PLANO PHYSICIAN SPECIALIZING IN LOW TESTOTERONE TREATMENTS
CENTERS & INSTITUTES
As men age, their testosterone levels gradually decline at a rate of around 1 to 2% a year after age 40. However, many men don’t notice the effects until their 50s or later. Low testosterone, also referred to as “low-T,” “hypogonadism” and “male menopause” affects an estimated five million men in the United States and can lead to significant health risks, if left unchecked. This leaves many looking for treatment options for low testosterone.
Dealing with low testosterone levels can be frustrating and leave you feeling hopeless. Not only does low-T affect your intimate relationships, it can leech your bone mass, cause weight gain, spur bone loss and leave you feeling constantly fatigued. While there is no cure for low testosterone, there are steps you can take to bring your testosterone levels back to a normal range.
What Causes Low Testosterone?
Testosterone, a hormone found in large amounts in men, helps to bulk muscles, lower voices, grow body hair and enlarge male reproductive parts. It also boosts libido and maintains strong bones and muscles. When the testes stop or decrease testosterone creation, or when they’re not stimulated by the pituitary gland to start producing it in a condition called hypogonadism, low testosterone results.
Several other factors can spur lower testosterone, like obesity, diabetes, certain medications, diseases, and hormone disorders. Even high blood pressure, high cholesterol, HIV or AIDS can cause low testosterone.
What are the Side Effects of Low Testosterone?
Low testosterone sparks a slew of symptoms that can cause discomfort and embarrassment. Many studies note body fat distribution as one responsibility of testosterone. If your testosterone lowers, you may notice your body getting fatter in some places and your muscles getting smaller in others. Sufferers may have trouble sleeping, decreased sex drive, infertility, loss of motivation, low energy, anemia, and several other symptoms.
When Should You See a Doctor For Symptoms of Low Testosterone?
Do you believe you’re suffering from low testosterone? About 40 percent of men over age 45 have lower-than-normal testosterone levels. If you notice symptoms related to low testosterone, especially ones that are affecting your everyday life, try visiting a physician who can help.
Today, the conversation seems to flow more openly, and there are doctors who focus on treating low testosterone. When you visit a doctor, he’ll most likely start by testing your blood to get a measurement of your hormone levels. Keep in mind low testosterone remains a possibility in accordance with your symptoms, but you should be open to other diagnoses too. While it’s normal to be embarrassed when you attend an appointment, the doctor wants to help you, not judge you.
What Treatment are Available for Low Testosterone?
One common treatment doctors administer to patients with low testosterone is testosterone pellets, a procedure also known as testosterone replacement therapy. After the doctor inserts the pellet containing a hormone combination into the patient’s skin, the body absorbs the hormones.
The treatment proves more effective than oral medication because it bypasses the stomach, allowing the body to fully receive the hormones without interruption from the digestive system. The pellet lasts about four to five months in men before dissolving.
Treatment Options for Low Testosterone in Plano, TX
Transdermal testosterone comes in the form of a medicated patch that adheres to the surface of the skin. The patient’s body triggers the release of the testosterone over time in a gradual manner. It’s then absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream.
Patches must be applied at roughly the same time every evening for optimal results. It is important to note that testosterone is readily absorbed through skin contact. Patients using topical treatment should avoid direct contact with others.
This form of treatment must be managed daily. Improper use or failure to follow prescription instructions can lead to an increased risk of side effects, including acne, depression and headaches. Some patients may experience itching or swelling near the application site. Severe side effects are uncommon.
Unlike daily pills and creams, testosterone pellets deliver a steady dose of testosterone over an extended period of time. During the procedure, small time-release capsules are implanted under the subdermal layer of skin, usually near the hip or lower back. Over time, the pellets will dissolve, providing a steady rate of testosterone. The consistent rate of delivery drastically reduces the possibility of side effects.
Pellet therapy is an ideal treatment for patients seeking a convenient treatment that doesn’t require daily maintenance or frequent reapplication. The procedure is safe and virtually risk-free; however, it is difficult to adjust dosage once the pellets are in place and requires surgical removal if treatment needs to be stopped.
Some patients choose to receive regular injections as treatment options for low testosterone. The process is quick, simple and painless. During the process, a doctor injects liquid testosterone into the patient’s muscle. The patient remains under supervision for a short period of time before being cleared to leave.
Patients can typically receive injections and return to normal activities within the hour. Injections prove to be riskier than other methods of testosterone therapy. According to a study published by JAMA Internal Medicine, they are “associated with greater risk of cardiovascular events, hospitalizations, and death compared with gels or patches.”
Treatment Options for Low Testosterone: Lifestyle Change
The natural method of increasing testosterone production is simply to live a healthier lifestyle. Often this involves losing weight, exercising regularly, and eating a natural and balanced diet. Strength training and certain supplements such as Vitamin D and zinc have also been shown to boost testosterone naturally.
Testosterone Treatment Risks
When used to treat hypogonadism, testosterone therapy is rarely associated with serious side effects.
In older men suffering from an age-related decrease in testosterone, therapy can come with a number of risks, including skin problems, an increased risk of heart attack or stroke, and an increased risk of deep vein thrombosis. Men with pre-existing prostate cancer should take caution when undergoing treatment, as testosterone may accelerate existing growths. Testosterone supplements may also increase the risk of developing prostate cancer.
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