Testosterone Replacement therapy is a kind of treatment for low testosterone symptoms also referred as hypoganidic. Testosterone is the sexual male hormone that is released in smaller level in female bodies. This is the hormone that is responsible for the healthy growth and development of sex organs in males.
It assists in density of bones, energy level, libido and cognitive abilities. It also plays vital role in secondary sexual characteristics such as in development of muscles mass, change of voice, distribution of fat and growth of hair in the body. Testosterone replacement therapy helps increase the amount of this hormone up to the required levels.
Low testosterone causes
This problem is caused by complications in the testicles, pituitary glands and many other unknown causes. In more general terms, the problem arises as a result of undescended testicles, mumps, testicular trauma, klinefelter syndrome, cancer treatment, obesity among many other problems.
Symptoms of low testosterone levels
Some of the most common symptoms that a patient suffering from Hypogonadism experience include extreme disabilities such as impotence and oily skin. Other common symptoms include:
· Sexual dysfunction, which involves low levels of semen, low libido and difficulty in sustaining erection.
· Irritable and mood male syndrome- the gradual reduction of testosterone levels can lead to depression. This is a problem that is also characterized by anger, fluctuations in hormones, loss of male identity and anxiety.
· Physical appearance- there are signs of reduced muscle mass and increased body fat.
· Effects in general health- reduced sexual performance, cognitive functioning, insomnia and lose of body density.
Diagnosis of low testosterone is done through self reporting, standardized testing, historical profile including personal history, sexual history, family history and others. The low level of testosterone can also be measured using blood tests. After diagnosis is done and the problem is detected, then this is the time that a patient is advised to start the testosterone replacement therapy.
Medical rationale of testosterone replacement therapy
The replacement of testosterone in the body should be done by approximating its natural production in the body. On average, a healthy man is supposed to release four to seven milligram of testosterone daily. The highest amount is produced in the morning and the minimum level in the evening. The most practical testosterone replacement therapy releases and maintains the physiologic concentration of serum without any adverse effects or even any safety concerns in the process.
Different kinds of testosterone replacement therapy
The right therapy leads to increased level of testosterone in the body without causing any side effects. It ensures that the hormone is in the right amount leading to better sexual and overall body health. Here are some of the different types of therapies involved.
In most cases, oral agents usually lead to increased liver function abnormalities. Testosterone that is not modified is absorbed fast by the liver. This makes it hard for satisfactory concentration of serum to be attained. The modified 17 alpha alkyltestosterones including fluoxymesterone or methyltestosterone require high amount of doses that should to be taken many times daily. For clinical use, the formulation is not recommended.
This is a type of therapy in which testosterone preparations are usually shot to the muscle directly after which they are absorbed directly to the bloodstream through the capillaries. This is a more popular therapy because of its highly accurate dosage. For those men in the twenty to fifty years age bracket, an intramuscular injection containing 200 up to 300 testosterone ananthate is enough to help in production of serum testosterone that is above the normal. It then goes to the normal ranges within two weeks.
Reduction in levels of testosterone might yield variations in terms of energy, libido, mood and sexual function. Some individuals might be inconvenienced because of the need to have regular testosterone injections. The dose can be increased from 300 to 400 to ensure that the level of serum testosterone is maintained for about three weeks.
These are testosterone preparations that are made in gel or cream forms. They are administered by rubbing into the skin and then rubbed through it. They are offered in three strengths that range from ten milligrams to two hundred milligrams per each milliliter.
How to monitor a patient on testosterone replacement therapy
Just like it happens with other patients, those under testosterone replacement therapy, require to be monitored to ensure that the levels of their testosterone remain in the normal ranges. The doctor is supposed to perform thorough evaluation on change occurring in the testosterone levels and deal with all the side effects that the patient might be experiencing. The levels of serum testosterone require to be checked five to seven hours after the application so the follow-up procedure is an integral part of the therapy.
For men who are forty years and above, it is advisable for them to undergo a Prostate Specific Antigen test before they can receive testosterone replacement therapy. This test can be repeated after every three to four months and then a through check up done after every one year. It is also important to have hematocrit level checked after three to six months and then after one year. Levels going less than 55 percent require a patient to be evaluated for sleep apnea or hypoxia. In addition, it is good to do evaluation in reduction of the dosage for testosterone therapy. If you have low testosterone levels and suffer from osteopenia, it is advisable to have a test of bone mineral density of the lumbar spine after a year.
Testosterone replacement therapy is contraindicated among men suffering from various forms of bladder and prostate problems. Such problems include lipid abnormalities, prostate or breast cancer or benign prostatic hypertrophy.
Patients undergoing this therapy should contact their doctor immediately in case of signs of stroke or heart attack. Other signs that warrant calling your doctor include breath shortness, chest pain, trouble breathing, slurred speech or feeling of weakness on one side or part of your body.
If you abuse testosterone by taking higher dose than advised, this can lead to higher risks of suffering from liver, heart, brain, endocrine and mental health problems. This can also lead to withdrawal symptoms including insomnia, fatigue, reduced libido, loss of appetite, irritability and fatigue.
Serious side effects include stroke, depression, heart attack, aggression, male infertility and liver toxicity. Though commonly ignored, it is now easy to see why this vital hormone could spell the difference between a normally-growing male and a totally- dysfunctional one.