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Testosterone Replacement Therapy
What is low testosterone?
Low testosterone is also called male hypogonadism and testicular hypofunctioning. It is diagnosed when male testosterone levels are lower than expected. A study of healthy, normal weight individuals from 20 – 60 was done to determine average testosterone levels. The average testosterone level in healthy people was ~550.
How is low testosterone diagnosed?
Low testosterone is diagnosed by drawing blood. Testosterone levels are highest in the morning. If your testosterone level was low, you should get a second testosterone level checked in the morning in order to confirm low testosterone.
What causes low testosterone?
There are multiple causes of low testosterone. The leading cause if being overweight, but other factors also contribute. Several theories include chemicals in plastic bottles (BPA), hormones in food (beef, chicken, etc), pesticides in non-organic foods.
What are the symptoms of low testosterone?
- Decreased mental sharpness
- Decreased energy and strength
- Decreased muscle and increased fat
- Decreased sex drive
- Decreased sensitivity to stimulation
- Decreased strength of orgasm
- Decreased erectile function
- Depression and/or loss of eagerness and enthusiasm
- Irritability (20-25% of men – ever heard of “grumpy old men“)
- Increased risk of cancer (low testosterone levels increase cancer risk)
What is Andropause?
Andropause (male Menopause) is a collection of symptoms caused by declining hormones in men. Like the menopause in women, it is caused by a decline in hormones primarily testosterone, growth hormone and DHEA. Replacing these hormones to optimal levels may reverse the effects of Andropause.
Hormones start to decline as early as age thirty and that is when the aging process sets in. The effects of declining hormones have only been a problem since we started living longer, past about the age of 40. Declining hormones, coupled with poor lifestyle, diet, exercise and high stress are largely responsible for health problems and frailties of later years.
How will I feel when I increase my testosterone levels?
Men who have been tested to have low testosterone levels and then receive testosterone therapy consistently report that they feel sexier, stronger and healthier. They state that it makes them feel as they did when they were in their prime. After all, this is what replenishment of hormones is all about. It is about restoring hormones to youthful levels so you can feel as you did when you were at the peak of your physical, sexual, and mental ability. Testosterone can stop and reverse the physical decline that robs men of their energy, strength, and libido. Testosterone can restore muscle tone and improve stamina. Testosterone can restore healthy sexual excitement and desire, which in turn, results in an improvement in mood and overall wellbeing.
Treatment options start after you have been medically evaluated and have had blood work to substantiate your actual, existing hormone levels. Then risks and benefits and treatment options are discussed. Please call our office to schedule your evaluation.
How do I increase my testosterone levels?
There are multiple forms of testosterone replacement. It is important to choose the testosterone replacement therapy that fits you and your lifestyle. You will find the different options of testosterone replacement therapy below. Your physician can help you decide which therapy is best for you:
Testosterone pellets are inserted underneath the skin of your hip every 4-6 months. The pellets are slowly dissolved by your body thus creating a very constant and steady level of testosterone. This method has no risk of transferring testosterone to loved ones. This is our preferred method of testosterone replacement. If you are interested, we can apply for insurance approval. This easy procedure is available for both Men & Women.
Testosterone Compounded Cream
These creams are created at local compounding pharmacies and are affordable (around $40 per month). The creams are applied to your skin every day in order to create a steady testosterone level. This method has a high risk of transferring testosterone to loved ones.
Pharmaceutical Testosterone Gels (Androgel, Testim, Axiron, etc)
These compounds are created by pharmaceutical companies and are found at any pharmacy. They are costly if not covered by your insurance company. The gels are applied to your skin every day in order to create a steady testosterone level. This method has a high risk of transferring testosterone to loved ones.
Oral Rapidly Dissolving Testosterone Tablets
These tablets are created by a compounding pharmacy and are affordable (around $40 per month). The tablets are dissolved in your mouth every day, and it takes about 3-5 minutes for them to dissolve. This method has a low risk of transferring testosterone to loved ones.
Weekly Testosterone Injections (Depo-Testosterone)
These injections can be self-injected at home, or you can get your injections in our office. It is usually affordable if covered by your insurance company. The injections are an excellent way to raise your testosterone level, but it creates dynamic testosterone levels. Your levels are high the day of the injection and are low by the end of the week. This method has no risk of transferring testosterone to loved ones.
10-Week Testosterone Injections (Aveed)
Aveed is a long-acting injection. The injections cannot be self-administered. They must be performed in our office, and you must be monitored for 30 minutes after injection. The injections are costly and will require insurance approval. The first few injections are more frequent than every 10 weeks; eventually, you will only need injections every 10 weeks.
Clomiphene (Clomid) and hCG Injections
There are other ways to stimulate higher testosterone levels without directly replacing testosterone externally like the other methods listed above. Both clomiphene and hCG injections are medications that mimic the human body’s FSH hormone. The FSH hormone stimulates the natural production of testosterone from the testicles.
Where do I get my compounded testosterone prescriptions?
You can get your compounded testosterone prescriptions at any compounding pharmacy that you choose. Most compounding pharmacies do good work, so you should choose one based on cost and customer service.
Is testosterone therapy dangerous? I heard on the news that there were studies linking it to increased heart attacks and strokes.
This question was answered in detail on our blog by Dr. Sneed. Click HERE to read his post, and it will thoroughly answer this question.