Minimize the Symptoms of Aging with Testosterone
As part of the normal aging process, our body’s hormonal function slowly declines. A man’s testosterone usually peaks around their late teens to early 20’s, then the level will begin to drop by approximately 1% every year. By the time a man reaches his 40’s, he will likely be experiencing many of the symptoms of low testosterone:
- Weight gain (especially in the abdomen)
- Loss of libido or interest in sex
- Erectile Dysfunction / decreased morning erections
- Irritability / anxiety (“grumpy old men” syndrome)
- Joint aches and pains, muscle stiffness
- Loss of muscle mass
- Decreased drive and ambition
- Depression, low mood
Far too often, a physician will dismiss a man’s concerns regarding testosterone unless his serum level of total testosterone is less than 300. We believe there is huge difference in “normal” vs “optimal” hormone levels. Studies suggest Testosterone levels <450 are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Our goal is to optimize your testosterone, often reaching values of 800 to 1000.
What does our consultation include?
Your initial consultation with one of our physicians will begin with a thorough look into your past medical and surgical history, family history, and current medications, with specific attention paid to the symptoms you are struggling with. Next, we will obtain several blood tests to look at your free and total testosterone levels, other hormones which can contribute to endocrine disruption, and serum markers to get a better picture of your overall health, including a complete blood count, prostate specific antigen, and vitamin D level. Additional testing is available on request.
We will see you back in the office in 1 to 2 weeks, review your test results and perform the pellet insertion if appropriate.
How is it Done?
After appropriate evaluation and informed consent, testosterone pellets are placed with a local anesthetic, through a 3mm incision in the hip. The procedure is done here in our office by one of our doctors in about three minutes and is relatively painless. You will leave the office with adhesive tape covering the wound, this will be removed in four days. Benefits are enjoyed within two weeks and last for approximately 4 to 6 months in men. Diet, exercise, and optimal supplementation are all discussed as an important part of this therapy.
Restoring hormonal function naturally using testosterone pellet therapy is a safe and effective way to treat symptoms related to the aging process. Our testosterone pellets are bio-identical and made using a botanical source. The testosterone enters the body in its natural molecular form and doesn’t disrupt normal physiology, as in the case of synthetic hormones. Natural testosterone, when delivered in a slow and steady fashion, mimics the body’s inherent physiology, leading to minimal side effects and superior results.
What is the data regarding the safety and efficacy of Testosterone Replacement?
There have been several concerns raised regarding Testosterone safety, especially in the media. These concerns range from cardiovascular disease and blood clotting, to prostate cancer and efficacy of T replacement. On October 1st, 2015, an international expert consensus conference regarding T deficiency and its treatment was held in Prague, Czech Republic. The meeting included experts from Men’s Health Boston and Harvard Medical School, as well as international representatives from the medical field.
The consensus confirmed the safety and efficacy of Testosterone replacement. Some of the highlights of the consensus resolutions include:
- Symptoms and signs of testosterone deficiency occur as a result of low levels of T and may benefit from treatment regardless of whether there is an identified underlying etiology
- The evidence does NOT support increased risks of cardiovascular events with T therapy
- The evidence does NOT support increased risk of prostate cancer with T therapy
This article can be read in its entirety at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mayocp.2016.04.007
Benefits of Testosterone Pellet Therapy
Both men and women who receive testosterone pellet therapy enjoy an array of health benefits. This makes sense, knowing that symptoms and conditions of low testosterone are universal and affect both sexes. Benefits may include:
- Increased mental and physical energy
- Improved libido and sexual satisfaction
- Healthier physique
- A better sense of well being
- Decreased fat, improved lean muscle mass
- Increase bone mineral density, protect bone health
- Decreases cholesterol, improved cardiovascular health
- Improves cognition, studies to suggest prevents Alzheimer’s disease
- Decreases inflammation
What are the Side Effects of Testosterone?
Side effects from Testosterone replacement therapy can include acne, oily skin, and increased hair growth. Decreased testicular size and sperm count, for this reason Testosterone therapy is not recommended for men who have current or future plans of starting a family. Increased red blood cell count (hemoglobin and hematocrit) can also occur from testosterone therapy. The consequence of this is unknown, however, it is our practice to routinely follow serum complete blood counts and recommend treatment through phlebotomy and decreasing Testosterone dosing when appropriate. Testosterone can also be converted to Estradiol in your peripheral cells. We will monitor you for signs of excess estrogen (including nipple tenderness), check your estradiol levels on a regular basis, and treat an excess with anastrazole, which will block this conversion.
Although the evidence does not suggest there is an increased risk, men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer should not undergo testosterone replacement until they have consulted their urologist and/or oncologist.
Sure, there are other delivery systems for testosterone, however, each has advantages and disadvantages. Testosterone creams require daily application, often are ineffective despite patient compliance, and can be unknowingly transferred to loved ones (which can be detrimental to the growth and development of young children). Testosterone injections are effective for achieving increases in T levels, but must be administered on a weekly basis, and even then men reports “highs” and “lows” with levels. Furthermore, T injections are more likely to result in erythrocytosis (increased RBC count). Testosterone pellets are placed every 4 to 6 months, provide a physiologically steady state of hormones, and do not require the patient to do anything other than come into the office for the pellet insert.
Interested in a consultation to learn if testosterone pellet therapy is right for you? Please call our office at 513-770-0787 to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors.