Managing testosterone levels
Over the past several years Dr. Gavrila has been talking with more and more male patients about low testosterone. It seems that everywhere you look these days you can’t avoid it, a TV commercial, an ad in a magazine, a voice on the radio during your ride to work. The media and advertising campaigns have put the issues associated with Low T front and center and it appears that men all over the world are ready and willing to let down their guard and open up with questions, concerns and hopes of recapturing the energy and stamina of their youth.
We at ProMD Health understand these concerns and we have the knowledge and experience to help. With that said, lets roll up our sleeves and get down to business!
The role of Testosterone
Testosterone is a steroid hormone from the androgen group made by the body. It is the principle male sex hormone and an anabolic steroid. In men, testosterone plays a key role in promoting characteristics such as increased muscle and bone mass and is essential for health and well-being. Most of the testosterone in a man’s body is produced in the testes.
What is low Testosterone
Testosterone deficiency syndrome (TDS), formerly termed andropause, is characterized by a deficiency in serum testosterone (T) levels with or without changes in receptor sensitivity to androgens. This syndrome is also variably referred to as Low T, hypogonadism or late-onset hypogonadism (LOH).
Causes of low Testosterone
Low T can occur when a signaling problem arises between the brain and the testes that causes a drop in the amount of testosterone that is being produced.
The bottom of a man’s normal total testosterone range is about 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). The upper limits are 1,000 to 1,200 ng/dL. A lower-than-normal score on a blood test can be caused by a number of conditions, including:
- Injury to the testicles
- Hormonal disorders
- Testicular cancer or treatment for testicular cancer
- Certain medications & genetic conditions
- Chronic liver or kidney disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- And yes, we’re not afraid to say it, sometimes the cause just isn’t known
Symptoms of low Testosterone
Signs of low testosterone (Low T) can often be subtle and, in many cases, are written off as a normal sign of aging. When testosterone production drops or ceases, a range of symptoms and complications can occur, such as:
- Sexual dysfunction (unable to maintain erections)
- Reduced sex drive (reduced sexual activity)
- Decreased energy
- Reduced muscle mass
- Depressed mood
- Increase in body fat
- Decrease in bone strength
- Loss of body hair, reduced shaving
Testing for low Testosterone
Low testosterone can be identified through a simple blood test ordered by Dr. Gavrila. This test is typically ordered in the morning hours when levels are highest, as levels can drop by as much as 13% during the day.
Ways to enhance your treatment
Improve your Diet and Lifestyle
- Avoid alcohol, vinegar and caffeinated drinks (alcohol may increase the conversion of testosterone to estradiol depleting a man of his testosterone)
- Avoid sugar, sweets, soft drinks, cookies, bread, pastas and other cereals
- Avoid cereal fiber (whole grain bread, bran flakes)
- Avoid milk products
- Avoid being overweight, obesity
- Avoid tight underwear and trousers
- Avoid excessive chronic stress (especially prolonged), including strenuous physical activities
- Avoid tobacco smoking
- Avoid marijuana, other drugs (marijuana and many other drugs which increase the body’s opioids, reduce LH secretion and consequently lower the testosterone production)
- Avoid or reduce the dose of beta-blockers (beta-blockers reduce the human body’s production of testosterone)
- Eat enough calories
- Follow a “Paleolithic” diet: fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, eggs, fish
- Add a well-balanced, mixed amino acid supplement
- Eat organic foods
CAUTIONS MEN SHOULD KNOW ABOUT
Testosterone therapy can raise a man’s red blood cell count. This can lead to a thickening of the blood, which may make stroke and clotting more likely.
Uncommon side effects include sleep apnea, acne, and breast enlargement. All such side effects go away if treatment is stopped.
Men who use a testosterone gel should wash their hands thoroughly after applying a dose and make sure that no one else touches the spots where they medicate. If a woman or child comes into contact with testosterone gels, it can cause side effects in them, including hair growth and premature puberty. Although there is potential, transference of testosterone creams or gels to women or children is very rare. Still, as a precaution, it is advised that men should avoid skin-to-skin contact with women or children for the first two to four hours after applying medication.
To continue to benefit, a man with low testosterone must remain on a regimented treatment plan. To learn more about the benefits and risks associated with Low T Therapy and to see if it’s right for you, contact us NOW and schedule a consultation.
We all know that we aren’t getting any younger, but with a boost from “Vitamin T” we can at least feel that way! Contact us today at ProMD Health and schedule a consultation at our Annapolis, Baltimore, or Arlington location!