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Q: Should aging women be concerned about their level of testosterone?

Posted December 10, 2014 in Advice Column, West Des Moines

A: Yes. Getting older is the most common reason women lose testosterone. Adequate testosterone levels are important for maintaining sexual desire, maintaining optimal muscle/fat balance, improving muscle strength, bone building and prevention of bone loss, brain health and memory, improving sense of well-being, maintaining bladder muscle tone and strength of the connective tissue in the urinary system to help with incontinence, assisting estrogen in decreasing hot flashes, may help to decrease vascular headaches, assisting estrogen and thyroid hormone in maintaining ideal lipid levels and heart muscle health and maintaining skin health — too little testosterone may promote dry thin skin.

High testosterone levels in women on the other hand may cause irritability, anxiety and aggression, facial hair growth and loss of scalp hair, voice deepening and oily skin and acne.

As with all hormones, maintaining optimal balance is key for healthy aging.

Information provided by Stephen Ellestad, D.O., age management medicine, 2910 Westown Parkway, Suite 305, West Des Moines, 225-7900.


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