Men with low testosterone may be more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than men who have normal testosterone levels.

Women with NIDDM (Non-Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus), also known as Diabetes mellitus type 2 or type 2 diabetes, have high levels of free testosterone and low levels of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). Insulin resistance is closely correlated with these signs of hyperandrogenicity as well as with obesity. Men with NIDDM also have low levels of SHBG and, in contrast to women, low testosterone values.

Testosterone treatment is very efficient to reduce insulin resistance without digestive problems (a very common side effect of other anti-diabetes drugs).

Men and women with type 2 diabetes should have their testosterone levels tested, so be sure to remind your doctor during your next appointment.

Low T and Chronic Pain

If you're using prescription medicine to treat your chronic pain, you may be at higher risk for having low testosterone. Use of pain medications (known as opioids) may have a negative effect on the production of testosterone. In fact, recent research shows that up to 74% of men using opioids for treatment of chronic pain have testosterone levels below the normal range.

Restoring and maintaining normal testosterone levels can lead to a number of positive changes, such as:

  • Reduced fat
  • Increased muscle mass
  • Improved sexual desire
  • Improved sexual performance
  • Increased bone mineral density

Common Questions

What is the average age that men begin Andropause?

By the time men are between the ages of 40 and 55, they can experience a phenomenon similar to the female menopause, called andropause. Unlike women, men do not have a clear-cut signpost such as the ending of menstruation to mark this transition. Both, however, are distinguished by a drop in hormone levels. Estrogen in the female, testosterone in the male. The bodily changes occur very gradually in men and may be accompanied by changes in attitudes and moods, fatigue, a loss of energy, sex drive and physical agility.

Andropause is often underdiagnosed because symptoms can be vague and can vary a lot among individuals. Some men find it difficult to admit that there's even a problem. And often physicians didn't always think of low-testosterone levels as a possible cause. But testosterone is usually the cause, so you should get your testosterone levels checked to see if that is what is causing your possible andropausal symptoms.

Does taking testosterone cause manly features in women?

If a woman is using more than the prescribed dosage of testosterone for her diagnosis, she will start to acquire masculine features. These features may include thicker facial and/or body hair, a deeper voice, and masculine-like facial features. Just be careful when using it and do what your doctor suggests.

Will it improve my sex life?

If you are experiencing low testosterone levels, it might be the cause of the low libido. Be sure to check with the doctor first to find out if that is the reason for the decreased sex drive because there could be other reasons. If your test results do show low T levels, then it would be a good idea to get started on a hormone replacement therapy for testosterone and possibly estrogen, according to your tests.

What is DHEA? What does it do for you?

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is produced by the adrenal glands. The body converts DHEA to male and female sex hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone. DHEA levels typically peak by the time people are in their 20s and decline with age, which is why there has been considerable interest in DHEA and its role in aging. DHEA is manufactured naturally in the body, but DHEA supplements can also be made in a laboratory from a substance called diosgenin, found in soybeans and wild yam. Wild yam cream and supplements are often promoted as being a natural source of DHEA, but the body can't convert wild yam to DHEA on its own -- the conversion must be done in a laboratory.

Testosterone Test

If you have experienced any 4 of the following, you may be a candidate for further testing and possible hormone (including testosterone) replacement.

  1. Decrease in sex drive
  2. Orgasm less strong
  3. Lack of energy
  4. Decrease in strength or endurance
  5. Lost height
  6. Decreased "enjoyment of life"
  7. Sad and/or grumpy
  8. Deterioration in sports ability
  9. Falling asleep after dinner
  10. Decreased work performance

If you have symptoms of low testosterone, a simple saliva test can confirm if your testosterone levels are low.

 

Low Testosterone and "Andropause" (Male Menopause) Explained

Are you depressed, fatigued, or tired? Have you lost weight for no apparent reason? Have you experienced a loss in sex drive or a loss of erectile function? Are you suffering from muscle loss or the inability to grow muscle? Low testosterone levels, or hypogonadism, in both men and women may cause any, or all, of these symptoms.

Women may not be the only ones who suffer the effects of hormonal changes. Doctors are starting to notice their male patients reporting some of the same symptoms that women experience in menopause. While the medical community jury is still out on whether or not men really go through “male menopause”, many doctors say that male patients who are receiving hormone therapy with testosterone have reported relief of some of the symptoms associated with this condition.

Unlike a woman's menopause, when estrogen levels plummet over months to very low levels, men's “andropause” is a gradual decline of testosterone levels, approximately 1% to 2% percent per year, over years. The effects of low testosterone can be insidious, and often goes unnoticed because men with low testosterone levels can have symptoms without recognizing them.

Men, and all too often the women in their lives, often mistake their reduced desire for sexual activity as erectile dysfunction (ED), when the lack of desire may actually be a symptom of low testosterone (Low T). In fact, Low T affects 13 million men in the United States ages 45 and older, but it is believed that only half to two-thirds report and/or recognize symptoms, and by some estimates, as few as 12% of men with symptomatic androgen deficiency or low testosterone levels are being treated.

While one of the most prominent symptoms of low testosterone levels in men is a low libido or erectile dysfunction (E.D.), many men may not recognize that they suffer from low testosterone because they may still be somewhat sexually active, not being aware of how much their sexual activity has declined. Don't be fooled, men with symptoms of low testosterone can have significant impairment in their quality of life.

