PLANO WELLNESS DOCTOR
HORMONE LOSS and Testosterone Pellet Therapy
The Wellness Center in Plano, Texas offers testosterone pellets to help counteract hormone loss. Call us today for more information or to schedule an appointment.
It’s no secret that as we age, our bodies change. Some things for the better, some things… not so much. However, it’s an inevitable part of life, so the best that we can all do is find a way to deal with any problems or issues that arise. With certain issues, though, “just dealing” can be really tricky.
This can, unfortunately, be said of testosterone treatment. With an increase in age can come a decrease in testosterone, which has a variety of effects on males as well as females. For example, both sexes require some level of testosterone to maintain a stable sex drive. Though the level that men need is much higher than that of women, a decrease in testosterone can still negative effect the sex drive of a woman.
So, what can we do to fix testosterone issues? As we mentioned briefly earlier, testosterone treatment can be tricky. That’s because Goldilocks’s “just right” level of testosterone varies from individual to individual. Too little won’t make a change; too much will change things that weren’t necessarily a problem, to begin with.
What are Testosterone Pellets?
Decreases in testosterone can occur with age, and doses of testosterone are often administered to patients who suffer from negative effects associated with hormone loss. One way to take testosterone to improve negative effects comes in the form of a testosterone pellet. Physicians administer the pellet into a patient’s skin, and the body absorbs the contents. Testosterone pellets can be more effective than oral treatments because it skips the digestive process, and the body is able to wholly absorb the hormones without disruption.
That’s where testosterone pellets come into play. Testosterone pellets are tiny tablets that contain crystalline testosterone. Think of them like little testosterone Tic-Tacs. In a very short, outpatient procedure using a local anesthetic, the capsules are placed under the skin. The procedure usually only takes about 10 minutes. Over the course of anywhere from 3-6 months, the pellets slowly release the testosterone for long-acting and stable delivery.
Almost all symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes, are relieved with testosterone pellets alone. A study by Sherwin examined testosterone, testosterone with estradiol, estradiol alone and placebos. The group of women who responded best took testosterone. The groups that performed worst took estrogen or a placebo. Higher levels of testosterone were associated with a better response. Testosterone is the major substrate for estrogen production in the brain, bones, vascular system, breasts and adipose tissue. Some physicians disregard testosterone’s ability as a substrate and may insist on the necessity of estrogen therapy. Testosterone delivered by a pellet implant has been used to treat migraines and menstrual headaches. Testosterone also helps with vaginal dryness, incontinence, urinary urgency and frequency.
Pellets deliver consistent, healthy levels of hormones for three to four months in women and four to five months in men. Testosterone pellets avoid the fluctuations of hormone levels seen with every other method of delivery, which is important for optimal health and disease prevention. Pellets do not increase the risk of blood clots like conventional or synthetic hormone replacement therapy.
In both men and women, testosterone has been shown to increase energy, relieve depression, increase sense of well-being, relieve anxiety and improve memory and concentration. Testosterone, delivered by a pellet implant, increases muscle strength and bone density and reduces fat mass. Men and women need adequate levels of testosterone for optimal mental and physical health and for the prevention of chronic illnesses like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, which are associated with low testosterone levels. Even patients who have failed other types of hormone therapy have a very high success rate with testosterone pellets.
What are hormone pellets?
Pellets are made up of hormones, like testosterone, that are pressed or fused into very small, solid cylinders. Pellets are slightly larger than a grain of rice. In the United States, compounding pharmacists create the majority of pellets and place them in sterile glass vials. An FDA-approved, 75-milligram testosterone pellet exists.
Why do patients choose to take hormone pellets?
Pellets deliver consistent, healthy levels of hormones for three to four months in women and four to five months in men. They avoid the fluctuations of hormone levels seen with every other method of delivery, which is important for optimal health and disease prevention. Pellets do not increase the risk of blood clots like conventional or synthetic hormone replacement therapy.
In studies, when compared to conventional hormone replacement therapy, pellets have been shown to be best for relieving menopausal symptoms, maintenance of bone density, restoration of sleep patterns, and improvement in sex drive, libido, sexual response and performance.
Testosterone pellets have been used to treat migraines and menstrual headaches and relieve vaginal dryness, incontinence, urinary urgency and frequency. Testosterone has been shown to increase energy, relieve depression, increase sense of well-being, relieve anxiety and improve memory and concentration. Testosterone pellets increase muscle strength and bone density and reduce fat mass. Men and women need adequate levels of testosterone for the best mental and physical health and for the prevention of diseases related to lacking testosterone, like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Patients have achieved successful results from pellets, even after futile attempts from other hormone therapy methods. Pellets remain the most convenient way to administer hormones, and physicians have been employing the practice in men and women since the 1930s. Significant data supports the method of inserting testosterone in men and women.
Bioidentical progesterone is not known to increase the risk of breast cancer like synthetic progestins. Progesterone, used vaginally, does not deter the positive effects of estrogen on the heart like the synthetic hormones. The bioidentical estrogen estriol, used often in Europe, does not attach strongly to estrogen receptors and does not stimulate breast tissue. Many studies have shown that vaginal estriol does not increase the risk of breast cancer and is safe for those who have survived from breast cancer.
Why don’t physicians recommend estrogen therapy or estradiol pellet therapy?
Testosterone alone can help symptoms like hot flashes and increases in effectiveness when it is inserted by a testosterone pellet. Testosterone pellets also do not result in any negative side effects like estrogen therapy. Estrogen therapy, including estrogen pellets, can cause uterine bleeding in women. If bleeding occurs, one should notify a doctor immediately for an evaluation. Estrogen can also cause breast sensitivity and other breast health issues, including painful cysts and a higher risk of breast cancer. Most women feel more comfortable with lower levels of estrogen in their bodies.
