Aging is a reality of life. And just as unyielding as the passage of time is the host of health issues and general health deterioration that many of us will have to face as we grow older.
It’s true: the aging process is an accelerant to the onset of debilitating illnesses, including low testosterone, Alzheimers, and cardiovascular diseases.
Recently, a study published in the National Library of Medicine has revealed that low testosterone levels may also increase the risk of mild cognitive impairment and cognitive function in men. In particular, the study has noted that the association was more relevant in men over the age of 80 and with men with higher levels of education.
Another longitudinal study published in the National Institutes of Health has examined forty-four men with varying memory issues and low testosterone levels and divided them into two groups. The group with testosterone treatment by the end of the 24-week baseline showed significant improvement in global cognition following testosterone treatment compared to the placebo treatment.
Furthermore, recent research revealed that levels of free testosterone in the body are lower in men when they are just a few years from developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Based on these findings, it is more critical than ever to maintain a lifestyle that ensures we have healthy testosterone levels and overall health as we age.
What’s the Difference Between Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia?
It’s a common misconception for these two terms to be used interchangeably. Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are two different conditions.
Dementia is a syndrome, not a specific disease. It is an umbrella term used to describe a decline in mental function that can be caused by different diseases or injuries. Types of dementia that impair cognitive function include:
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
- Vascular dementia
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
Dementia can be further sub-categorized into two groups—cortical dementias and subcortical dementias. Cortical dementia, which includes Alzheimer’s disease, plays a role in the formation and retention of verbal memory and language. Subcortical dementia is a type of dementia that affects one’s cognitive abilities, such as the ability to think quickly or initiate activities.
Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative illness that slowly robs the body and mind of its faculties to the point where physical and cognitive performance is impaired, or, at the very least, much harder to accomplish.
To be more specific, Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that gradually destroys memory and thinking skills. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), this cognitive function disorder accounts for 60 to 70 percent of cases of dementia.
Causes of Dementia
As studies and clinical trials have revealed, low testosterone levels play a big role in the development of mild cognitive loss, but it’s not the sole cause of the condition.
While age is the primary risk factor for dementia and the impairment of optimal cognitive functioning, there are other factors that increase your chances of developing it.
These other causes of dementia include:
- Vascular disorders from long-term vice use
- Forms of hydrocephalus
- CNS infections
In order to lower your risk of developing dementia, it’s important to have a close eye on your overall health.
A combination of good diet habits, exercise, and quitting vice behaviors like smoking and drinking in excess is an excellent step to take in maintaining your overall health.
If you’re worried about your low testosterone levels playing a part in your dementia development, talk to a trusted physician about what steps you may be able to take to address the issue.
They may prescribe testosterone therapy and other forms of testosterone supplementation to address the root cause of the disease and slow down cognitive impairment.
Signs and Symptoms of Dementia
Dementia is not a specific disease, but rather is a clinical diagnosis that may be given to a person who has cognitive decline significant enough to impact their daily life.
There’s no definitive sign or symptom of dementia. It can be tricky to spot early on, as many of the symptoms overlap with those of normal age-related cognitive decline.
Regardless, some of the more common signs and symptoms of dementia include:
- memory loss, especially for recent events
- slowed concentration
- confusion over daily tasks, like getting the exact change
- struggle to find the right word
- changes or swings in mood
If you or a loved one experience two or more of these symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor to get checked before it worsens.
Is Low Testosterone Something To Worry About?
Testosterone levels are at their peak in a male’s late teens to early 20s. It stays at that baseline for about a decade or two, then as you approach your 30s to 40s, it starts to naturally dip by about 1% each year due to age decline.
The normal range for testosterone level in males is 300 to 1,000 ng/dL. Visit your physician at least once a year or when you experience a range of debilitating symptoms to have your health checked. Some symptoms of a low testosterone count include:
- Low sex drive
- Loss of muscle mass
- Erectile dysfunction
- Decreased muscular strength
If you have any of the above symptoms and can’t trace them back to any health disorder that you already have, it’s worth discussing your health with a doctor.
How to Get Testosterone Levels Diagnosed
Testosterone level testing is usually conducted in the clinic through a series of blood tests and therapies run by a physician.
If your result reveals a low testosterone count (below 300 ng/DL), you might have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular and cognitive conditions such as heart diseases and dementia. This list also includes:
- Erectile dysfunction
Treatment Options for Low Testosterone
If you’re diagnosed with a low testosterone level, there are lifestyle changes you can undergo to increase your testosterone levels and improve your health.
- Eat a healthy diet
- Get on a regular exercise routine
- Reduce stress triggers
- Get enough sleep every night
- Limit vices such as smoking and alcohol.
- Undergo testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) to increase your testosterone levels.
Visit a Medical Professional about Low Testosterone Treatment Today
There’s no denying that low testosterone levels are linked to a higher risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
If you have any of the signs or symptoms above, it may be best to visit a doctor about low testosterone treatment before the condition worsens.
They will be able to help you get a clinical diagnosis and start you on the right track to increasing your testosterone levels and improving your health.
The medical professionals at Precise Men’s Medical Center specialize in treating conditions that impact men’s health, including low testosterone. Our concierge approach positions your unique case at the centerpoint of our focus. We don’t just give you a pill and send you on your way. We treat the underlying issues that led to conditions such as erectile dysfunction, hormone imbalances, low testosterone, and more. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.