Both men and women experience fluctuating hormone levels throughout their lives, some of which can greatly impact physical health. This is especially true as you age and your reproductive hormones begin to naturally decline.
If you’re frustrated by your inability to get into shape — or get back into shape — Dr. Moisés Irizarry-Román and our team at No Mercy Sports Medicine are here to help. Through our hormone replacement therapy, we can give you the resources you need to get fit, no matter your age.
The impact of low testosterone on men’s physical health
Testosterone, the hormone responsible for your more “male” characteristics, begins to naturally decline starting in your 20s. The decline is gradual — at about 1% a year — but the loss can add up and lead to:
- Changes in your sexual health, including lower libido and erectile dysfunction
- Mood changes (more irritability)
- Loss of muscle mass
- Increase in body fat
It’s the last two items on this men’s health list that can affect your ability to get into shape, which is where balancing testosterone levels with hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may play a role. If we find that your testosterone levels are less than ideal, we can turn to HRT to offset some of the negative side effects, such as the loss of lean muscle mass, and help you get fit.
Of course, you still need to do your part — one study found that HRT combined with exercise garnered better results than HRT alone as exercise helps maintain elevated serum testosterone levels even after you stop HRT.
Women, sex hormones, and physical health
While testosterone has more of a direct effect on muscle mass, some researchers believe estrogen and progesterone levels in women can affect muscle health.
As an example, one study team reported that, “In a series of studies, we consistently found that leg muscles from ovariectomized mice were 10%-20% weaker than corresponding muscles from ovary-intact and 17β-estradiol replaced mice.” In plain English, this means that mice without ovaries had weaker leg muscles than those who had their ovaries intact or estradiol replaced.
It’s also worth noting that the loss of these hormones in women leads to a potentially significant loss of bone density, which can have an impact on your fitness levels.
If you’re struggling to stay fit as you age, especially after you pass through menopause, HRT can provide an excellent solution. Not only does HRT help strengthen your musculoskeletal system, it can also put an end to those pesky hot flashes and declining sexual health.
Like men, women’s best chances for getting fit is to combine HRT with a great exercise regimen.
Treating low hormone levels to get fit
It is important to note that testosterone is only one of the many hormones that can affect our performance, and that sexual performance might be the among the last ones to get affected, thus exposing us to unnecessary symptoms before we start worrying.
If you want to get into shape but your hormone levels are standing in the way, contact our office in Miami, Florida, to learn more about how hormone replacement therapy can help.