Testosterone is found in both men and women. Although primarily thought of as the “male” hormone, during reproductive years it is actually present in women in a higher concentration than estradiol, which is the primary “female” hormone. In men, testosterone is primarily made by the testes, and in women, testosterone is made by both the ovaries and the adrenal glands.
Testosterone is an anabolic hormone—“anabolic” substances promote growth (and thus healing) and “catabolic” substances promote breakdown. You have probably heard of anabolic steroids; they are synthetic versions of testosterone that are modified to produce stronger or varied binding to hormone receptors to create specific effects like increased muscle mass. We do not prescribe nor recommend anabolic steroids, but we do prescribe bioidentical (the same as the human body makes) testosterone for both men and women.
As men age, testosterone levels naturally decrease. The rate of that decrease has substantially accelerated over the last fifty years or so. Many men in their forties (and even thirties) now have testosterone levels as low as they were in eighty-year-old men years ago. While the exact reasons for this are not well understood, we believe it is a combination of disordered circadian cycling, inflammation, environmental toxins, poor diets, inadequate nutrition, nonnative EMF, and likely a variety of other factors. There is a plethora of likely contributing causes.
As testosterone declines in a man, more than just his libido suffers. So called “andropause” is associated with a variety of signs and symptoms including worsening body composition (more fat, less muscle), moodiness, irritability, poor sleep, skin aging and thinning, hair loss, osteoporosis, decreased muscular strength—including the all-important cardiac muscle—poor thinking, decreased ambition and goal-setting ability, worsening lipid panel, increased inflammation, poor blood sugar control, depression, anxiety, lethargy, etc. You get the picture. Receptors for this critically important hormone are found on every cell in the male body, and a deficiency of it has a tremendous effect on male health, including, not surprisingly, wound healing.
Diabetics are at particular risk for low testosterone and benefit greatly from testosterone replacement. It makes a tremendous difference to their overall health and well-being in addition to their wound healing capacity. Both systemic and topical testosterone (and even testosterone injected into the area of the wound) can have a tremendous effect on wound healing. As women enter menopause, sex steroid hormone production decreases, starting with testosterone and followed sequentially by progesterone and estrogen.
As a woman’s natural testosterone levels decrease, a variety of symptoms sometimes just attributed to “aging” can often be alleviated by hormone replacement. These range from poor sleep, poor skin tone, moodiness, irritability, depression, anxiety, osteoporosis, decreased muscle tone, increased body fat, poor lipid panels, decreased libido, etc. Many of the symptoms are similar to what men experience and, of course, poor wound healing.
Replacing initially testosterone, then sequentially progesterone, then estrogen, often makes a huge difference in overall health, well-being, and wound healing for peri- or postmenopausal women.
There is a variety of methods to replace or augment testosterone levels in both men and women, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. We recommend you seek out a qualified anti-aging doctor to help you with this.