"Treat the disease, you win some, you lose some. Treat the patient, you always win."
~Patch Adams~

Saturday, October 29, 2011

For Older Men, Lowered Testosterone May Mean Muscle Loss

Today's article from MedicalNet.com is for the man in your life----partner, parent, sibling, friends. A study done at Kaiser Permanente in Oregon studied 1200 men age 65 and over, and found that the men with higher levels of testosterone were less likely to suffer from muscle mass loss than those with lower levels of testosterone.

Makes sense, since testosterone is what builds muscle in both men and women----I would venture a guess that the majority of women on bioidentical hormones are on testosterone (most doctors who are proficient in bioidentical hormones know that true balance is more than just sticking an estrogen patch on a woman and sending her on her way). I know in my own case that the testosterone has helped me build muscle tissue in my back, thus stabilizing it and giving me better core strength---crucial for me because of spinal abnormalities. I even have a hint of muscle definition in my arms, not Michelle Obama arms by any means, but I will now occasionally wear a sleeveless shirt now, something in the past I wouldn't have dreamed of.

Back to the men ------ muscle strength for men as they age will help reduce the chances of falling, and if they do fall, will enable them to get back up unassisted. People with more muscle mass burn fat more efficiently, and testosterone is also important for bone health (men tend to not develop osteopenia/osteoporosis until a little later in life than women, but by the age of about 65 their risk is as great as women.) It's important to note that after the age of 65, 1 in 4 people who fall and break a hip will die within one year of the injury. Those statistics alone are enough to keep me in the gym.