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Against the Grain with Dr. Chad Edwards | Oklahoma Prolotherapy | Podcast 4 – Part 3
Brian Wilkes: Give me some statistics on at what age testosterone should be a check that you get regularly. At what age does it generally start to tail off, to become a problem?
I come to your office at that point if I’m a listener now and I fit these categories that you’re about describe, what do you do? How do you assess it?
Dr. Chad: Yeah, interesting question. It’s a very common thought process that testosterone levels decline with age. There may be some association with that. Ron Rothenberg is a physician. He does a lot of hormone stuff. His quote, what he says is, “We age because our hormones decline. Our hormones don’t decline because we age.” It’s an important paradigm shift. We should have optimal levels of testosterone independent of our age.
Again, there may be some natural decline. I’ve got a patient that’s 70 years old. His testosterone’s well into the 800s naturally. Why is that guy different than some of the others? I think that if we lived on the beach in the Bahamas and sipped Mai Tais all day long, well, maybe have the liver damage. There’s no stress, those kinds of things.
Brian Wilkes: Yeah, it’s not necessarily age. It’s life.
Dr. Chad: Exactly. That would be a big part of my argument. I don’t think age has as much to do with it.
Brian Wilkes: It’s really the kind of life that you’re living contributes to either a increase or a decrease; possibly has some contributions, also your genetic make up I would assume.
Dr. Chad: I think there’s multiple factors. Many of them are epigenetic, genetics may play a role. Epigenetic, meaning external factors that influence genetics. These epigenetics factors, stress could be 1 of them. You got to wonder our nutrition can certainly play role.
What are our environmental toxins? Are we getting heavy metals? Are we getting toxic exposures, things like BPA and some of these phyto-estrogens that would be in plants that we get in our nutrition and genetically modified foods. We don’t really know the impact that that can have.
I think what we’re seeing is a accumulation of multiple environmental factors that contribute to low testosterone. That’s what I suspect. I don’t have a smoking gun like, “Oh, there’s the problem.” These are some of the things that we need to consider.
Brian Wilkes: I guess the better way if a listener is trying to search if they should come to you for this particular issue is what I’m hearing you say is if you’re feeling fatigued and you feel generally a lack of energy generally throughout your day that’s abnormal to you. If you’re a person that has always come home and sat on the couch, I suppose the fact that you continue to sit on the couch is …
Dr. Chad: Not different.
Brian Wilkes: … not different. If you feel unusually tired sitting on that couch. Fatigue is a common, common symptom.
Dr. Chad: Correct, that’s correct. We want to screen each patient and determine could this be a testosterone-related problem?
Brian Wilkes: Regardless of age.
Dr. Chad: Regardless of age, that’s correct. I had, I think we’ve talked about this before, a 22 year old patient came back. His testosterone was in the low 100s. I didn’t believe it. I repeated it. It must be abnormal.
Brian Wilkes: Wrong.
Dr. Chad: Repeated it. Came back at 75, 22 years old.
Brian Wilkes: Wow.
Dr. Chad: 22 years old.
Brian Wilkes: Wow.
Dr. Chad: 22 years old.
Brian Wilkes: Give that guy some testosterone now.
Dr. Chad: Exactly.
Brian Wilkes: Stat.
Dr. Chad: It changed his world. There’s a couple of things. Testosterone has to be managed. If we’re using testosterone, exogenous testosterone, giving you creams, gels, pellets, injections, any of the testosterone replacements …
Brian Wilkes: You don’t go home and take it and never come back. You’ve got to ….
Dr. Chad: That’s correct.
Brian Wilkes: You’ve got to report back.
Dr. Chad: 1, for on-going therapy, you certainly need to do that. Testosterone has to be managed. You give testosterone. It can convert to estrogen. You have to watch those things. It can convert to …
Brian Wilkes: Prostate-related …
Dr. Chad:… dihydro testosterone. We’re actually going to have a podcast in the future about the effect of testosterone on the prostate. Testosterone does not cause prostate cancer.
Brian Wilkes: Interesting.
Dr. Chad: It doesn’t even contribute to prostate cancer. Multiple studies have show that effect. I don’t have the reference in front of me, but a study where they had men with prostate cancer; initiated testosterone therapy. You had 1 group that didn’t get testosterone and 1 group that did. There was no difference between the 2 groups.
Brian Wilkes: Wow.
Dr. Chad: Testosterone does not contribute to prostate cancer. It came back from a single case reported in 1940. That’s where this started. We’ll talk about that.
Brian Wilkes: Do steroids in general contribute to cancer?
Dr. Chad: When you say steroids, what do you mean?
Brian Wilkes: The media’s awfully good at giving you a version of a story. I think of the old, help me out here, Marshall, do you remember the old Raiders defensive line? What was his name?
Marshall: Lyle Alzado.
Brian Wilkes: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Lyle. To me, the press did a pretty good of job of contributing his cancer and ultimately his death from cancer to steroids, the use of steroids, which testosterone would fall in that category.
Dr. Chad: What we’re talking about is appropriately medically managed testosterone. We’re not taking testosterone levels to 2,000. Again, we talked about testosterone being androgenic, meaning it contributes to us being men. It’s also anabolic. It makes your muscles grow and those kinds of things.
What we see is inappropriate use and abuse of anabolic steroids. Testosterone itself, and you have different salts that you can use as injections, so testosterone cypionate, testosterone enanthate, propiante. There’s different forms of plain old testosterone, which is again both androgenic and anabolic. There are things like deca and there’s all kinds of other …
Brian Wilkes: These stacks, if you will, of steroids.
Dr. Chad: Correct, correct. There are other forms anabolic steroids. Steroids is that overall classification, but that’s why I wanted to define, what do you mean steroids. You can use ….
Brian Wilkes: I don’t think the average person really can answer that question effectively.
Dr. Chad: Exactly. That’s why …
Brian Wilkes: They think there’s a stigma towards it.
Dr. Chad: … I want to make a distinction between that. The use of testosterone is not necessarily, “I’m on steroids.” I think that has a negative connotation that’s not …
Brian Wilkes: Not appropriate.
Dr. Chad: … not appropriate.
Brian Wilkes: You’re saying that that level of 1,000, if I come in and I get tested, me personally, I want to be re-tested for it. It could be I’m like you. I own my own business. I’m tired a lot. I got a family. I’m trying to juggle a lot of balls. I think the last time I got tested, I was fine. You say an appropriate level would even be to keep at 1,000.