What Exactly Is Testosterone?
Testosterone is the androgenic hormone primarily responsible for normal growth and development of male sex and reproductive organs, including the penis, testicles, scrotum, prostate, and seminal vesicles. It facilitates the development of secondary male sex characteristics such as musculature, bone mass, fat distribution, hair patterns, laryngeal enlargement, and vocal chord thickening. Additionally, normal testosterone levels maintain energy level, healthy mood, fertility, and sexual desire.
The number of men diagnosed with hypogonadism, commonly referred to as “Low T” has grown dramatically in recent years due to an increasing awareness of the importance of hormones in a man’s health and wellbeing. Research shows that about 1 out of 4 men over the age of 30 may have low testosterone. Circulating testosterone levels decline progressively with age, starting in the second and third decade of life. Testing for testosterone deficiency requires a comprehensive understanding of the intricacies of hormone balance before one makes a commitment to what may be lifelong therapy.
When is Testosterone Optimization Therapy a Good Idea?
Men of all ages can experience changes in their testosterone levels. While more common in midlife, even men in the late 20’s can have challenges with maintaining optimal testosterone levels. If you are a male that has noticed changes in your energy levels, metabolism, sex life or mood, you may be suffering from low testosterone levels. Reclaim your life and vitality by seeking testosterone optimization.
It is normal for testosterone to begin to wane in men as they get older. Testosterone levels peak in the teen and early adult years and then begin to dwindle in the 30’s, 40’s and beyond. However, some men experience a more dramatic decrease in testosterone due to hypogonadism or other diseases. When testosterone levels drop, some changes can occur in the body and brain, including:
- Decreased energy and ambition
- Slower metabolism
- Muscle mass loss
- Lower bone density
- Mood changes, including depression
- Lowering Sex Drive and Libido
- Decreased sexual performance
- Lowering Concentration
- Lowering Cognitive Function
- Lowering Muscle Strength
- Increased muscle and connective tissue injuries
- Increased joint pain
- Slower recovery from illness
- Slower recovery from injuries
- Increasing fat tissue
- Increasing cholesterol and blood pressure
- Increasing insulin resistance and blood sugars
- Decreased sense of well-being
- Decreased confidence
- Decrease social interactions and work performance
- Increased heart disease
While low testosterone can cause these symptoms, so can other health issues or medications. It is important to have hormone testing to determine if low testosterone is causing your symptoms before seeking testosterone optimization treatment.
Benefits of Testosterone Optimization Therapy
If your testosterone levels are lower than normal, you may benefit from testosterone optimization therapy. For some men, beginning testosterone injections can have a significant impact on their quality of life and health. Those suffering from hypogonadism and other issues that impact their testosterone production can quickly notice a change. Benefits include improved mood and energy, as well as physical changes such as fat loss, muscle/strength increases and improved sexual libido.
If you have struggled with symptoms of low testosterone, you are not alone. Many men are frustrated when they no longer feel like themselves due to changes in their hormone levels. The first step is having your testosterone levels tested – if you have low testosterone, you may be an ideal candidate for hormone therapy to achieve testosterone optimization.
Testosterone replacement therapy is essential for men with hypogonadism. In these men, full replacement of testosterone is necessary. The amount of total testosterone in men can range from 300 to 1100 ng/ml, while the range for free testosterone is 50 to 250 ng/ml. It is more accurate to utilize free testosterone levels instead of total T levels.
Because the range is so broad, testosterone optimization must be individualized. In general, doctors aim to provide the lowest dose of testosterone that relieves symptoms and causes the man to be in the optimized zone. All while monitoring testosterone and its by-products for any potential unwanted side effects. There are several delivery method options, and Integrative Telemedicine presents the pros and cons of each before a mutually agreed upon delivery method is instituted for the patient.
It is also important to note that men should not be started on testosterone replacement without a careful endocrine evaluation to determine the cause of the low testosterone. Serious conditions including pituitary tumors can present with low testosterone.
Illegal Drug Use
Despite mixed media messaging, testosterone replacement therapy is not the same as illegal steroid use. The goal of testosterone supplementation is to achieve physiologic or normal levels of Testosterone.
Illegal steroids are typically driven by bodybuilders, or other athletes, with a desire to ‘get stacked.’ Unauthorized steroid use is unsafe. Replacement or optimization of Testosterone should be done under the guidance of experts to ensure overuse, improper dosing, use of hazardous medications, and undetected health risk do not occur.
Consult with a Hormone Replacement Expert
Most routine healthcare professions do not provide testosterone therapy routinely. It is best to consult a hormone replacement expert familiar with up-and-coming research and practice medicine in the specialty.
Dose adjustment is vital during therapy. Proper dosing required to maintain lean mass, fat mass, and sexual function varies by person. Trust a seasoned hormone replacement expert at Integrative Telemedicine to optimize your wellness.
Do you have symptoms of Testosterone? Are you ready to take the next steps to be well? Our experts at Integrative Telemedicine are ready to get you started on your journey today. Are you interested in beginning Testosterone Replacement Therapy?
Contact Integrative Telemedicine for an appointment.Leave a reply