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Testosterone Therapy and Androgen Deficiency Guide
Testosterone Deficiency goes by a number of names, including Low-T and Hypogonadism. When Low-T is the result of the aging process, it is known as Andropause or Age-Related Testosterone Deficiency. As a whole, Low-T is a syndrome, which means that it represents a collection of symptoms rather than a simply definable medical condition with a consistent cause.
A number of issues can lead to Low-T, from genetic defects to surgery and radiation-related to injury and cancer. It is also often simply the result of the body slowly losing its ability to produce sufficient Testosterone as a factor of age.
For men with Testosterone Deficiency, Low-T Therapy is a highly effective way to restore normalcy and proper hormone balance for the patient. Testosterone is often used for other purposes, such as anti-aging, appearance, performance enhancement, and strength training, but these uses are not approved by the FDA.
Testosterone is not an Anti-Aging drug, but, for patients with Testosterone Deficiency, Bio-Identical Low-T Treatment can help mitigate a number of symptoms that are commonly associated with the aging process.
What Are the Symptoms of Testosterone Deficiency?
Low-T affects male health both on a physical and psychological level, and there are a number of symptoms associated with the condition. The following is a list of symptoms of Testosterone Deficiency:
Increased Development of Breast Tissue
Infertility and Low Sperm Count
Loss of Sex Drive
Loss of Muscle Mass
How Is Low-T Diagnosed?
As of today, there is still some debate over the exact Testosterone Thresholds regarding Testosterone Deficiency, but what is agreed upon is that the two most important factors with regard to the diagnosis of Hypogonadism and Andropause are both the presence of clinically low Testosterone Levels and the display of symptoms associated with the condition.
Many men function just fine with lower Testosterone Production, while others are much more sensitive to their body's changes.
Testosterone Deficiency Diagnosis requires three stages: Patient history, Physical, and Blood Test
Testosterone Patient History
A big part of Low-T diagnosis and approval for treatment has to do with your past health history, personal, medical, and genetic. It's important for your prescribing hormone doctor to understand if you went through any issues in your past, whether during puberty or some other period of time, where you experienced issues that are related to Low-T.
Also, your personal life is very important, because men that are in unsatisfactory relationships or are under a great deal of stress may be displaying symptoms related to Testosterone Deficiency as a result of environmental and personal factors rather than as a result of a physiological deficiency.
Of course, hereditary history is also important. Men with a high risk of prostate cancer, for example, will experience a higher risk profile associated with therapy than those that do not have such a history. Also, if other men in your family have suffered from Low-T in the past, it provides evidence that you yourself may be in need.
There are also a number of quality of life issues that cannot be easily quantified through physical evaluation, such as happiness, libido, and personal satisfaction, which are also best revealed through this personal history, either in written form or discussed with your prescribing hormone doctor.
Beyond self-evaluation, you will also need to be physically evaluated by a physician.
He or she will be able to collect health data which will help them prescribe the right dose, and certain symptoms can be discerned through the physical evaluation, including reduced penis-size, testicular shrinkage, breast enlargement, and diminished body hair.
Low-T Blood Test
Finally, if signs suggest that you may be suffering from Testosterone Deficiency, your physician will take a blood sample for testing. A number of tests may be taken to evaluate your health and hormone balance, but the most important test is your Free and Total Testosterone Test.
This test is usually taken in the morning because it is when we first wake up that Testosterone Concentrations are at their peak.
It's important that this test is taken while you are free from illness and any medication that is not taken for a chronic condition because these issues can temporarily suppress Testosterone.
What Is Considered Normal When It Comes to Low-T?
As we mentioned earlier, there is still some debate, but the generally accepted rule is that normal Testosterone Levels in the blood are considered between 300 and 1000 nanograms per deciliter.
Many clinics go by different guidelines and it is ultimately up to your prescribing physician to establish his or her own personal guidelines dependent upon the patients and the symptoms.
Who Can Benefit from Testosterone Therapy?
Men that are suffering from health issues as a direct result of their diminished Testosterone Levels can benefit from Testosterone Treatment, as long as the benefits of treatment outweigh the risks.
For most patients with Low-T, Testosterone Therapy with Injections, Patches, Creams, or Gels are a low-risk treatment that provides real benefits, but certain critical groups may need to avoid therapy or at least understand the risks associated with treatment.
Who Should Avoid Low-T Treatment for Hypogonadism?
There are some at-risk groups that should not undergo Testosterone Restoration. These include:
Men that are interested in bearing children – Testosterone Treatment suppresses the ability to produce sperm. This doesn't have an adverse effect on health, but it does limit fertility. Testosterone with HCG can promote the production of sperm during Low-T Treatment and is an option, however.
Men the Prostate or Breast Cancer – Testosterone Therapy does not cause these forms of cancer, but it can exacerbate existing cancers, because prostate cancer feeds off of Testosterone, and breast cancer feeds off of Estrogen that is sometimes produced as a byproduct of Testosterone Treatment.
Men with High PSA Levels Prior to Treatment – Elevated PSA is a sign of prostate cancer risk under normal circumstances. PSA is produced as a result of Testosterone Therapy, but under these special circumstances, increased PSA Levels are benign.
Men with Elevated Red Blood Cell Counts – Testosterone can increase RBC Count which is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular complications. If the patient experiences increased RBC as a result of treatment, it can be effectively treated via blood donation.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea – Testosterone can exacerbate existing sleep apnea if not under treatment
Men That Are Suffering from Heart Failure Which Isn't Effectively Controlled
Patients with Significant Prostate Enlargement Prior to Treatment
Patients that are potentially at high risk of Prostate Cancer
What is the Goal of Low-T Treatment?
It's important to understand that the ultimate goal of Testosterone Restoration isn't to abnormally elevate Testosterone Concentrations, but simply to restore Testosterone Levels back to a normal state.
Testosterone Abuse has an elevated risk of complications because it involves increasing Testosterone Levels to an abnormally high state which puts pressure on normal hormone balance.
Every patient will have his or her own goals with regard to Testosterone Therapy. For young patients, it will be to encourage puberty, for example. For men with Andropause, the goals are generally multifaceted.
These men are looking to safeguard their health, as well as preserve their masculine characteristics. Testosterone Therapy can improve cardiovascular health, increase Bone Mineral Density, improve beard thickness and growth, maintain the depth of the voice, increase muscle mass, burn fat, and preserve sexual health!
What Options Are Available With Regard to Testosterone Replacement?
There are a number of options available to the patient when it comes to treatment, including:
Testosterone Creams – Topical Application Daily
Testosterone Gels – Topical Application Daily
Testosterone Injections – Periodic Injections, most often prescribed Bi-Weekly
Testosterone Implants – Outpatient Surgical Procedure Provides 3-5 Months of Testosterone
Testosterone Buccal Tablets – Applied to Gums Daily
How Do I Get The Most Out Of Testosterone Therapy?
In order to maximize the benefits of treatment, it is important to follow your prescription exactly as outlined and keep an open dialogue with your prescribing physician regarding any issues that you may experience during treatment.
Also, it's important to set up appointments with your hormone doctor once every six months to one year in order to make sure that your body is responding to treatment ideally and without side-effects or unnecessary risk.
Different patients also respond to different forms of Low-T Treatment in their own unique way, so talk to your doctor about any specific issues that you experience such as skin irritation or patterns of physiological imbalance, because you may be responding in a negative way to the specific treatment you were prescribed and would likely benefit from changing your route of administration.
Finally, Testosterone can provide benefits even without changing your lifestyle, incorporating a healthy diet and exercise plan to your Testosterone Regimen will improve the way your body responds to treatment significantly!
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