Testosterone is made mainly in the testes and is under tight regulatory control of the brain and its hormones in the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus. The body controls testosterone production by using T levels as a stimulus to the brain to either make more in times when levels decrease or make less when levels are normal. This delicate system involves 3 separate sets of hormones that act as a checks-and-balances system that keeps levels optimal.
Even subtle imbalances in this system can lead to decreased T levels. Testosterone production will decrease through normal aging due to decreased testicular production despite a proper brain stimulus. This is one of the most common reasons for med to have symptoms and seek therapy.
Other reasons for Low T include certain types of brain tumors, obesity, and unknown reasons why the brain simply does not respond to low levels and does not stimulate production.
Andropause & Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy
As the men age, testosterone decreases, and this can begin as early as 30. Most laboratory tests give an acceptable range for testosterone between 325 and 1100. This range is huge and symptoms can arise at levels of 300-700 as well. This is because in men, testosterone is linked to a great deal of functions that determine not only quality of life but their quality of health. The rate of decrease and symptom occurrence varies by individual.
As levels drop, men often feel a dramatic difference in quality of life issues such as:
As levels drop to very low ranges under 500 men may develop:
Men at risk of developing low T include the following:
Bio-identical Hormones For Low T
Bio-identical Testosterone replacement therapy is quickly becoming very popular among aging men. At Resilience Clinic Health Systems, Our Physicians takes a unique and highly effective approach to hormone replacement using different methods of delivering the testosterone into the body.
Testosterone replacement therapy in the aging male has been shown in clinical trials to increase lean body mass, decrease fat, increase strength, and increase libido. Testosterone has even been used to treat male bone loss, anemia, and some studies have shown improved outcomes in heart disease patients undergoing testosterone replacement therapy.
Some of the conditions treated with bio-identical hormones include:
Testosterone replacement is very safe when done under the guidance of a trained physician who will closely monitor blood levels and other parameters. Side Effects occur rarely and are usually mild and can be managed with simple interventions or dose adjustments, and some of these side effects may include swelling, breast tenderness, mood changes, acne, headaches, and enlargement of prostate. Serious side effects require close monitoring and may require more serious interventions, which may include elevated blood pressure, cholesterol, and red blood cells. Testosterone therapy does not cause prostate cancer.
Researchers at Harvard have shown that it takes a very small amount to testosterone in the body to cause prostate cancer and beyond that level the amount testosterone does not matter. That level is roughly 100 (very very low) so a man with Low T at a level of 250 is already at the same risk for prostate cancer as a man with a level of 900. Contraindications to bio-identical testosterone therapy include, current or previous history of prostate cancer, certain types of blood disorders, and severe benign prostatic hypertrophy.