Testosterone and Erectile Dysfunction
A subscriber wrote, “I would like you to address the issue of the proliferation of prescribed testosterone for men over 50 (and probably some younger) for anything from erectile dysfunction to a simple lack of energy. I am wondering if this is something new, or is it just that I am over 50 now and am paying attention to these questions for the first time in my life. I know of four other men (who are some of my closest friends) who, unbeknownst to me, were prescribed testosterone injections for anything from ED to tiredness.”
Attention-getting symptoms, perhaps especially erectile dysfunction, create unnecessary risk to patients.
Why? Because these are the symptoms that try men’s souls (to paraphrase Thomas Paine). And when fear, dread and worry claim the territory, most responses aren’t well thought out. Or investigated. Or put to any kind of a test.
The first medical response is always to kill the symptom, a knee-jerk reaction that makes my teeth hurt.
Everything I do is based on the undeniable fact that symptoms are the way our bodies point to a problem that needs fixing. Every day, in every way, our bodies attempt to get our attention, hoping to get help.
Covering up symptoms doesn’t fix anything. We have to respond to what our bodies need, not kick them in the shins.
Shooting up with testosterone may seem to be just the ticket for low T, but we don’t know very much about how the body uses administered testosterone. It’s kind of a shot in the dark.
And most of us don’t know there are two different ways our testosterone can be “bound,” that is, taken out of action. And nobody’s checked out what happens when testosterone shots meet up with bound testosterone. Since our bodies sincerely dislike getting pushed around, I’m thinking it might not be pretty-but nobody knows.
So, then you’ll hear talk about DHEA, a natural steroid our bodies use in creating testosterone and estrogen (although the estrogen part of the story rarely gets mentioned). Based on halfway understanding DHEA, natural health folks created a supplement you can pick up at your local health food store.
But you may want to know that the DHEA our bodies create is different from the DHEA supplement makers create. At least in the way it acts.
Serious body builders are really into nutrition, and a large group of them took part in a study of the testosterone-raising power of DHEA. Imagine their surprise when results showed DHEA sent estrogen levels soaring, while testosterone got left in the dust. Oops! Bodybuilders tend not to be thrilled with that sort of news.
Neither testosterone shots and DHEA are good ways to go, especially since they aim at overcoming symptoms, not fixing problems.
So, what to do?
While health problems that come along as we age vary from person to person, they come from the same source: Years of making bad nutritional choices. And now the price is coming due.
Most of what we read and hear about nutrition is wrong, so your choices may have reflected the best information you had, but consequences showed up anyway.
Life after forty, sometimes earlier, can get crowded with health consequences-all because you didn’t give your body the support it needs or protect it from toxins it doesn’t need.
I’m guessing that probably wasn’t your intention, but it’s where you are.
Now your choices are two: Give up or fight back.
Giving up, which means you stay on the path you’re on, takes you down a steep, rocky descent as life gets harder and harder. Fighting back empowers your body to be the champion it was meant to be-once you figure out what ammunition it needs for the battle.
My Moving to Health program (link below) covers it all. Diet considerations. Lifestyle choices. Toxins we need to avoid. Vitamins and minerals that correspond to what’s going on in your body. Herbs, amino acids, other supplements, etc.
For instance, some supplements set bound testosterone free to do all it needs to do. Other supplements encourage your body to raise or lower testosterone depending on what you need at any given moment-and do it without adding any DHEA or hormones.
There’s much to learn-and a whole lot to unlearn-to get it right.
Good health is worth the effort, don’t you think?
God is good,
Copyright by Bette Dowdell. All rights reserved
P.S. Bette Dowdell is not a doctor, nor does she purport to be She’s a patient who’s been studying and successfully handling her own endocrine problems for more than 30 years. She offers introductory teleseminars and an in-depth 12-month subscription program, “Moving to Health” about living well with endocrine issues. She explains how things work-or don’t, discusses what things to avoid as well as the things that help, and she provides a lot of well-researched nutritional information. Subscribe to her free e-zine at Information is power.