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Testosterone and Ageing

Testosterone and Ageing

By Mike Kocsis | 7 minutes read | Last updated: March 28, 2024
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  • Medically Reviewed by Dr. George Touliatos

    Evidence Based Research

    Testosterone is the hormone most often associated with the development of male characteristics. It continues to affect your body even after puberty. At around 30 years of age, testosterone levels begin to drop. In some cases, low testosterone can lead to a condition called late-onset hypogonadism which can come with unwanted symptoms.

     

    Read on to find out how the natural ageing process affects your testosterone levels and overall well-being.

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    Testosterone

    The impact of testosterone begins with the embryo, but levels of testosterone are at their highest during puberty when they contribute to the development of male secondary sexual characteristics. In adulthood, testosterone in associated with the following:

     

     

    Conditions associated with low levels of testosterone include heart disease and cardiac failure, hypertension, osteoporosis and diabetes.

     

    Andropause

    Andropause, also known as “male menopause”, is the name given to a collection of symptoms often experienced by middle-aged men. Unlike female menopause, this is not a dramatic drop in hormone levels. Testosterone levels generally fall at a slow and steady rate in most men and rarely drop to levels where they cause problems. While this is normal, it can come with some unsavoury symptoms that can be easily treated.

    Many of the common symptoms experienced by middle-aged men, such as erectile dysfunction, reduced muscle and increased fat, fatigue and poor concentration are easily mistaken for symptoms of other medical conditions. That’s why it’s important to speak to your doctor if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed.

     

     

    Late-onset Hypogonadism

    Hypogonadism refers to a condition in which the body does not produce enough testosterone. It can be present from birth, but late-onset hypogonadism generally emerges later in life. It is quite rare but tends to be more common in men who have type 2 diabetes or who are obese. If you are displaying the symptoms of late-onset hypogonadism, the condition can be diagnosed with a blood test to measure your levels of testosterone.

    Symptoms of late-onset hypogonadism include irritability or mood swings, lack of energy and enthusiasm, fatigue or insomnia, poor concentration, memory problems, reduced muscle and increased or redistributed fat. The fact that these symptoms are so similar to the natural symptoms of ageing can lead to difficulties with diagnosis, especially as testosterone levels mirror natural reduction with age.

     

    What does the science say? 

    Don’t just take it from us, have a look at what the science says about your testosterone levels as you age. 

     

    Testosterone and age:

    Feldman HA et al (2002) conducted a longitudinal study on men between the ages of 40 and 70 to establish age trends in testosterone levels. 1,709 men enrolled in 1987–1989, and 1,156 were followed up 7–10 yr afterwards. He found that Total T declined cross-sectionally at 0.8%/yr of age within the follow-up data. 

     

    Testosterone and old age: 

    Research suggests that approximately 20% of men over the age of 60 and 50% of men over the age of 80 have low testosterone levels. (Harvard Health Publishing 2008).

     

    Low testosterone symptoms: 

     Low testosterone levels can contribute to a variety of health issues in ageing men, including decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, reduced muscle mass and strength, increased body fat, and decreased bone density (WebMD 2023).

    Studies have shown that low testosterone levels are also associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, and cognitive decline in older men (Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 2002).

     

    The findings in these journal articles help to shed light on the significant impact of testosterone levels on ageing men’s health. As testosterone naturally declines with age, understanding the prevalence of low levels and associated health risks becomes crucial. If you feel you may have low testosterone levels we urge you to get in contact with us where we can assess your symptoms and provide the necessary treatment.

     

    Age Testosterone (nmol/L)Testosterone (ng/dL)
    20-2414.2-19.3409-558
    25-3014.3-19.9413-575
    30-3412.4-17.3359-489
    35-4012.2-16.5352-478
    40-4412.1-16.4350-473

    Source: American Urological Association’s definition of normal testosterone 2002

     

    Hormone Replacement Therapy

    For men experiencing late-onset hypogonadism, testosterone replacement therapy can help to relieve symptoms and help to rebuild muscle mass, reinvigorate libido and ease other symptoms.

    Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a medical intervention designed to restore testosterone levels to their optimal range within the body. Utilising bioidentical testosterone, TRT effectively alleviates symptoms associated with low testosterone. Administration methods vary, including injections, topical applications like creams and gels, as well as patches, pills, or implants.

     

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    To Takeaway

    It’s natural for your testosterone levels to reduce with age. Although it’s expected, nothing quite prepares you for the symptoms that come with it. Luckily, there are treatments available to help keep those symptoms at bay. If you feel you may have low testosterone, get in contact with one of our specialist doctors to discuss your options today!

     

    References/Further studies/Scientific studies/Bibliography/Further reading

    Feldman HA, Longcope C, Derby CA, Johannes CB, Araujo AB, Coviello AD, Bremner WJ, McKinlay JB. Age trends in the level of serum testosterone and other hormones in middle-aged men: longitudinal results from the Massachusetts male aging study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2002 Feb;87(2):589-98. doi: 10.1210/jcem.87.2.8201. PMID: 11836290.

    The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 87, Issue 2, 1 February 2002, Pages 589–598, https://doi.org/10.1210/jcem.87.2.8201

    Harvard Health Publishing. (n.d.). Testosterone deficiency in older men: What does it mean? Harvard Health Publishing. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/Testosterone_deficiency_in_older_men_What_does_it_mean

    WebMD. (n.d.). Testosterone and aging. WebMD. 2023. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/men/guide/testosterone-replacement-therapy-is-it-right-for-you#1

     

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    Evidence Based Research

    This article has been researched and written based on scientific evidence and fact sheets that have then been crossed checked by our team of doctors and subject matter experts.

    References, sources and studies used alongside our own in-house research have been cited below, most of which contain external clickable links to reviewed scientific paper that contain date stamped evidence.

    Our team of healthcare experts and GMC registered doctors are licensed to UK GMC standards. We strive to provide you with the latest evidence based, researched articles that are unbiased, honest and provide you with accurate insights, statistics and helpful information on the discussed topic to ensure you gain a better understanding of the subject. You can read more about our Editorial Process by clicking here.

    We value your feedback on our articles, if you have a well-researched paper you would like to share with us please contact us.

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    About the Author: Mike Kocsis

    Mike KocsisMike Kocsis has an MBA with a focus on healthcare administration and is an entrepreneur and medical case manager for Balance My Hormones Ltd which offers medical services in the UK and Europe. Mike has over 20 years of experience in the healthcare sector, much of that working with people who have hormone imbalances. Mike has appeared on podcasts and radio and is an expert speaker on the subject of hormone imbalance. He specialises in Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) and Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and has helped thousands of people suffering from hormone imbalances recover and regain control of their lives. You can follow him on LinkedIn and on the Balance My Hormones YouTube Channel.

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