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Treating Male Menopause: April 25, 2012

It crept up on Raymond Wemer; as the years passed his testosterone level dropped and took his health along with it.

“I weighed almost 250 pounds. I could sleep all day and I could still wake up tired. I had no energy, full blown diabetes, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I was a mess.”

Most men experience a gradual loss of testosterone, about 1% or 2% a year after age 30. It’s not the drastic hormonal change women undergo during menopause.

“Unlike women that have that abrupt change in the numbers in the level of hormones, in men it’s such a slow level, so we don’t feel that,” says Dr. Meir Daller, a urologist on the medical staff of Lee Memorial Health System.

But doctors are recognizing that low testosterone may be the root of many problems. Studies link it to declining muscle mass and bone density, insulin resistance, reduced energy and sex drive. Even chronic illnesses like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease are associated with low T.

“Testosterone works on different parts of your body, it works on your bones, it works on your blood vessels, it works on your muscle, it increases the growth of your muscle and it works on your energy and your mood,” says Dr. Daller.

By the time Raymond was diagnosed, his T-level was in the basement.

“My testosterone level was I think 203. It was that of an 11 year old.”

Dr. Daller suggested a new treatment: implantable testosterone pellets. Called Testopel, several pellets are placed under the skin of the buttocks.

“They’re slow release testosterone. Over three to six months we have great improvement in the testosterone,” says Dr. Daller.

That was two years ago.

“My sugar’s under control now. My blood pressure’s under control, my cholesterol level, its day and night, I mean I’m so thankful for it,” says Wemer.

Raymond feels like he turned back the hands of time.