What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is the key hormone produced by the Leydig cells of the testicles and is responsible for the normal growth and development of male organs and for maintenance of other sexual characteristics. Aside from sexuality, it also contributes to some essential body functions such as embryological development, facial hair development, brain function, body muscle mass, bone strength, red blood cells function and even mood and energy levels.
The range for normal testosterone level is 300 -1100 (ng/dL). It is optimal for a man to get around 800 - 1100 (ng/dL). When a man reaches his mid 30’s, production of testosterone declines an estimate of 1% each year – 10% in 10 years or even more. Greater decline in testosterone level can happen due to obesity, infectious diseases, excess of blood iron and inflammatory diseases.
What is Low testosterone and what does it mean to me?
Testosterone is a hormone found in men, and less-so in women. It is most associated with men's sex drive but is also a key player in muscle and bone development. As we age our total testosterone may be in the “normal” range or become low but the free testosterone (also known as bio-available testosterone) declines. Your testosterone levels began to decline about 1% per year starting when you turned 30 years old. Extremely low or high levels of testosterone can have a huge impact on a man's physical and mental health.
How do I know if Testosterone therapy is right for me?
Your age and other health history will help us to determine what lab tests we may want to do initially. For most male patients as an initial screen we measure your total testosterone, free testosterone, and PSA levels. For younger male patients it is more important to measure luteinizing hormone (LH). If you have diabetes then we may measure estradiol (E2) with the initial labs because it tends to be higher in those with metabolic diseases and can easily be reduced with medications like Anastrozole, an aromatase inhibitor that prevents testosterone from converting to estrogen. This conversion occurs in fat cells and other cells in your body.
What if I tried testosterone therapy before with no results?
Men who have received testosterone therapy before without seeing major benefits may be converting too much testosterone in to estrogen and thus preventing the benefits.
Symptoms of low Testosterone:
- Decreased sex drive
- Less energy
- Weight gain
- Feelings of depression
- Low self-esteem
- Less body hair
- Thinner bones
Replacement therapy may produce
- Greater muscle mass
- Stronger sex drive
- Boost energy levels
- Boost libido
- Improve erection problems
- Improve blood sugar regulation in diabetic patients