low testosterone

  1. Opioid painkillers linked to low testosterone levels

    Painkillers linked to sex problems

    One day, you're battling back pain. The next, it's everything from memory loss to physical weakness to erection problems and low testosterone levels.

    "Well, that's it," you might think to yourself. "I guess I'm just falling apart!"

    I can't tell you how often I've heard that from my own patients, especially first-timers who've come to me after getting nowhere with a mainstream doctor. And if you've ever felt that way yourself, I have some good news for you today: You're not falling apart.

    In fact, the problem may not even be you at all.

    It's your meds -- because the painkillers given for chronic conditions such as back pain can lead to a downward spiral of poor health, and new research shows how it can even ruin your sex life.

    Men who take opioid painkillers such as hydrocodone and oxycodone have a 50 percent higher risk of both low testosterone levels and bedroom problems, according to the study of 11,327 men with back pain.

    It doesn't take long before those risks kick in, either -- just three months of normal use. And for the highest doses (120 mg of morphine-equivalent drugs per day or more), those risks kick in almost immediately, according to the study in the journal Spine.

    But low testosterone levels and bedroom problems are risks you don't have to face yourself.

    In many cases, opioid painkillers aren't even necessary in the first place. I find that nondrug treatments such as acupuncture, natural anti-inflammatories, and cold laser can often bring real and lasting pain relief.

    (Prescription meds such as opioid painkillers kill more Americans than illegal drugs. Shocked? Click here to learn more.)

    And in the rare cases where opioid drugs are needed, they should be restricted to the lowest dose for the shortest period to prevent low testosterone-- a stopgap measure to manage severe pain while you and your doctor work on finding and correcting the cause of your pain.

    Of course, even if you take no painkillers at all, you could still find yourself battling low testosterone levels and everything that comes along with it -- including erection problems, memory loss, and general weakness.

    So if you're on one of these drugs and you feel like you're falling apart (or worse) don't worry, a holistic physician can put you back together with a natural testosterone replacement regimen. And if you're in the Southern California area, I can help -- because I happen to run one of the most complete hormone testing and treatment programs around.

    Contact my clinic at 855-DOC-MARK for more information or to make an appointment.

  2. Testosterone can help with obesity and other health problems

    The hormone men need for everything

    It's one of the most common misperceptions about aging -- that as men get older, they have to tolerate getting weaker, slower, fatter, and less able to have normal sexual function.

    Nothing could be further from the truth -- because none of that has to be a part of the aging process. All of those problems and more can often be traced to a single cause: low testosterone.

    The bad news is, low testosterone does tend to come with the aging territory. The older you get, the less your body makes -- ironically just as you need it most. And along with all those problems I just mentioned, low levels of the hormone can put you at risk for obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

    But there's good news here, too, because that means all of those problems can be cured or avoided by simply boosting your testosterone levels -- and the latest research backs what I see all the time in my own practice.

    In one new study, German researchers gave testosterone injections to 115 obese men between the ages of 38 and 83 every 12 weeks for five years, slowly bringing their hormone levels back up to where they should be.

    And over those five years, the men lost an average of 35 pounds and shaved an average of 4 inches off the waistline, going from 42 inches down to 38.

    The benefits didn't end there. Researchers say the men had improvements in cholesterol, blood pressure levels, and more.

    Naturally, when you lose weight, you also lower your risk of diabetes -- and testosterone is the stone that can kill both of those birds. The new study even shows how, since the men given testosterone also saw improvements in blood glucose levels.

    This is no coincidence since testosterone plays a key role in insulin production -- and another new study confirms that link.

    In this one, mice bred to have impaired testosterone function in their fat tissue were much more likely to be insulin-resistant -- and that was true whether the mice were fat or normal-sized.

    If the study holds as true for men as it does the mice, it means low testosterone could boost your risk of diabetes even if you're not fat.

    But while low levels can increase your diabetes risk, higher levels can help -- even if you already have, or are at risk for, the disease.

    In a 2008 study of 220 men with either diabetes or metabolic syndrome (which is often a precursor to diabetes), men given a testosterone gel had improvements in both insulin resistance and glycated hemoglobin levels when compared to men given a placebo gel.

    The men who got the gel also had improvements in body fat as well as cholesterol levels.

    They also had a couple of very noticeable changes in that "other" area testosterone is famous for: They had improvements in both orgasm and erectile function.

    And yes, testosterone is pretty good for that, too -- and that's true whether you have diabetes or not.

    If you think you may need a hormone boost, visit a holistic doctor who can treat you with natural bioidentical hormones. I help men with this issue all the time at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine.

  3. Low testosterone linked to frailty

    For men, the answer to the age-old problems of frailty may be locked inside our testosterone levels, as a new study out of Australia finds that low levels of the hormone could sap you of your vim and vigor.

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