Parviz K. Kavoussi, M.D. Are you abiding by a strict regimen of exercise and a healthy diet but not seeing any improvement in your build? Are you having trouble losing fat mass and putting on muscle mass? Are you not getting the benefits that you expected from your workouts, even if you are doing all that your trainer is telling you to do?
You may have low testosterone.
At least 13 million men suffer from the effects of low testosterone yearly in the United Sates, and less than 5 percent are being treated. From age 35, men can lose between 1 to 2 percent of their testosterone a year, which can result in increased fat mass, decreased muscle mass, exercise tolerance, sex drive and bone mass, worsened erectile function, depressed mood, tiredness, lack of motivation, sleep disturbances, worsened spatial cognition, hot flashes, impairment of fertility and deterioration of skin and hair.
There are 481,000 new cases of low testosterone in American men between ages 40 and 69 each year. At 50 they are already 30 percent below the normal range, and by 60 years old, 60 percent suffer from low testosterone. I advocate replacing testosterone after carefully evaluating each man, to help improve their quality of life by improving body composition and strength, exercise tolerance, increasing bone mineral density, improving sexual desire, erectile function and energy levels, as well as decreasing fatigue. Men can be also treated with other oral medications to maintain fertility while allowing testosterone levels to increase. Men who are no longer interested in fertility can be treated with direct testosterone replacement by multiple modalities including topical gels, injections, and testosterone pellet insertion beneath the skin.
I’ve been speaking to trainers at gyms regarding this. They need to be aware that if a man is doing their workout regimen, the trainer is doing their job and they aren’t seeing improvement, it may be because the man’s body does not have the appropriate testosterone level to give the benefits expected with these workouts. The fat in men’s bodies also converts testosterone into estrogen. This decreases the overall available testosterone, which makes it harder to get in shape and lose fat. You can see how this is a vicious cycle.
Get your testosterone level checked! If it is low, you may need testosterone replacement therapy to help you break the cycle and allow your body to burn the fat and gain the muscle with the appropriate exercise regimen and diet. A physician who is an expert in the field and can tell you about the risks, benefits and options of testosterone replacement therapy should do this.