Marco Island's Iberia Bank ‘In the Round’ to tackle testosterone

— Testosterone has something of a wicked reputation, and often gets the blame for crazy stunts perpetrated by boys of all ages. Wednesday evening, Oct. 12, it gets put under the microscope.

Iberia Bank’s “In the Round” community forums have covered a vast array of topics, from utility rates to the Smokehouse Bay Bridge, from opera (three!) to the music of JRobert. Wednesday, the popular series of community events will cover a new topic — testosterone levels.

“I try to have a great deal of variety with our programs. I don’t want to get in a rut,” said Keith Dameron, IberiaBank vice president and branch manager, who originated the ITR programs. The focus on testosterone, he said, came about from discussions with Dr. Robert Korolevich, his and wife Barbara’s personal physician, who recently attained a certification in the field of anti-aging medication and treatment.

“Aging is inevitable, but looking and feeling old is optional,” said the flyer Dameron sent out to advertise the ITR meeting. “We guys have become targets of the often seen television commercial announcing something called ‘LOW T.’ The ‘T’ they are talking about is a hormone called testosterone, that effects almost every aspect of a man’s and woman’s body.

“Your testosterone/estrogen level impacts more than your golf swing or sexual performance,” said Dameron. “It also affects mood, liver function, bone formation, bone marrow blood cells. Plus, testosterone and estrogen are primary factors in the health of the heart and blood vessels.”

The health implications cover both men and women, of every age group, said Dameron, but men are much more resistant to getting medical advice.

“It’s hard to get men to come out for a medical In the Round,” he said, “so I have to appeal to the women to bring their husbands, boyfriends or significant others. We men think we’re so macho, or maybe we’re afraid we’ll get bad news.”

With testosterone levels in the body dropping by 10 percent every decade, the information is particularly pertinent for Marco Island, said Dameron.

“The average age here is much higher. My guess is we will get old farts like me, or older,” he said. “But everyone needs to hear this, women too. So many don’t understand why they get hot flashes or female symptoms.”

Too little testosterone or estrogen can result in symptoms including fatigue, forgetfulness, decreased muscle mass, back pain and sexual dysfunction. Too much testosterone has been popularly implicated in increased facial hair and lowering voices in women, and sports cars, bar fights and armed robberies in men. Wednesday’s ITR offers a chance to sort fact from fiction.

“I want to bring good, credible, accurate information to the people of Marco Island. When we hold these meetings, you never know what will result,” said Dameron. “After our last medical forum, a couple of physicians told me they had follow-up visits, and some people went under treatment. If we can help one person, it’s worth it.”

The ITR kicks off at 6 p.m. for complimentary refreshments, with the presentation scheduled for 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 12. As always, the venue is Iberia Bank, 605 Bald Eagle Drive on Marco Island. Seating is limited, and reservations are suggested, by calling 403-5169.

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