Erectile dysfunction (ED) is characterized by the inability to achieve or maintain an erection long enough to reach sexual satisfaction. In some instances, this can be caused by various physical conditions such as arsenic contamination, potassium deficiency, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, neurological problems or side effects from certain drugs. These cases are fairly rare and can sometimes be rectified by treating the underlying problem.
Generally, however, ED is caused by the drop in hormone production which occurs with age. Testosterone production in men begins to decline in the mid-thirties and continues progressively with age, which is why four times as many men in their sixties seek erectile dysfunction treatment than men in their 40s.
People enjoy longer, more active lives today than previous generations, a change that has prompted increased interest in finding a safe, effective low sex drive treatment for men. Some prescription drugs are available for healthy men that offer temporary relief, but these synthetic options can have significant detrimental side effects. Fortunately, research has proven that bioidentical hormone replacement for men not only increases libido and stamina, but has several other significant health benefits.
Hormonal Changes in Men
Until recently, little attention was given to the mid-life hormonal changes men experience. This phenomenon, known as andropause, occurs over time as hormone production declines. For some men, testosterone and DHEA levels can actually begin to fall in the mid-30s. Symptoms of andropause can include some or all of the following.
- Low sex drive
- Erectile dysfunction
- Sleep apnea
- Weight gain
- Muscle loss
- Hair loss
- Interrupted sleep patterns
- Night sweats
- Hot flashes
- Urinary issues
Extensive scientific research has been conducted regarding the role of testosterone in men and how those declining levels impact sexual performance and overall health. Not surprisingly, reduced testosterone can create low sex drive as well as sexual performance issues. What many men do not realize, however, is the significant impact low testosterone can have on other areas of health. Some of these health problems include:
- Increased incidence of Type 2 diabetes
- Metabolic syndrome
- Cardiovascular disease
- Hypertension, and
Testosterone also supports several other vital functions such as maintaining bone and muscle mass, reducing belly fat and aiding in cognitive and emotional well-being. Men who take synthetic forms of testosterone as a low sex drive treatment can experience several negative side effect, including an increased risk for heart disease. Bioidentical testosterone, on the other hand, actually reduces the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol. Studies also show that youthful levels of testosterone can help prevent inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and atherosclerosis.
Testosterone can be taken topically, in patches or in a transdermal cream, or administered through injections or pellets. The problem with oral supplements is that they are not well absorbed. The body converts a portion of testosterone to estrogen, called estradiol, by the enzyme aromatase. While originally thought a rise in estrogen via testosterone conversion was carcinogenic and could lead to heart disease, well controlled medical studies show just the opposite. It is this converted estrogen that is cardioprotective. The higher the level the better. In addition, elevated physiologic levels of testosterone are not associated with prostate cancer.
Bioidentical Testosterone Therapy
Men can realize a slow decrease in their testosterone levels (and increase in symptoms) as early as their late 30s. Over-the-counter supplements can marginally increase testosterone levels and DHEA supplementation can raise them as well. However, the only true therapeutic approach is with testosterone hormone replacement therapy. The goal is to bring your testosterone back to their highest levels found in your early 20s for optimal benefits.
Testosterone is a natural plant sourced hormone that can be administered topically, by injection or by insertion of pellets under the skin. It is important to note testosterone therapy is approved by the FDA for only one medical indication: male hypogonadism. This is a very specific medical condition of very low testosterone which increases men’s cardiovascular risk, loss of muscle mass, altered mood, low libido and impotence. Fortunately, medical professionals are able to prescribe any FDA-approved medication for off-label use. That means that even though testosterone has only one specifically approved indication it can be used for other indications if a physician believes it is medically appropriate. That allows doctors to legally prescribe testosterone to men and women who have signs and symptoms of testosterone deficiency.
DHEA, or dehydroepiandrosterone, is the most prevalent hormone in the human body and is vital to maintaining high energy levels. It is also an antidepressant and anti-stress hormone which protects the immune system from the impact of stress and improves memory, increases stamina, and helps prevent arthrosclerosis and osteoporosis. DHEA levels tend to peak around age 25, and then declines approximately two percent per year. Sublingual tablets are an effective way to treat andropause symptoms by restoring youthful levels through this Connecticut erectile dysfunction treatment.