As men get older their testosterone levels decrease. Testosterone levels tend to plateau after the ages of 20. After the age of 40, testosterone levels fall by 1.2% per year.
Men do not experience an “andropause” similar to women’s menopause. The decline of testosterone can better be described as an “andropenia” which suggest a continuous decline in testosterone levels in ageing men. The gradual decline of testosterone in ageing men is also known as “PADAM” (Partial Androgen Deficit in Ageing Men) and it was recently also named “late onset hypogonadism”.
Symptoms such as loss of muscle mass and increase of body fat, deterioration in physical and cognitive abilities are associated with all forms of hypogonadism in younger men. The same symptoms are recognised in ageing men and it makes sense to conclude that the partial androgen deficiency in older men are responsible for these changes. There are however, still no scientific proof to support the thought.
Most studies done on elderly men and testosterone replacement therapy suggest some beneficial effect on the symptoms of ageing and quality of life. These studies show improvement in Osteoporosis, muscle loss, haemoglobin levels, libido, lack of drive, hyperhidrosis and cognitive function. An important consideration for testosterone replacement is to prevent the need for elderly care and nursing.
The signs and symptoms of low testosterone are often put down to the effects of ageing. Low testosterone are associated with:
Testosterone levels are measured in a laboratory with biochemical tests. Blood is taken early in the morning between 07:00 and 11:00 and sent to a pathologist.
The laboratory will do the following tests:
- Total Serum Testosterone
- Hormone Binding Globulin
- Free Testosterone
Your doctor may also ask you to complete the Ageing Male Questionnaire. The physiological levels of testosterone vary between individuals.