About this sample
About this sample
Words: 545 |
3 min read
Published: Jan 29, 2019
Words: 545|Page: 1|3 min read
Testosterone is a hormone that gives men their characteristic deep voices, large muscles, and both their facial and body hair, distinguishing them from women. During puberty, testosterone prompts the growth of the genitalia, plays a role in producing sperm, fuels libido, and contributes to normal erections. Furthermore, testosterone fosters the production of red blood cells, improves mood, and helps cognition.
As men age, their levels of testosterone begin to decline, usually beginning around the mid-40s. This heralds what is commonly known as andropause, the male counterpart to menopause. While this is a natural part of aging, the decline in testosterone production by the testes can be more precipitous in some men than others. Excessive weight gain, stress, lack of exercise, and many medications further contribute to a man’s ability to manufacture testosterone, resulting in even lower testosterone levels and leading to symptoms of andropause. Symptoms of androgen deficiency and low testosterone levels are used to establish a diagnosis of hypogonadism (“hypo” meaning low functioning and “gonadism” referring to the testicles).
Signs and symptoms may include:
Therapy is recommended for people who have low levels of testosterone in the blood (less than 300 ng/dl) symptoms of low testosterone. Therapy is not recommended for men who have prostate or breast cancer a nodule on the prostate that can be felt during a DREa PSA greater than 3 ng/ml without further evaluation a hematocrit greater than 50% or thick, viscous blood untreated obstructive sleep apneasevere lower urinary tract symptomsclass III or IV heart failure.
Treatment of Andropause (low testosterone)Testosterone replacement therapy has the potential to drastically improve quality of life of those who need it. Studies have shown that testosterone-replacement therapy may offer a wide range of benefits for men with hypogonadism, including improved libido, mood, cognition, muscle mass, bone density, and red blood cell production.
What is the Optimal Form of Testosterone for Replacement Therapy? The oldest form is an injection, which we still use because it’s inexpensive and because we reliably get good testosterone levels in nearly everybody. The disadvantage is that a man needs to come in every few weeks to get a shot. A roller-coaster effect can also occur as blood testosterone levels peak and then return to baseline. There are pills in the United States for testosterone supplementation, but their use is strongly discouraged because they cause significant liver toxicity.
Topical therapies help maintain a more uniform level of blood testosterone. The first form of topical therapy was a patch, but it has a very high rate of skin irritation. In one study, as many as 40% of men who used the patch developed a red area on their skin. That limits its use. The most commonly used testosterone preparation in the United States is a topical gel or cream. According to many pharmacists the compounded preparation of testosterone in the form of a gel or cream tends to be absorbed to great levels in many men. Risks of testosterone-replacement therapy? Men already have testosterone in their system and the goal of testosterone treatment is to restore its concentration back to what it was many years ago. The molecule itself is identical to the one our bodies makes naturally.
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