Testosterone 101

 

As women age, we commonly know that their menstrual periods stop and hormones drop dramatically which is known as menopause. Less commonly known is that men also begin to lose hormone production, mainly testosterone, as they age known as andropause. Men begin losing testosterone at a rapid rate beginning at the age of 30, and the older they get, the more quickly their testosterone levels decline. Common symptoms they can experience include lacking sexual desire, gaining weight, feeling sluggish and irritable, erectile dysfunction. Fortunately, there are solutions to these common symptoms that many men face so they can not only age better, but live optimally, too.

 

Testosterone is helpful for all the symptoms listed above but it has shown to be beneficial to heart health. Testosterone works to:

 

  • Dilates the arteries, including the main arteries of the heart, therefore reducing blood pressure levels
  • Can help reduce the chances of  or even reverse arteriosclerosis, or, hardening of the arteries
  • Encourages the natural flow of blood throughout the body and circulation, therefore decreasing the risk of developing clogged arteries or blood clots
  • Has been shown to lower cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels
  • Reduces blood glucose levels

 

With all of these benefits, why not replace the testosterone you are missing and get back to the vibrant life you deserve?

 

There are several options when it comes to testosterone replacement including topicals, injections and pellet insertion. Therapy is decided between provider and patient for what works best with their lifestyle. Below are the positive and negatives of each testosterone delivery systems.

 

Topicals

Topical testosterone, commonly known as Androgel, is applied to the skin, rotating application sites. Gel or foam is applied to clean, dry skin and allowed to dry. There is no showering or swimming for 2-5 hours depending on the dosage used.

Pro: 

  • Easy to apply
  • Easy to adjust 
  • Done at home

Con: 

  • Daily dosing,  
  • Worry about transfer to others
  • Variable testosterone levels, can see fluctuations in mood/energy
  • Expensive
  • Higher likelihood of increasing estrogen (vs pellets)
  • Synthetic

 

Injection

Testosterone injections are commonly used as a replacement method in men. They are dosed at 1-2x/week depending on levels prior to beginning therapy.

Pro: 

  • 1-2x/week dosing
  • Easy to adjust
  • Can be done at home
  • Cost effective

Con: 

  • Spike in testosterone initially then drop leading to mood fluctuations
  • More likely to thicken blood 
  • Higher likelihood of increasing estrogen ( vs pellets)
  • Synthetic

Pellets

Pellets are small, about the size of a grain of rice, which are placed under the skin during a short, in office procedure. These are bioidentical, resembling the natural testosterone that your own body makes which deliver a steady state of testosterone for up to 6 months.

Pro:

  • Testosterone levels are maintained throughout dosing
  • Less symptoms that are caused by fluctuating testosterone
  • Pellets can last up to 6 months
  • Easy to add pellets if levels are suboptimal

Con:

  • In office procedure done about every 6 months
  • Unable to remove once they are in if levels are too high (This is not common, we follow a start low, go slow methodology. It is much easier to add pellets if needed)

 

Bio-identical hormone therapy is ideal for men and typically we recommend pellets because it provides sustained and consistent testosterone levels throughout the day for up to 6 months. Additionally, it does not offer unwanted side effects, such as mood and energy fluctuations that are commonly associated with rollercoaster levels of testosterone. Because testosterone used in pellet therapy is 100% natural, it is the perfect solution for men who need the health benefits of bio-identical hormone therapy without the negative effects of synthetic hormones.

 

If you are irritable, anxious or have lost that loving feeling, hormones may be to blame. Test your hormone function today to see if you may be a candidate for bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. We will work with you to design your perfect testosterone replacement plan. To schedule your complimentary consultation, visit our website at www.drshel.com or call us at 281-313-7435.

Posted in: Hormone Imbalance, Libido, Men, Women

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