Testosterone Replacement Therapy: Overview

Men’s Testosterone Therapy Nashville, TN

Getting Started

If you believe you are suffering from low testosterone and would like to review your treatment options, contact Genesis Weight and Age Managment in Nashville, TN. Genesis Weight and Age Management is a leading provider of testosterone replacement therapy located in Nashville, TN. If you have low testosterone levels, we will be happy to help you start on the path to recovery.

Testosterone Replacement Therapy: Overview

As men age, their testosterone levels tend to decline. In fact, more than half of all men over the age of 60 have testosterone levels that are lower than normal. Low levels of testosterone can lead to a host of problems, including osteoporosis, decreased muscle mass, mood disturbances and sexual dysfunction. Decreased testosterone can also raise your risk of developing other serious disorders, such as heart disease. Fortunately, you can increase the amount of testosterone in your blood and avoid all of these issues with testosterone replacement therapy.

The Importance of Testosterone

In males, testosterone is the primary reproductive hormone. It influences the function of many different organs in the body, including the brain, and it contributes to male aggression. Testosterone is responsible for the growth of facial and body hair, the growth of the prostate, production of sperm, erections, penile growth and muscle strength. This hormone also supports kidney function and bone density, and it can improve visual-spatial reasoning and verbal memory.

Understanding Testosterone Replacement Therapy

When blood testosterone levels are lower than they should be, testosterone replacement therapy can help increase them. Testosterone replacement therapy typically involves supplementing testosterone until levels approach normal. Depending on your needs, several forms of therapy are available, including:

Injectable

Injectable testosterone therapies are introduced into the body by intramuscular injection. Dosages and the frequency of required injections vary widely based on the needs of the individual. Most men will need  weekly injections to keep blood levels stable.

Oral

Oral testosterone replacement therapy is available in the form of a pill. When swallowed, the pill releases a form of testosterone into the body that will not be destroyed by the liver, thus raising blood hormone levels. However, because the liver cannot process oral testosterone, liver complications are possible with continued use.

Sublingual/Buccal

Sublingual/Buccal testosterone therapy involves placing a dissolvable tablet against the gums (buccal) or beneath the tongue (sublingual). Very little of the substance is swallowed, which reduces the risk of liver toxicity.

Topical

Topical testosterone therapy is available as either a cream or a gel. In either form, the substance is applied to the skin and absorbed into the body. Topical testosterone must be applied once or twice daily in order to maintain optimum hormone levels. However, these substances can be harmful to people who don’t need testosterone supplementation. Thus, if you use topical testosterone treatments, you must apply the substances to areas that usually remain covered.

Transdermal

Transdermal testosterone replacement therapy involves placing a patch on the scrotum, upper arms, abdomen, back or thigh. The patch is time-released, which means that testosterone levels will remain constant throughout the day, rather than fluctuating. However, these patches can cause skin irritation.

Benefits of Testosterone Replacement Therapy

  • Improved sexual function – Taking extra testosterone when you suffer from decreased blood levels often improves sexual health by increasing your libido, improving erections and raising stamina.
  • Increased muscle mass – When your testosterone levels are low, supplementing them can build your muscles, reduce the amount of fat in your body, improve your strength, increase blood counts and even prevent you from developing metabolic syndrome.
  • Better bone strength – Testosterone supplementation builds bone density and reduces the risk of breaks in men who have low testosterone levels.
  • Improved mood – Men with low testosterone may suffer depression, anxiety or other mood problems. Testosterone replacement therapy may be able to alleviate these issues.

Risks of Testosterone Supplementation

Although testosterone replacement therapy offers many benefits to men who suffer from low hormone levels, it does pose some risks. The most common risks of treatment include:

  • Testicle shrinkage
  • Reduced sperm production
  • Enlarged breasts
  • Worsening of existing prostate cancer
  • Benign prostate growth
  • Increased acne
  • Skin irritation
  • Worsening of existing sleep apnea

Testosterone Treatment Monitoring

People who participate in testosterone replacement therapy generally do so on a long-term basis. Before you begin therapy, the doctor will assess certain aspects of your health, such as your serum PSA and liver function, to ensure that you are healthy enough for treatment. As therapy progresses, the doctor will continue to monitor your health to make sure that the treatment isn’t causing any serious side effects. The doctor may also monitor your blood testosterone levels and original symptoms to determine whether the treatment has been effective.

Do You Need It?

A decline in testosterone levels is common among older men, especially those who are more than 65 years of age. However, not all men will need testosterone replacement therapy. To determine whether this treatment is right for you, ask your doctor about hormone level testing options, especially if you are already experiencing symptoms of decreased testosterone.

Several different forms of testosterone can be found in the blood stream. If your doctor decides to test your testosterone levels, he or she will typically begin with a total testosterone test, which tests the amount of testosterone present in your bloodstream in any form. Levels higher than 350 nanograms per deciliter are considered normal, while levels below 250 nanograms per deciliter are considered low. If your level falls between 250 and 350 nanograms per deciliter, the doctor will most likely order further testing or start you on a trial treatment program.

Getting Started

If you believe you are suffering from low testosterone and would like to review your treatment options, contact Genesis Weight and Age Managment in Nashville, TN. Genesis Weight and Age Management is a leading provider of testosterone replacement therapy located in Nashville, TN. If you have low testosterone levels, we will be happy to help you start on the path to recovery.