Science tells us that testosterone levels peak during puberty and then gradually decline over the years. Research shows that testosterone can decrease as much as 1-2% every year after age 30, with some men starting to see the effect of low testosterone as early as their 20s. As testosterone and DHEA levels fall, and estrogen levels rise, men undergo their own form of menopause, called 'andropause'.
Signs of declining testosterone levels include a decrease in muscle mass, abdominal weight gain, chronic fatigue, brain fog, and loss of executive function. Testosterone deficiency can be harmful to men's sexual health and self-confidence, enhancing the risk for mood disorders. Other factors that can negatively impact male testosterone levels like poor lifestyle habits, unhealthy diets, lack of exercise, toxic exposure, high visceral fat, and increased stress all accelerate this natural process.
Many men feel this may be part of getting older, but it's essential to talk to a health care provider about these issues early and set up a treatment plan to alleviate the symptoms. The DUTCH Plus® is a great way to establish a baseline understanding of testosterone levels.
DUTCH Plus® takes hormone testing to a new level. In addition to sex hormones and their metabolites, the DUTCH Complete™ looks at the overall diurnal pattern of free cortisol, and the total and distribution of cortisol metabolites. The DUTCH Plus® adds the Cortisol Awakening Response (CAR) to bring another important piece of the HPA axis into focus.
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