What is Testosterone Replacement?
Testosterone Replacement Therapy - For 'Low-T'
Testosterone replacement is used to treat low levels of testosterone in men or to stimulate puberty in cases where it is delayed. Testosterone deficiency can result in a number of symptoms including decreased sexual desire/low libido, tiredness, depression, decreased male characteristics, foggy brain and weakened bones. Methods for testosterone replacement include patches, injections, pellets, gels and creams.
Subtle Symptoms of Low Testosterone
The symptoms of low testosterone are sometimes obvious, but they also can be subtle. Testosterone levels decline naturally in men as they age over decades. But certain conditions can also lead to an abnormally low level. Symptoms of low testosterone include:
• Low sex drive (libido)
• Erectile dysfunction
• Fatigue and poor energy level
• Decreased muscle mass
• Body and facial hair loss
• Difficulty concentrating
• Low sense of well-being
• Weight Gain
Benefits of Testosterone Replacement
Testosterone will improve the various symptoms noted above. It helps keep the muscle and bone strong and help build them. It is an erythropoitic hormone, meaning it will help increase production of blood in the body. This in turn leads to improved stamina for any activity, reduced fatigue, improved fatigue & improved mood. It converts to DHT that crosses blood brain barrier and improves the concentration and focus.
Side effects of testosterone
• may lead to reduced testicle size
• may lead to reduced sperm counts and result in infertility
• may lead to receding hair line due to DHT excess
• higher estrogen formation from conversion of testosterone to estrogen in the body and related higher risk of clot formation.
• High hemoglobin levels can happen due to increased red blood cell production in some patients, needing periodic blood donation.
All these can be negated by appropriate follow ups and supplements intake as directed
Blood draws are done periodically to check on the levels of various hormones to balance them out appropriately. Compliance is paramount in hormone balancing management, and only you can make it happen.
Forms of Testosterone Supplements
• Testosterone replacement therapy is available in several forms. All can improve testosterone levels to varying degrees and durations:
•Skin patch (transdermal): Androderm is a skin patch worn on the arm or upper body. It's applied once a day.
• Gels: AndroGel and Testim come in packets of clear testosterone gel. Testosterone is absorbed directly through the skin when you apply the gel once a day. AndroGel, Axiron, Fortesta & Compunded Testosterone cream also come in a pump that delivers the amount of testosterone prescribed by your doctor. Natesto is a gel applied inside the nose.
• Mouth patch: Striant is a tablet that sticks to the upper gums above the incisor, the tooth just to the right or left of the two front teeth. Applied twice a day, it continuously releases testosterone into the blood through the oral tissues.
• Injections and implants: Testosterone can also be injected directly into the muscles, or implanted as pellets in the soft tissues. Your body slowly absorbs the testosterone into the bloodstream. The testosterone weekly shots give a varying result as it will be high in first 2-3 days and drops rapidly in next 3-4 days. This can create mood changes in men. For pellets form administration, the procedure can be done in office room and a specified amount of testosterone is implanted under the skin, usually in the love handles or the upper outer gluteal fatty areas. This can provide adequate sustained testosterone for 5-6 months usually. The levels are checked for adequacy and also clinical response is monitored. Usually the dose is set in first couple of the procedures for long term use. PSA is monitored periodically.
Why not a simple testosterone pill? Oral testosterone is available. However, some experts believe oral testosterone can have significant negative effects on the liver. Using other methods, such as skin patches, gels, orally disintegrating tablets, or injections, bypasses the liver and gets testosterone into the blood directly. We do not prescribe any oral testosterone.
Note: Individual results may vary, monitoring and follow ups needed for optimum results.