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Santa Ana, CA 92705

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Saturday : Closed

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As one of the testosterone replacement therapy clinics around, this is one of the questions that we are always asked whenever a patient walks in. There are a lot of myths regarding testosterone and like with everything else in today’s day and age. You will find that there is rampant misinformation as well.

So, today we are going to help uncover what exactly this therapy is, and if someone suggests it to you, why you do not need to worry about it whatsoever. Additionally, we are also going to be talking about the potential limitations of testosterone replacement therapy. Let’s take a deep dive into this particular form of treatment.

What is Testosterone?

Testosterone is the hormone produced in the testicles, it is also found in women but in much smaller quantities. It primarily helps men;

  • Maintain bone density
  • Maintain fat distribution
  • Muscle strength and mass
  • Grow facial and body hair
  • Improve red blood cell production
  • Maintain their sex drive
  • Also, produce sperm

Some Symptoms of Low Testosterone Levels

There are some very obvious symptoms of testosterone and considering the number of things it helps maintain, it can often snowball into a bigger issue. As men age testosterone levels naturally decline but there are certain conditions under which the levels can drop to abnormally low levels.

Some symptoms of low testosterone levels include:

  • Lowered sex drive
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Poor energy level or fatigue
  • Decrease in muscle mass
  • Loss of body and facial hair
  • Difficulty in concentrating
  • Increased occurrence of depression
  • Irritability
  • Just a general low sense of well being

Just low testosterone levels are not enough for a doctor to suggest moving a patient to testosterone replacement therapy. If you are someone who has low levels but exhibits none of the symptoms there are currently no treatment recommendations, But if you have them and have the symptoms, you might be a viable candidate. Also, aging at this point is also not considered to be a qualifying condition when it comes to trying this out.

Forms of Testosterone Replacement Therapy

There are several forms in which testosterone replacement therapy is available. The most common ones of the lot include;

Skin Patch

This is a transdermal form of getting testosterone into your body. This is a prescription medication and is often given to men who have zero or very low levels of testosterone. The patches are designed in a manner that ensures that there is constant delivery of testosterone in your system.

They are changed every 24 hours. Also, they are available in a variety of doses and sizes.

Gels

These are the most common way that people get their testosterone. This is a prescription-only medicine and comes in either packets or pumps. Depending on which brand you pick from the market, one can apply gels to arms, armpits, inside of the thigh and abdomen.

Depo-Testosterone

This is one of the oldest forms of consumption available in the market. Depo-Testosterone is an injectable hormone that is used to treat men diagnosed with low levels of testosterone.

What one needs to understand is that even though low levels of testosterone are a bad thing, equally bad is having too much of it in your system. Another reason why some people take this particular drug is to increase muscle growth as well as athletic performance, both of which are not approved medical uses of the drug.

Side Effects of Testosterone Therapy

There are certain side effects that accompany any kind of treatment and the same is the case with testosterone therapy. The most common ones include a rash, irritation, or itching at the site where the testosterone is first applied,

There is also evidence that too much testosterone can lead to a heart attack or a stroke. Time and time again, however, you will find that experts do not lean to any one side as there are no long-term clinical trials that have been carried out as of yet,.

There are a few conditions that people believe can be a direct side effect of this form of therapy;

Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy

The prostate naturally increases in size when it is under the stimulation of testosterone. For a fair population of men, as they age, the prostate grows. This leads to the squeezing of the tube carrying urine (urethra). The end result is an increased difficulty in urinating. This condition is called prostatic hypertrophy, which can be aggravated once a person is on testosterone therapy.

Prostate Cancer

Testosterone can lead to the growth of prostate cancer. This is why experts recommend that people get screened for prostate cancer before they begin testosterone replacement. Men who are found to have an elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) are recommended to not get this particular treatment.

Sleep Apnea

This is another condition that can be made worse by testosterone replacement therapy. For men, it might be tough to figure out this particular one but their sleeping partner can often tell if this is the case.

A sleep study is often needed to make the correct diagnosis.

Blood Clots

Every testosterone product is required by the FDA to carry a warning about the increased risk of blood clots in the veins.

Testosterone products can increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. This potential life-threatening clot occurs in the lungs. Products already had a warning that people who have polycythemia were at risk. But that has now been modified to include the general public as well,

Congestive Heart Failure

Men who have severe congestive heart failure are also asked to stay away from this treatment as it can make the condition worse.

Considering there is still no clarity regarding the actual implications of this treatment, it is best if you have a discussion with your doctor regarding the treatment.