Low-T and Your Health
How Does the Body Produce Testosterone?
The production of Testosterone is the result of a cascade of hormone signals, with a cycle beginning at the hypothalamus. When the hypothalamus receives the signal to produce Testosterone, it releases a hormone known as Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone, usually referred to in scientific literature as GnRH. In both sexes, GnRH travels through the Hypophyseal Portal System from the Hypothalamus to the Pituitary, where it stimulates the production of two important hormones: Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH).
From here, the sex hormone cycle differs for both sexes. In women, Follicle Stimulating Hormone prepares for the release of an egg by stimulating the production of fluid pouches known as follicles which store the developed egg in preparation for fertilization. Luteinizing Hormone, on the other hand, encourages ovulation. In men, on the other hand, the two hormones are associated with the production of Testosterone and Sperm.
Luteinizing Hormone travels to the testes, where it activates cells known at Leydig Cells that are responsible for the production of Testosterone. Follicle-Stimulating Hormone travels to Sertoli Cells in the Testes, which encourage the production of sperm.
Some Testosterone that is produced by the testes is naturally converted into Estrogen by various tissues, including adipose fat tissue. Estrogen Levels in the male blood stream are monitored by the Hypothalamus, and Estrogen activates receptors in the Hypothalamus which modulate the release of upstream Testosterone Precursors, creating a cycle which is designed to maintain balanced Testosterone Production. When this hormone balance is disrupted, it contributes to Andropause.
What Causes Low-T?
There are three categories of Testosterone Deficiency, dependent upon the source of the deficiency: Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Low-T.
Primary Testosterone Deficiency is the result of a malfunction of the testes which prevents Testosterone from being adequately produced to meet the needs of the body. This is a rare form of natural Low-T, and is generally the result of damage to the testes resulting from trauma, injury, surgery, cancer, or other illnesses.
Secondary Testosterone Deficiency is the result of inadequacies within the Pituitary Gland which prevent the body from producing the Testosterone that it needs. In general, Secondary Testosterone Deficiency is also quite rare. The pituitary generally retains its ability to produce the various hormones that are associated with the organ, and the issue tends to be that the organ does not receive the required stimulation to produce such hormones.
Tertiary Testosterone Deficiency is caused by changes in hypothalamic activity which contribute to the suppressed production of Testosterone. This is generally the root cause of Andropause, the age-related decline in Testosterone Production which leads to symptoms such as Loss of Sex Drive, Suppressed Libido, and unwanted changes in body composition.
How is Low-T Treated?
Depending on the form of Testosterone Treatment, there are a number of forms of Testosterone Therapy available for patients suffering from Low-T.
Primary Testosterone Deficiency Treatment
For patients suffering from Primary Testosterone Deficiency, the only form of treatment is Bio-Identical Testosterone Therapy, but there are a variety of ways to deliver the therapy effectively, including Testosterone Patches, Creams, Injections, and Implants. These products provide a regular supply of Testosterone to sustain normal male health and physiology.
Secondary Testosterone Deficiency Treatment
For Secondary Testosterone Deficiency resulting from Pituitary Insufficiency, the range of options is slightly larger. All forms of Bio-Identical Low-T Therapy are effective, and these patients also have the opportunity to use HCG Therapy. HCG is a functional analogue of Luteinizing Hormone. It is a naturally occurring hormone that is produced by women, and, when used as a medical treatment in men, mimics the actions of Luteinizing Hormone in the male body, stimulating the production of Testosterone by the Leydig Cells.
Tertiary Testosterone Deficiency Treatment
Low-T caused by upstream issues with the hypothalamus have the widest range of options available. Both Testosterone Therapy and HCG can benefit patients with Tertiary Low-T, as well as hormones that alter the signaling patterns of the Hypothalamus. For example, Clomiphene Citrate is a Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator which suppresses the negative feedback mechanism associated with Estrogen which inhibits the production of Testosterone, one of the leading contributors to Andropause. By reducing the influence of Estrogen on the Hypothalamus, it is possible to increase the production of Testosterone to more naturally healthy levels.
Combination Testosterone Therapy
Testosterone Therapy is the most popular treatment for Low-T, and it is often combined with other forms of treatment in order to maximize the success of therapy. These secondary treatments are combined with Testosterone Therapy in order to mitigate the side-effects that are sometimes associated with treatment.
Testosterone with HCG
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin can be used on its own as a means to enhance Testosterone Levels, and it can also be combined with Testosterone Therapy in order to sustain fertility and normal testicular function and appearance during therapy. When Bio-Identical Testosterone is prescribed on its own, it provides all of its great benefits but has two unavoidable side effects: Suppressed Fertility and Testicular Shrinkage. By adding Bio-Identical HCG to normal Testosterone Treatment, it is possible to eliminate these two side effects.
Testosterone with Estrogen Blockers
As we mentioned earlier, the presence of Testosterone in the blood stream encourages an elevation in Estrogen production due to the conversion of Testosterone into Estrogen. If the body is producing too much Estrogen, this can lead to symptoms such as gynecomastia and edema which can be problematic. By combining Estrogen Blockers with Low-T Therapy, it is possible to mitigate these symptoms of elevated Estrogen Levels in the blood stream, improving how the body takes to the treatment. Estrogen Blockers also help preserve fertility and prevent testicular shrinkage like HCG.
These Estrogen Blockers can also be used as a substitute for Testosterone at sufficient doses for some patients, especially those that are interested in having children while simultaneously benefiting from enhanced Testosterone Levels.
Testosterone with Human Growth Hormone
Many patients simultaneously suffer from multiple forms of Hormone Deficiency simultaneously. Both HGH Deficiency and Testosterone Deficiency are Age-Associated conditions which share many symptoms with one another. Many Hormone Clinics provide what is known as a Comprehensive Hormone Panel to provide the prescribing physician with a full set of health and hormone data which can accurately reveal a variety of hormone, health, and nutritional deficiencies.
HGH Restoration can be achieved through two primary mechanisms, Bio-Identical Human Growth Hormone Injections and Sermorelin Acetate Injections.
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