Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Women go through menopause when their production of female hormones drops off dramatically over a short period of time.
Usually during middle age men go through Andropause when their production of the primary male sex hormone, Testosterone, begins to decline gradually over the coming decades.
What is Andropause?
Andropause (Male Menopause) are symptoms caused by declining hormones in men. Like the menopause in women, it is caused by a decline in hormones – primarily testosterone, growth hormone (HGH) and DHEA. Replacing these hormones to optimal levels can and will reverse the effects of Andropause.
Testosterone Loss and Deficiency?
Hormones start to decline in mid to late twenties and that is when the aging process sets in. We maintain fairly healthy hormone levels until age 35 to 40 and that is about how long we could be expected to live until about 100 years ago. The effects of declining hormones have only been a problem since we started living longer. Declining hormones, coupled with poor lifestyle, diet, exercise and high stress are largely responsible for health problems and frailties of later years.
Testosterone, Sexual Function and Male Performance?
It seems that men, after forty-five, often have a hard time rising to the occasion, getting or maintaining an erection (ED – Erectile Dysfunction) and dealing with the challenge of daily stresses. Sometimes a lack of desire and sex drive can take a toll on a man’s relationship. This is what is known as Andropause or Male Menopause. So why do most men not know anything about Andropause, the male form of menopause? It has only been recently that Andropause has received attention and recognition, but why the holdup? There are many reasons behind the stifling of its discovery along with many frames of mind that are still hindering its cure.
Testosterone is a principal androgen, or male sex hormone. Even though testosterone is a “male sex hormone” and one of the group of compounds known as anabolic steroids, testosterone is secreted by the testes but is also synthesized in small quantities in the ovaries, cortices of the adrenal glands, and placenta, usually from cholesterol.
Testosterone begins to decline in men at about age 30 – 40. Low testosterone has a number of negative effects on mental, sexual and physical health. The most common type of treatment for testosterone deficiency is known as TRT – Testosterone Replacement Therapy and it is prescribed to treat symptoms and problems associated with Hypogonadism – the medical term for low levels of natural testosterone. Also known as Andropause, this hormonal condition in men results in the steady reduction of the hormone testosterone or ‘Low T’ –> less than normal levels of natural testosterone in a man’s body.
Signs and Symptoms of Low Testosterone or Hypogonadism?
- Decreased mental sharpness
- Decreased energy and strength
- Decreased muscle and increased fat
- Decreased sex drive (loss of libido)
- Decreased sensitivity to stimulation
- Decreased strength of orgasm
- Decreased erectile function (ED / Erectile Dysfunction)
- Depression and/or loss of eagerness and enthusiasm
- Irritability (20-35% of men – heard of “grumpy old men”)
- Osteoporosis (loss of bone density and bone mass)
- Insomnia, night sweats, hot flashes and profuse sweating
- Increased risk of cancer or Alzheimer’s (low testosterone levels increase risk)
- Increased risk of Cardiovascular disease
- Low Sperm Count and Infertility
- Hair Loss and Increased Skin Wrinkling
- Decreased Muscle Mass or Muscle Loss
- Depression, Irritability and Mood Swings
- Extreme Fatigue, Exhaustion and Insomnia
Who is a Candidate for Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)?
- Do you tire more easily or feel fatigued?
- Is it more difficult to get and stay in shape?
- Not getting the results from your exercise routine?
- Is there less desire to exercise and the time to recover after exercise is longer?
- Have you lost some of the zest for life or lost interest in sex?
- Is your body getting soft, weak and losing muscle tone?
- Are you eating the same or less and putting on weight?
- Have you lost some of your mental quickness and reaction time has slowed?
- Is the fire going out of your sex drive or feel a loss of desire?
- Are you having trouble getting or maintaining an erection?
- Is getting a good night’s sleep becoming impossible?
How Can I Start My Testosterone Therapy?
After been evaluated by a doctor, lab work is required to assess levels of free and total testosterone as well as other labs. In a man older than 40 years old or family history of prostate cancer, a rectal exam is recommended before starting the therapy. The progress of the therapy is evaluated by resolution of symptoms and blood workup every 3 to 6 months.
Does TRT increase the risk of prostate cancer or BPH?
There is currently a heated debate about the theoretical association between TRT and the initiation, progression, and aggressiveness of prostate cancer; however, this link has not been uniformly studied, and any results have been contradictory and nonconclusive. Although no clear evidence links TRT to prostate cancer, the possibility of increasing the risk of a clinical manifestation of a latent pre-existing malignancy can influence the decision about TRT use. Current recommendations are to exclude prostate cancer before initiating TRT in men over age 40 and to closely monitor men in the first year of testosterone replacement, followed by observation in subsequent years.
What are some beneficial effects of Testosterone Therapy?
- SEXUAL POWER Increased sexual potency and frequency.
- CHOLESTEROL Lowers cholesterol levels.
- ENERGY Increased energy, stamina and endurance.
- MEMORY Improved mental functioning and ability.
- MOOD Improves mood and feeling of well-being.
- HEART Protects against heart disease.
- CONCENTRATION Improved concentration and focus.
- MUSCLE Increased muscle strength and mass.
Physicians and endocrinologists are witnessing an explosion of interest in testosterone and testosterone therapy as a result of our growing realization that testosterone levels decline with age and that many men suffer serious consequences to their physical and mental health as a result of an androgen deficiency.
Do women also benefit from Testosterone Replacement?
In women, it is expressed as Menopause, whereas, in men, it is expressed as Andropause or Male Menopause. Many of these symptoms of low T and the disease processes that we come to accept as normal aging are processes that are actually secondary to low testosterone levels and are easily correctable with testosterone replacement in the form of injections, creams, gels or patches.
How is Testosterone administered?
Testosterone can be given by injections, pellets, creams or gel. Each route has advantages and disadvantages that your anti-aging physician will discuss with you.
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