Testosterone Therapy
Testosterone Therapy

Testosterone Therapy – When To Consider It

Testosterone, also known as the male sex hormone, is produced by the testicles, with this production slowly reducing by 1-3% each year after the age of 30. Testosterone plays a role in a multitude of health factors, including both lean muscle and the ability to maintain muscle bulk, maintenance of red blood cell levels, sexual function, bone density, and affects the production of chemicals that affect mood and a man’s overall sense of well-being. Along with aging, testosterone production can be affected by a variety of conditions, including testicular damage or surgery, chemotherapy or radiation treatments, certain medications, dysfunction of the pituitary gland (which regulates the production of various hormones in the body), inflammatory diseases, kidney disease, alcoholism, and more. High levels of stress can also affect the production of testosterone.

Testosterone Therapy is recommended to patients after a blood test indicates they are not producing testosterone within the normal range for their age; a blood test is the only accurate measurement for testosterone due to the continuous fluctuation of the hormone within the body. Testosterone Therapy might be right for you if you are experiencing the following common symptoms of low testosterone (also called Low T):

Dr. Harry Collins offers Testosterone Therapy to his male patients suffering from these symptoms when it is appropriately indicated. While there are various different ways to treat Low T (including gels, patches and oral tablets), the most effective and best absorbed by the body is bioidentical testosterone through intramuscular injection. Patients who are under Testosterone Therapy should be monitored regularly through both laboratory tests and review of their symptoms. For most men they begin to experience the benefits within 6-12 weeks of starting their testosterone therapy, including:

Testosterone Therapy is not for everyone. Men who are currently being treated for prostate cancer or breast cancer should not go on testosterone therapy until treatment for it is completed and the condition is resolved, and levels must be closely monitored. Before any patient is put on testosterone therapy, Dr. Collins requires blood tests to check prostate readings (PSA test) as well as a rectal exam to make sure the prostate is not enlarged.

While testosterone therapy using bioidentical hormones is normally safe, with any medical treatment there can be side effects. The most common side effects (less than 10% of patients) are:

It is very important that lab work be completed at regular intervals during testosterone therapy in order to both monitor hormone levels as well as PSA and cholesterol levels. In most cases, patients who experience any of these (or rare, more serious) side effects can be treated with a change in dosage rather than needing to go off of testosterone therapy altogether.

While many general practitioners question the need for testosterone therapy as men age, there is no medical evidence indicating it is harmful. The medical evidence in fact seems to indicate that keeping hormone levels at a range closer to those of a man in their late 20s-early 30s provides long-term health benefits. Studies have found that men with higher than normal for their age testosterone levels have reduced incidences of heart disease as well as a variety of cancers. At Savannah Age Management Medicine, Dr. Collins and his team are trained, certified and continually educated with the most up to date information and research on testosterone therapy and Male Hormone Replacement. If you would like a free consultation to see if testosterone therapy is right for you, please contact us.