As men age, their testosterone levels gradually decline at a rate of around 1 to 2 percent a year after age 40, though 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.
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.
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 to manage their low-T levels. 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.”
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.
Risks Involved with Testosterone Treatments
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.
Boost Your Testosterone Levels at the Wellness Center in Plano, Texas
If you believe you may be suffering from low testosterone or believe you could benefit from hormone therapy, contact the Wellness Center today.