Almost all symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes, are relieved with testosterone pellets alone. A study by Sherwin looked at testosterone, testosterone with estradiol, estradiol alone and placebos. The group of women who responded best took testosterone. The groups that performed worst took estrogen or a placebo. Higher levels of testosterone were associated with a better response. Testosterone is the major substrate for estrogen production in the brain, bones, vascular system, breasts and adipose tissue. Some physicians disregard testosterone’s ability as a substrate and may insist on the necessity of estrogen therapy. Testosterone delivered by a pellet implant has been used to treat migraines and menstrual headaches. Testosterone also helps with vaginal dryness, incontinence, urinary urgency and frequency.
Bearing high levels of estrogen can result in negative physical effects, like anxiety, weight gain, belly fat, tender breasts, and negative emotional effects, like emotional lability, premenstrual syndrome and mood swings. Exposure to stronger estrogen, like estradiol and Premarin, or chemicals similar to estrogen over time can increase the risk of breast cancer.
Some individuals’ bodies change too much testosterone into estradiol, which can disrupt the positive effects of testosterone. Physicians may suggest or perscribe an inhibitor to halt the process of conversion. Any patient suffering with a testosterone conversion issue may be treated with combination testosterone and inhibitor implants.
Will hormone therapy with estradiol and testosterone pellets reverse hair loss?
Hormone deficiency can spur hair loss, yet testosterone pellets can help regrow, thicken and hydrate the hair.
How long is the recovery period after a pellet insertion procedure?
Some patients begin to return to their normal state of being within 24 to 48 hours while others may need a week or two to regain normalcy. To reach or maintain the best health, one must maintain a clean diet, healthy lifestyle and balanced hormones. Stress remains the top cause of hormone imbalance and sickness. Prescription medication side effects can cause disruptions of testosterone pellet treatment.
How long do testosterone pellets last?
Hormone pellets usually last between three to four months in women and four to five months in men. Hormone pellets eventually dissolve, eliminating the need for a return appointment for removal by a physician.
Should a dose of progesterone accompany the testosterone pellet?
Patients receiving pellet treatment do not require progesterone. However, progestins should accompany doses of estradiol or estrogen. Synthetic progestins may be used to prevent stimulation of the uterine lining caused by estrogen. If estrogen is uninvolved in treatment, progestin therapy is not required though it can aid patients in issues like anxiety and depression.
How are hormones monitored during therapy?
The physician may check hormone levels before the procedure begins. For women patients, the physician may check FSH, estradiol, testosterone and thyroid hormone levels. For men patients, the physician may perform a prostate specific antigen and check estradiol, testosterone, LH, liver profile, blood count and thyroid hormone levels. Before an additional treatment, physicians may check men patients for blood count and estradiol and perform a prostate specific antigen. Physicians may also suggest men contact a primary care physician to obtain an annual digital rectal exam. Physicians may suggest women continue to receive monthly self breast exams, mammograms and pap smears.
How much does pellet therapy cost?
The cost of pellet therapy ranges between $350 and $800, depending on the hormone dose and pellet amount. Because men need a higher amount of hormones, the cost may rise. Pellets need to be inserted two to four times a year, depending on the speed of the body’s absorption of the hormones. Pellets prove to be cost effective when compared with drugs to treat hormonal decline symptoms.
Will insurance cover the testosterone pellet procedure?
Some insurance companies cover the cost of pellets. Most physicians require payment for their services, yet some insurance companies may offer the option of reimbursal.
Can testosterone pellets improve conditions associated with peri-menopause?
Testosterone pellets can benefit pre-menopausal females who are still menstruating. Testosterone can relieve many of the symptoms associated with perimenopause, like migraines or menstrual headaches, premenstrual syndrome, anxiety, depression, lack of energy, disturbed sleep and low sex drive. Pre-menopausal females receiving testosterone pellets must use birth control due to a theoretical risk of giving male traits to a female fetus.
Can a patient be allergic to pellet implants?
Very rarely, a patient will develop redness and itching near the testosterone implant. It is a minimal reaction, yielding no tenderness or evidence of infection. Pellets are composed of testosterone, stearic acid and povidone. Povidone may spur a reaction in patients; therefore, implants can be made without povidone. Patients who develop a reaction to testosterone pellets may also have underlying problems causing the reaction and may require cortisol testing. If a patient experiences irritation from the testosterone pellet, a 25 to 50 milligram dose of Benadryl may help.
Benefits of Testosterone Pellet Therapy
Any time an incision is part of a procedure, patients can get a bit apprehensive. But with this type of therapy, the benefits really outweigh the minimal risk. What exactly are those benefits, though?
- Sex Drive: We touched on this a little bit earlier, but it’s a pretty important part of life to just gloss over. Giving up on a sex life doesn’t have to be an inevitable part of aging. Testosterone is a sex hormone necessary for both sexes to maintain a healthy sex drive, and testosterone pellets can help get those levels back to normal and sex drive back in the right gear.
- Muscle Mass: Loss of muscle mass is, unfortunately, another thing that accompanies an increase in age. Pellet therapy has been known to increase muscle mass. In fact, it is estimated that the average person gains 3-6 pounds of muscle mass within a 4-6 month treatment.
- Body Fat: Decrease testosterone levels has been linked to an increase in fat build-up. Getting those testosterone levels back to normal helps decrease the risk of build-up in body fat and serious diseases such as obesity.
- Miscellaneous: Testosterone pellet therapy has also been linked to increases in energy and a sense of well-being, anxiety and depression relief, and improved memory and concentration.
If you’re seeking treatment for issues with testosterone levels, give us a call to discuss the possibility of testosterone pellets.