FAQs

Testosterone

Testosterone is a hormone secreted by the testicle. It is under regulatory control of other hormones in the body. The hypothalamus in the front of the brain secretes GnRH. Stimulated by this the pituitary gland at the base of the brain secretes FSH and LH. In response to LH stimulation the testicle secretes testosterone. When testosterone levels rise the pituitary and hypothalamus lower GnRH and FSH/LH production, thus lowering the signal to produce testosterone. With all of this in balance the testosterone level varies over the course of the day within a normal range. In adults testosterone has a dozen or more functions. It is needed for sperm development, is involved in mood and energy levels, helps maintain muscle activity, and affects libido.

Category: Testosterone

Testosterone can be given a patient with low testosterone due to primary testicular failure. The methods vary, but include oral agents, injections, patches, and gels. Oral agents are consumed quickly by the liver, so high doses are needed. Intramuscular injections have the benefit of lasting longer as depot injections can slowly be activated by the body, allowing normal levels to last as long as a month after an initial peak. Patches are adequate but sometimes cause skin irritation. Gels are relatively new but are effective, but caution is needed to prevent getting the gel on anything other than the patients own skin. Also available are pellets that are injected under the skin. Which choice depends on the patient and individual goals of therapy.

Category: Testosterone

Testosterone therapy primarily improves mood, energy level and libido. It can also increase lean body mass while lowering body fat. It also can help with bone remodeling and improves bone mineral density.

Category: Testosterone

No. If testosterone levels are normal, then supplementing it can cause harm. It can be associated with azoospermia, blood lipid changes, sleep apnea, polycythemia, and worsening of prostate or breast cancers if they exist. Therapy should be reserved for those patients with a low level and symptoms associated with a testosterone deficiency after an appropriate workup to ensure that it is the right choice for them.

Category: Testosterone

Like most problems, a detailed history and physical examination with the doctor in the office is an essential start. A discussion will be had of sexual desire and performance, along with a review of secondary sexual features such as strength, energy level, and hair growth. Lab tests of total serum testosterone will be taken in the morning. Other hormonal tests may be taken as well depending on the history. If prolactin is high there may be a pituitary problem, and if low then LH helps determine if the body is asking the testicles to make more testosterone. If LH is high and testosterone is low, this means that the testicles cannot produce enough testosterone to satisfy demand. In this case replacement therapy is indicated.

Category: Testosterone

Foremost is recurrent monitoring to see that testosterone levels are appropriate and not too high, or too low. Side effects of therapy should be monitored, such as breast enlargement, acne, skin irritation, infections at injection sites, or mood changes. The timing of the testing depends on the delivery system employed. Men on testosterone therapy will have digital rectal examinations and PSA tests every 3 to 6 months at first and then annually when over 40.

Category: Testosterone

Prostatic tissue responds to the level of testosterone in the body as a result of testosterone being converted to DHT, which stimulates the prostate directly. A man with prostate cancer should not be given testosterone therapy for this reason. However, testosterone therapy does not cause prostate cancer or raise its risk – it simply can worsen the situation when it arises. If a man with low testosterone has been treated for prostate cancer and is considered at low risk for recurrence, then testosterone replacement can be discussed and carefully considered.

Category: Testosterone

Load More