Q. What is Testosterone?
A. Testosterone is a potent steroid hormone from the androgen group. It is primarily produced by the testes of males and ovaries of females. In men, testosterone regulates the development of male reproductive system in addition to male secondary sex characteristics such as increased muscle size and strength, bone mass, deeper voice and the growth of body hair. Testosterone also helps maintain red blood cell production, sperm production and fat distribution. Testosterone is essential for health and well being, and is also used as a drug in the treatment of certain medical disorders. Chemical formula: C 19 H 28 O 2 .
Q. What is a Testosterone level test?
A. Testosterone level test checks the level of this male hormone in the blood. The normal range for testosterone levels in men is broad and varies by stage of maturity and age. It is normal for testosterone levels to decline as men age. Since the level of testosterone varies depending upon the time of day your doctor may want you to do a morning blood test when testosterone levels are highest.
Q. What does low Testosterone mean?
A. Although it is normal for testosterone levels to decrease as men age, low testosterone can affect a man’s health. After age 30, testosterone levels decline gradually at an average rate of about 1% to 2% per year. By middle age and older, practically all men experience some decline in testosterone. Low testosterone is defined as less than 300 nanograms per deciliter of blood.
Q. What are the symptoms of low testosterone?
The symptoms of low testosterone include low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, difficulty achieving orgasm, increased fatigue, diminished energy, sense of vitality, or sense of well being, mood problems and sleep disturbances, deterioration in athleticism, decrease in strength and / or endurance and increased body fat. Some men with low testosterone levels may have symptoms without recognizing them. They may still have sex drive for example but not realize how much it’s declined. Men with symptoms of low testosterone can have major impairment in quality of life. Current medical studies suggest that many men with low testosterone who report symptoms can greatly benefit from
Q. What are the risks associated with Low Testosterone?
Medical studies show an association of low testosterone with increased morbidity and mortality. For example, there is a higher occurrence of depression, coronary heart disease and greater risk of osteoporosis, fracture rates, ill- health and even dementia.
Q. What are the available treatments for low Testosterone?
Testosterone treatment is available in gels, patches, oral formulations and injections testosterone treatment has been misrepresented and too often altered which can lead to money spent without reaching good results as well as posing actual health risks for some.” There are many advertisers, infomercials and herbal remedy alternatives spread throughout the Internet that offer anti-aging and sexual benefits of testosterone treatments. Dr. Beltzer advises patients to view these claims with caution and skepticism. Men need to make sure that they are seen by a physician and be supervised throughout the course of treatment. Florida Men’s Health Center offers all available treatment methods with a much greater benefit since their products contain 10% testosterone unlike Anfrogel and Testim which contain only about 1% testosterone.
Q. Are there any risks involved with Testosterone treatment?
Testosterone treatment remains effective and safe. There are no risks involved with testosterone treatment, when clinical and laboratory parameters are carefully monitored by a knowledgeable physician and testosterone levels are kept within the normal range.
Q. Are there any counter indications for testosterone treatment?
Although testosterone therapy does NOT cause Prostate Cancer (in fact, it was shown that prostate cancer becomes more prevalent exactly at the time of a men’s life when testosterone levels decline). Men with known or suspected prostate cancer should not undergo testosterone treatment as worsening of urinary symptoms and stimulation of pre-existing prostate cancer growth are possible. Men who suffer from carcinoma of the breast, liver function impairment and pre-pubertal men should also refrain from testosterone treatment.
Q. What are the benefits of Testosterone?
Benefits include positive effects on mood, energy levels, improvement of libido and sexual function including frequency of spontaneous erections, increased bone density and reduced body fat, weight and cholesterol count. Testosterone therapy was also shown to enhance cognitive and verbal abilities. According to the American Journal of Cardiology, testosterone therapy reduces the risk of death from abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias) increased physical strength and muscle size, Improved body composition.
Q. What’s the first step in starting testosterone?
First step in testosterone management is finding a knowledgeable physician. On the first consultation appointment, a careful history and physical examination is required as well as a comprehensive blood test, which includes not only free testosterone levels but also other important parameters. Results are usually available within the next day. If your testosterone levels are low, the physician may recommend a testosterone treatment program in order to increase your testosterone levels. Once testosterone replacement therapy has been initiated, it is recommended to have a follow up visit after one to two months in order to assess the effectiveness of the treatment and dosage.