The symptoms of low testosterone include not only low sex drive and erectile dysfunction, but mood problems, fatigue, and sleep disturbances, among the following:

Low T Symptoms

Increased Body Fat / Weight Gain in the Wrong Places

While for some men, gaining weight may be desirable, particularly among the bodybuilding type, weight gain in the wrong places can be a key indicator of low T. If you have gained, or are gaining, weight around your belly, or if fatty tissue is increasing around your breast/upper chest area, you may be experiencing increased estrogen levels, and decreasing testosterone levels.

Testicular Atrophy (Small Testicles)

As with any other drug therapy, there can be side effects from testosterone supplementation. While low testosterone can cause shrinkage of the testicles, or testicular atrophy, so can synthetic testosterone supplementation. Testicular atrophy is fairly common among synthetic testosterone patients, as supplementing the body with testosterone can shut down the body's own production of this hormone.

Depression

A study conducted in 2004 indicated that low testosterone levels may cause clinical depression in men. Because some symptoms of low T. are similar to symptoms of depression, the link between the two disorders had been unclear.

In the study, researchers analyzed medical records of 278 men, aged 45 and older, over a period of two years. None of the men were diagnosed with depression before the study time period, but whose test results all indicated either low or normal levels of testosterone.

During the two-year period, the men with low testosterone were four times more likely to be diagnosed with clinical depression than those men who had normal testosterone levels, according to researcher Molly M. Shores, MD, with the Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System and the University of Washington in Seattle, whose study appeared in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

Fatigue / Lack of Motivation

Another primary symptom of low testosterone is fatigue, a feeling of considerably less energy; one of constantly feeling tired and run down. If it seems that doing a physical activity takes you longer with considerably more effort, or if post-workout or exercise recovery takes longer, you may be experiencing the effects of low T.

Ironically, because of the general feeling of malise, many men may altogether stop working out, which can result in even poorer health and lower energy levels, and as they gain weight, and have more to carry around with less muscle to accomplish it, they more easily experience fatigue and general low energy.

Low Sex Drive / Low Libido / Weak Erections

On average, a male in his twenties will have sex 3-4 times a week, while that frequency declines to approximately once a week or so in his fifties, and 1-2 times a month in his late seventies. As a man ages, along with low sex drive, impotence increases with age and the related lower testosterone levels. Nearly 10% of males over 50 and 40% of males over 70 have impotence problems. This is a primary symptom of low T.

Loss of Muscle Mass

A sedentary male will lose about 10% of his muscle mass every decade, therefore, by the age of 60, he will have lost up to 40% of his lean muscle. Since muscle is an efficient fat burner (5 pounds of muscle will burn calories equivalent to 10-12 pounds of fat per year), as muscle is lost, less muscle and calories are used each day, increasing the likelihood of fat accumulation and weight gain.

Other Symptoms Indicative of Low T

  • Increased risk of breast and prostate cancers
  • Gyneomastia (an abnormal enlargement of one or both breasts)
  • Memory Loss
  • Low Self Esteem
  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes (High blood sugar)
  • Hypertension
  • Increased risk of stroke
  • Increased heart attack risk
  • Osteoporosis
  • Premature Death

Low Testosterone: How Do You Know If You Have It?

In addition to the any of the symptoms above, if you have noticed an increase in your belly fat and/or a fleshy layer of tissue around the chest/breast area (pre-gyno), if your morning erections have become less frequent or you don't have any at all, or if you have lost motivation and drive, you may be experiencing increased levels of estrogen and decreasing levels of T.

Testosterone is an essential building block for muscle and bone, deepening of the male voice, and revving up sex drive. Throughout a man's life, testosterone maintains his male characteristics, and the decline of this essential hormone is believed to seriously impact these functions. Yet in light of the fact that low testosterone is associated with several chronic medical conditions, including obesity, diabetes, depression, possibly cardiovascular disease, and a condition known as osteoporosis (thinning of the bones), surprisingly little is known about the long-term health effects of low testosterone.

One thing is clear, unless something is done to get your testosterone levels back up to normal levels, more serious symptoms may begin to occur, which for many men means high blood sugar, hypertension, and cardiovascular problems.

Testosterone Replacement or Replenishment: Benefits and Risks

As with many human ailments, the medical society is quick to whip out the prescription pad, which is why prescriptions for testosterone replacement have risen more than 17-fold in recent years. While some experts applaud the increase, others sound a note of caution. Testosterone replacement by oral ingestion, patch, or injection is thought to be generally safe however there just isn't enough data available yet to fully assess the long-term benefits or risks.

One thing that is known is that synthetic testosterone signals the brain that the body has enough testosterone, actually stopping the body from producing its own, which is why men who are on testosterone replacement therapy are periodically cycled off as a precaution to reduce the risk that their bodies will not altogether shut down their own production of testosterone.

This is also one of the main reasons people seek alternative therapies, such as topical testosterone creams, which contain natural testosterone precursors believed to stimulate the body into producing its own testosterone, naturally, and given that bioidentical hormones replicate the very molecular characteristics of the hormones produced in our own bodies, it stands to reason that the human body is better equipped to handle and utilize them safely and effectively than their synthetic counterparts. Though there are relatively few U.S. studies on natural remedies, the few published to date have been promising and seem to affirm an overall emering consensus in people, that natural is better than artificial.

IMPORTANT: According to the Endocrine Society's clinical guidelines, certain men shouldn't take testosterone supplements. Men with metastatic prostate cancer or breast cancer absolutely shouldn't, because testosterone can stimulate cancer growth. Other conditions can potentially be made worse by testosterone therapy, including sleep apnea, severe benign prostatic hypertrophy, severe congestive heart failure, or high red blood cell counts (erythrocytosis).

 

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©2009 Au Nautral Life
VieNue is a trademark of Au Natural Life.

Bioidentical Testosterone Cream