Perhaps one of the scariest diseases challenging modern medicine is Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, the rate of Alzheimer’s diagnoses in the United States is trending upwards, with an estimated 6.5 million Americans age 65 and older living with the disease in 2022.
Though the exact reason is unknown, research shows that women are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s more frequently, particularly over the age of 60, when they are twice as likely to receive an Alzheimer’s diagnosis than they are breast cancer.
While this is difficult data to digest, strides are being made with respect to both the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. A very encouraging development has to do with testosterone and whether testosterone levels might provide a critical clue that gives the medical community a leg up on this disease.
Putting Testosterone to the Test
Various studies completed around the world have shown that low testosterone levels in older men do correlate with increased risk of developing dementia and/or Alzheimer’s.
This latest paper focused on a significant sample size of nearly 160,000 people and is considered a step forward in establishing testosterone as a key ally in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.
What Causes Low Testosterone?
Although the aging process is cited as a primary reason for a drop in testosterone, it’s not the only cause. Testosterone levels can decrease for a variety of reasons, including:
- Cancer treatments, like chemotherapy or radiation
- Certain medications, including opiates or corticosteroids
- Genetic disorders, like Klinefelter syndrome
- Hormone disorders
- Substance abuse
- Testicular infection or injury
How Do I Know If I Have Low Testosterone?
This is something that you should discuss with your doctor who will check your testosterone levels via a quick and easy blood test.
Symptoms of low testosterone include the following:
- Breast enlargement, or gynecomastia, aka “man boobs”
- Decreased bone or muscle mass
- Decreased libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Hair thinning or loss
- Weight gain, especially abdominal
If any of these symptoms sound familiar or you’re simply concerned about where your testosterone level is, it might be time to explore testosterone hormone replacement therapy with the Viking Medical Group.