Caregiver's Home Companion Caring for someone who has trouble hearing the phone?
Read Fred's Previous Articles

March 30, 2012
Is Dad Still Road-Worthy – Or Is It Time to Take the Keys?

March 23, 2012
Coping and Recovering from Knee Replacement

March 16, 2012
Lactose Intolerance May Not Spell Osteoporosis

Take Our PollThe Caregiver's Marketplace

Shop Now in the
Caregiver's e-Mall

Our Caregiver's e-Mall is filling up with great stores and a growing number of items just in time for the holidays. Whether you browse and find a book or tape to help you with caregiving, or come across a wonderful gift for a friend or family member, the e-Mall can be your source for easy shopping and gift-giving.

So, click on the dark blue Caregiver's e-Mall buttons throughout our site and enter a comfortable, secure shopping experience with major merchants while avoiding the hassle of having to find a parking place or matching your shopping hours with someone else's. Our mall is just a click away and is open 24 hours every day.

Watch for additional stores opening in the e-Mall soon!

Posted: April 06, 2012

Keeping Seniors Healthy

Question for Aging Men: Will Testosterone Spark Virility?

Q. I’ve been itching to know the answer to this question as I continue to grow older -- will taking testosterone bring back the virility of my youth?

A. The subject of testosterone is fuzzy, so it’s difficult to give a simple answer to this question.

There is some controversy about whether testosterone therapy should be used in men who have naturally lower testosterone levels because of aging. It remains unclear whether restoring earlier testosterone levels benefits older men.

For example, studies found that healthy men who took testosterone medications got bigger muscles, but in most studies the men weren’t stronger. And, if you suffer from erectile dysfunction, taking testosterone may not relieve your condition.

Testosterone is a hormone produced by the testicles. It is responsible for male sexual characteristics and function. Testosterone is also important for maintaining muscle, red blood cells, bone, and a sense of well-being. In females, the ovaries produce testosterone, but at significantly lower levels than are found in men.

For most men, testosterone levels decline modestly as we age. The testosterone level in the male body peaks during adolescence and begins to decrease in between the ages of 30 and 40. The significance of this decline is controversial and poorly understood.

There have been studies that show that low testosterone levels can impair sexual function, diminish bone density, reduce muscle mass and strength, increase fat, contribute to memory loss and lead to depression.

However, some men who have adequate levels of testosterone have these symptoms. Others with low levels of testosterone may not experience the symptoms.

Your doctor can prescribe a synthetic version of testosterone. Testosterone replacement medications may be necessary for men with extremely low levels of testosterone. These medications are delivered with injections, patches and gels. There are currently no pills available in the United States that provide adequate levels of hormone replacement. In addition, oral medications may produce liver abnormalities and should be avoided.

Not enough study has been done to determine the risks of testosterone therapy in men with normal testosterone levels.

The potential benefits of this therapy are: more muscle and strength, increased bone mineral density, thicker body hair and skin, elevated sexual desire, more energy, less irritability and depression, and improved mental capacity.

The potential risks are: growth of existing prostate cancer, benign growth of prostate that can worse urinary problems, sleep apnea that makes you start and stop breathing as you sleep, reduced sperm production, fluid retention, baldness, skin reactions, enlarged breasts, testicle shrinkage, acne, and excess blood production that can increase your risk of heart disease.

The only accurate way to determine if you have a testosterone deficiency is to have a blood test. It can take several measurements because testosterone levels fluctuate throughout the day. The highest levels of testosterone are generally in the morning. This is why doctors prefer, if possible, to obtain early morning levels of testosterone.

The normal testosterone levels for males is between 300 and 1,000 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). For females, the range is 20 to 80 ng/dL.

Fred Cicetti is a freelance writer who specializes in health. He has been writing professionally since 1963. Before he began freelancing, he was a reporter and columnist for three daily newspapers in New Jersey. He has written two published novels: Saltwater Taffy, and Local Angles. You can send your health-related questions to Fred at

© 2012 Pederson Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Commercial use, redistribution or other forms of reuse of this information is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission of Pederson Publishing.
Search CaregiversHome
Find with keyword(s):

Enter a keyword or phrase to search CaregiversHome's archives for related news topics, the latest news stories, timely times, and reference articles.

Email or share this story Bookmark and Share

Back to Top

Prescription Card

Free Survival Guide

Privacy Statement Contact Us Site Map Products & Services Our Partners Advertise
© Copyright 2003-2020. Pederson Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.