Testosterone Therapy for Men
Testosterone therapy is one of the most powerful ways to prevent and treat diseases that increase with age. The multitude of ailments caused by low testosterone significantly contribute to medical costs and quality of life. Some of the many conditions caused by testosterone deficiency are discussed below as well as benefits and risks to treatment.
Low Testosterone Signs and Symptoms
The most predictive low testosterone indicators include:
Decreased libido (sex drive)
Reduced erection strength or fullness
Infrequent or absent morning erections
If you experience any of the above symptoms and signs, then you probably suffer from low testosterone and should consider testing and appropriate treatments. The benefits of having normal, healthy testosterone levels far outweighs the risks.
Regarding risk, it's important to clear up, once and for all, some widespread rumors about testosterone therapy. Most doctors continue to be misinformed about the risks and benefits of testosterone therapy. In particular, is the belief that testosterone increases the risk of prostate cancer. While the relationship between testosterone and prostate cancer seemed logical, it turns out the assumption is actually false. In fact, recent evidence suggests the opposite to be true! Men with low testosterone actually may be more likely to get prostate cancer as well as die from the disease. Men with the lowest testosterone fared the wost! In addition, another recent study showed men with untreated prostate cancer and given corrective testosterone therapy had lower all-cause mortality -yes, including death from cancer!- and these men also experienced less cancer progression. The final nail in the coffin is the 2012 review article published in the journal, European Urology, outlining the history behind the false reasoning regarding the testosterone-cancer link. Read for yourself here.
If protecting against the most common male cancer isn't motivation enough, then consider freedom from the many other problems that can be caused by low testosterone. The health issues listed below are some problems caused by low testosterone. Corrective testosterone therapy can solve these problems.
So, if improvement in body composition (more muscle/less fat), increased energy, better work performance, better mood, improved sleep, increased sex drive and sexual performance, less pain and feeling and looking younger all sound good to you, then make an appointment to see Dr. Jacobs to get your hormones on-track so you can get on with enjoying life!
Low Testosterone Is An Under-Diagnosed Epidemic
Testosterone levels begin to decline about 1% per year, starting at age 30. Deficiency strikes some men in their 20s, although it is more common to see deficiency signs and symptoms manifest as early as the mid-30s. By age 45, 40% of men notice problems with erections, which is only one of many possible problems associated with low testosterone. Unfortunately, the vast majority of men are left untreated and feeling terrible. This is partly due to out-dated bias against testosterone replacement. It is also partly due to the fact, most doctors are not up to date on adequate test screening methods.
Most clinicians rely heavily upon total testosterone measured in blood. While this test is helpful in establishing testicular function, the test does not directly measure the type of testosterone responsible for all the beneficial effects, that is free testosterone. Total testosterone includes testosterone that is bound to various carrier proteins in the blood. Protein-bound testosterone can not enter the body's cells. It is essentially inactive. Free testosterone, which is not bound and inactivated by carrier proteins, is the only testosterone available to the body's tissues and responsible for all the benefits testosterone exerts on the body.
Many doctors also misinterpret the meaning behind the 'reference interval.' Most lab test values accompany a 'reference interval' range, which represents a mathematically determined range within which the majority of a population falls. The 'reference interval' is often misunderstood as being the 'normal range.' It most definitely is not. It in no way tells your doctor what level of testosterone is optimal for you as a unique individual. A patient's symptoms and signs, along with the more relevant free testosterone blood test, should take precedence over any test result that shows total testosterone is low but 'normal'.
How is low testosterone diagnosed?
The initial minimum testosterone screening tests used at this clinic include the following: total testosterone, free testosterone, and prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels. In younger male patients, we may measure luteinizing hormone (LH) help determine the cause of low testosterone. Should you either be overweight or have diabetes, estradiol (E2) may be measured because it is often elevated men with these conditions. Estrogen levels are checked in all men currently taking testosterone therapy because high estrogen levels is associated with decreased effectiveness of testosterone replacement therapy. Certain supplements or medications, such as anastrazole, may be recommended to prevent unwanted testosterone conversion to estrogen. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) may be monitored should there be a concern about excessive hair growth or male pattern balding.
How to Treat Low Testosterone
There are a number of treatment options available. The most appropriate treatment approach will be determined according to your individual needs, including the severity of deficiency, age and your medical history. Mild deficiency may be corrected by diet, exercise, getting adequate sleep and other lifestyle factors. Should you need a higher degree of support, you may need to use either testosterone injections or testosterone cream. The effectiveness of testosterone replacement can be enhanced by several other treatments, including some or all of the following: human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), which supports endogenous testosterone production and prevents testicular atrophy; anastrazole, which blocks testosterone conversion to estrogen; and other hormones, nutrients and therapies.
Call to schedule you appointment to get your testosterone on track so that you can get on with living a happy, vital and productive life!