Optimizing Testosterone Levels for Men’s Health: A Comprehensive Approach

Some health issues are expected to happen with age—like an aching back and weight gain. But there are also those issues that men are less inclined to discuss, like sexual health. As we sat down with OnePeak Medical’s men’s health provider, Doug Goodgion, PA-C, a certified physician assistant (PA-C) and Army veteran specializing in men’s health, he explained that men’s health issues seen with age, actually start when they are much younger. 

“I typically see men in their 50s and 60s for testosterone evaluation due to low sex drive, but have seen a trend in younger men becoming more aware of having it as well,” said Doug.

Life can be hectic, and the demands we place on ourselves as humans eat away at our ability to heal our bodies, creating imbalances. 

As men enter their 30s and 40s, they may experience a decrease in sex drive, weight gain around the midsection, general fatigue, and brain fog. While these symptoms could be attributed to a range of factors, such as thyroid issues or depression, low testosterone levels could also be a contributing factor.

Many men will have symptoms and get their labs drawn, and everything is within normal ranges. But according to Doug, that often isn’t good enough. The risks of testosterone decline include higher mortality, mood disorders, and brittle bones, among others. 

“Low-normal ranges can lead to various issues, impacting quality of life,” said Doug. “It’s not uncommon for testosterone levels to decline as men age, but the rapid decline seen in many individuals today under 50 years old is concerning.”

Doug has found that the sweet spot that provides optimal health and function is at levels above the 50th percentile for a person’s age but can vary based on an individual health assessment. 

How Testosterone is Administered

Testosterone can be administered through various methods, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Options include creams, injections, and pellets. Creams are easy to apply and cost-effective but carry the risk of cross-contamination with partners. Injections, the most common method, may require self-administration or assistance from a partner and can be inconvenient for travel. Pellets offer steady testosterone levels for up to six months and are minimally invasive, but the initial dosing needs to be carefully managed.

When discussing testosterone administration, the topic of bioidentical hormones often arises. 

“Bioidentical hormones are plant-based and structurally similar to our own hormones,” said Doug. “Bioidentical hormones are usually preferred over synthetic versions due to their closer resemblance to natural hormones and potentially reduced unwanted effects.”

For those seeking natural ways to boost testosterone, building muscle mass, incorporating specific supplements, prioritizing sleep, managing stress, and maintaining a balanced lifestyle are all essential. Adequate sleep, reduced stress, and a balanced lifestyle are crucial for optimizing testosterone levels and overall well-being and longevity.

Red Flags for Men:

Recognizing the symptoms of low testosterone is crucial. But Doug wants men to watch out for some red flags.

“Fatigue, unwanted weight gain, and sexual health issues such as low libido or erectile dysfunction should not be ignored,” said Doug. “Seeking medical advice and getting appropriate lab tests can help diagnose and address these issues.”

Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is just one solution for the myriad of symptoms it presents. TRT is not for everyone. Visiting an experienced provider who will evaluate, discuss risks and benefits, and create a plan designed specifically for you is paramount to success.

Root Cause Medicine Is the Difference

It’s crucial to take a holistic approach to addressing testosterone levels. During an annual physical, comprehensive screening bloodwork for lipids, cardiovascular risk, hormone panels, and more can provide a clearer picture and potentially uncover the root cause of the issue.

Furthermore, maintaining cardiovascular health, cancer screenings, metabolic health, and prioritizing mental well-being are all vital components of comprehensive healthcare for men. Ultimately, achieving a sense of love, purpose, and joy in life is essential for mental health and overall well-being.

In conclusion, understanding and addressing testosterone levels is crucial to men’s health. By taking a comprehensive approach and considering natural strategies, men can optimize their testosterone levels and improve their overall quality of life.