Many of the problems associated with andropause (or male menopause), and low testosterone (also known as low T), can be overcome with hormone replacement therapy for men. The primary goal for any quality hormone replacement program should be to restore testosterone to healthy levels. However, testosterone doesn’t function within a vacuum. There are other critical hormones in the picture that must be monitored, too—especially estrogen and thyroid.
Some Facts About Testosterone & Therapy for Men
Testosterone is a hormone made by the body and is responsible for the normal growth and development of the male sex organs and for maintenance of other sexual characteristics. In men, testosterone is produced in the testes, the reproductive glands that also produce sperm. The amount of testosterone produced by the testes is regulated by the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland. Some effects of testosterone may include:
- Growth and maturation of prostate, and other male sex organs
- Development of male hair distribution such as facial hair
- Changes in body muscle mass and strength and fat distribution
- Sex drive and sexual function
- Mood and energy level
- Bone strength
In healthy men, testosterone levels (also known as T levels) between 350ng/dL and 1000ng/dL are considered normal. The brain and the testes work together to keep testosterone in this range. When levels of testosterone are below normal, the brain signals the testes to make more. When there is enough testosterone, the brain signals the testes to make less.
To determine testosterone levels, Low T Center will administer a simple blood test, the results of which you will know in 30 minutes or less. If your testosterone levels are below 350 ng/DL, you are considered to be a low testosterone male.
Hypogonadism is another word for Low Testosterone or Low T.
Benefits of TRT (Testosterone Replacement Therapy)vary based upon the pre-therapy Low T symptoms and other factors, but can include:
- Improved muscle mass and strength
- Increased bone mineral density
- Thicker body hair and skin
- Improved sexual desire
- Boosted energy
- Decreased irritability and depression
- Improved visuospatial cognitive function and verbal memory
- Higher motivation
- Decreased body fat
- Better mood
- Improved erectile function.
Although rare, there are some risks with low testosterone therapy. Some patients could experience the following side effects:
Increase in red blood cells
This can be beneficial if you have anemia (low blood counts). However, it can be potentially dangerous since too much blood can block your blood vessels and lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Testosterone therapy increases the volume of your prostate gland. To date, there have not been any studies showing that testosterone therapy increases the risk of prostate cancer. However, there is some theoretical concern because prostate cancer is treated by blocking testosterone. We should assume that the long term risk at this point is uncertain. If you have an enlarged prostate, referred to as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), testosterone may worsen your symptoms, particularly if you are more than 50 years of age. If you have a history of prostate cancer, you cannot receive testosterone therapy.
These are most common with use of a patch; however, they lower with the use of a gel and are rare with injections.
This is common particularly in young men, but usually reversible after stopping testosterone therapy.
This is a condition that disrupts breathing during sleep. Although uncommon, it is a reported side effect.
Although uncommon, you must use caution if you have a history of heart failure or kidney disease.
Acne, oily skin, increased body hair and flushing have also been reported.
TRT (Testosterone Replacement Therapy) is not recommended and/or is prohibited for patients with:
- Breast or prostate cancer
- A palpable prostate nodule
- Untreated obstructive sleep apnea
- Severe benign prostatic hyperplasia symptoms (AUA prostate symptom score > 19)
- Uncontrolled severe heart failure
- Unexplained PSA elevation
- Severe lower urinary tract symptoms associated with benign prostatic hypertrophy ◦Unstable severe congestive heart failure (class III or IV)
Nothing good. Your Testosterone will continue to reduce. Your symptoms will likely worsen depending upon your unique response to depletion of Testosterone.