Thursday, June 29, 2006

Aging and Testosterone Levels

Just as estrogen production declines in women's bodies, testosterone production slows down in men as they age.

Although men have gradually declining testosterone levels during later adulthood, the decreases do not bring with them the physical side effects that many women experience during menopause.

Though the idea of "man"opause (the clinical term is "andropause") seems logical, there's little evidence to back it up. Some men do report sexual dysfunction or lack of desire, fatigue and weakness as they age, but most of these physical complaints are the result of lifestyle factors like diet, stress and inactivity.

Commercial testosterone supplements may promise feelings of more energy, strength and virility - but rarely deliver. In fact, healthy middle-aged men taking this hormone may experience a placebo effect at best and an increased risk of prostate problems at worst. I only recommend testosterone treatment if physician-directed tests indicate that your body does not produce enough on its own; then its effects can be quite dramatic.

Join Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging for more men’s health and lifestyle information.

Andrew Weil, M.D. – Author of:

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