Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Fitness, Muscle, Youth, Energy
WHAT IS TESTOSTERONE
As you age, testosterone levels decrease with age. They can also become low or low normal with increased stress and after an acute injury. Testosterone therapy offers an option to increase testosterone levels back to normal.
Testosterone therapy might seem like the ultimate anti-aging formula. Yet the health benefits of testosterone therapy for age-related decline in testosterone aren't clear.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF LOW TESTOSTERONE
Some of the signs and symptoms of low testosterone my include:
- Reduced sexual desire
- Fewer spontaneous erections — such as during sleep
- Increased body fat
- Reduced muscle bulk and strength
- Decreased bone density
- Swollen or tender breasts (gynecomastia)
- Loss of body hair loss
- Low energy
- Decrease in motivation
- Decrease self-confidence
- Feelings of being sad or depressed
- Trouble concentrating
- Difficulty remembering things
WHAT HAPPENS TO LEVELS OF TESTOSTERONE WITH AGE?
Testosterone levels are generally the highest during adolescence and early adulthood. As you age, your testosterone level gradually declines — an average of 1% a year after age 30 or 40. It's important to determine if a low testosterone level is due to normal aging or if it is due to a disease (hypogonadism).
Hypogonadism is the reduction in the bodies ability to produce normal amounts of testosterone due to a problem with the testicles or with the pituitary gland (located in the brain) that controls the testicles. Testosterone replacement therapy, in the form of injections, pellets, patches, gels or tablets can improve the signs and symptoms of low testosterone in these men.
WHAT KIND OF CONDITIONS ARE ASSOCIATED WITH LOW TESTOSTERONE
Low testosterone levels are associated with:
Decreased muscle mass
Increased body fat
Changes in cholesterol and lipid levels
Decreased body hair
Decreased hemoglobin and possibly anemia
Type 2 diabetes
WHAT ARE THE FORMS OF TESTOSTERONE REPLACEMEMT
As mentioned previously, Testosterone is supplied in the form of injections, pellets, patches, gels or tablets. Each form of replacement has pros and cons.
Pellets are inserted under the skin near the flank area. It does require a small 1 cm incision with local anesthetic to the skin.
- one insertion will last up to 4-6 months
- removes a daily cream application or twice weekly injection
- once stable, hormone levels are easy to maintain
- does not require bringing anything with you if you travel
- requires in office visit for insertion once every 4-6 months
- may require one or more visits to obtain a therapeutic level
Testosterone Cream / Gel
Todays cream or gel of testosterone is easily absorbed through the skin and offers great blood levels. The application is easy and does not require an office visit such as pellets and is also not an injection.
- easy daily application to the outside of the deltoid or inner part of the wrist
- easy form for the travelling individual
- requires a daily application of medication
- typical strength is as high as 250 mg per 1 ml or 4 clicks. If you require more medication than 250 mg per week, this method may be cost prohibited
This is the most common form and offers a way to achieve therapeutic levels the quickest.
- lowers administration of medication to once a week or twice a week
- increases blood levels of testosterone the fastest
- requires an injection with needles which may not be for you
- can cause skin irritation depending of the oil it is mixed with (grape seed, cotton seed or MCT oil)
- can cause skin irritation if mixed with anastrozole
These are ideal for the person who wants to avoid injections and is not fond of creams or gels.
- dissolve in the mouth near the cheek or gum line
- quick absorption into the body
- may allow for lower dosing wit the same results and blood levels
- can be difficult to achieve proper dosing and may take time with several adjustments
- does require twice a day dosing
WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS OF TESTOSTERONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY
Testosterone therapy has various risks, including:
- Worsening sleep apnea — a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts.
- Causing acne or other skin reactions.
- Stimulating noncancerous growth of the prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia) and growth of existing prostate cancer.
- Enlarging breasts.
- Limiting sperm production or causing testicles to shrink.
- Stimulating too much red blood cell production, which contributes to the increased risk of forming a blood clot. A clot could break loose, travel through your bloodstream and lodge in your lungs, blocking blood flow (pulmonary embolism).
HOW IS TESTOSTERONE SIUPPLIED
Testosterone as a bailable as a pellet, injectable and a liquid form, oral tablets, and cream/gel. They are sometimes combined with other medication such as anastrozole and progesterone.
They are supplied in a variety of strengths.
- Testosterone alone:
- 12.5 mg up to 200 mg per pellet
- Testosterone + Anastrozole :
- 100 / 4 mg
- 200 / 8 mg
- 200 / 20 mg
Each vial of medication may contain 200 - 250 mg per ml. The vials are available in 1 ml, 2 ml, 5 ml and 10 ml.
- Testosterone alone
- Testosterone with anastrozole
They are available in just about any strength and custom strengths are available from certain pharmacies.