All About Testosterone Replacement Therapy And Treatments
Testosterone replacement therapy is a subject of too much controversy because today more than ever aging men and women seek this cure. Likewise, the frequency of testosterone prescription is on the rise. The question is can the administration of this hormone be the cure of sexual dysfunction in both males and females? However, the users are able to achieve some claimed and potential benefits of testosterone include better libido, improved focus, and increase in bone mineral density.
The efficacy of this treatment also depends on its mode of delivery. When administered through injections, the effects of the hormone will be more pronounced but the benefits will soon start to emerge. Others modes of delivery are topical gels, patches pills and implants.
The prime reason for using testosterone is to treat sexual problems. Around 43% women and 31% men complain about sexual dysfunction. However, the implementation of testosterone therapy is a controversial subject especially in females. What makes matters worse is the fact that the safety of various forms of testosterone supplementation is not clearly stated.
Hormone level changes in men
When the natural testosterone levels begin to decline in men at a rate of 1 to 2 percent each year, there are certain physiological changes that follow. This could be the normal signs of aging or due to pituitary gland dysfunction. Males who suffer from testicular malfunction also have trouble in maintaining normal hormone levels. In the years that follow after 50, the decline of hormone speeds up and soon the males reach a state of hypogonadism.
How testosterone concentration is measured
When the laboratory tests are conducted, the blood work will reveal the amount of total testosterone, along with free testosterone present in blood serum. However, free testosterone is in fairly less amount because 98 percent of the total testosterone is bound to a globulin protein. Hence the amount of bioavailable testosterone will not be the real measure. It is defined that a male having testosterone levels lower than 200ng/dl has hypogonadism and hence requires a suitable treatment.
Benefits of testosterone therapy in men
The life of a man with low testosterone gets miserable with age. Besides erectile dysfunction, and sex problems, the person also experience other physiologic complications. Mood swings, decline in lean body mass, bone thinning and inability to maintain focus are some of the few symptoms that can be suppressed with hormone therapy.
Sexual dysfunction symptoms reduced
Individuals on testosterone therapy are prescribed to take either intramuscular injection or suggested to wear transdermal gel depending upon the severity of the deficiency. Testosterone gel is suggested for people who do not suffer from hypogonadism but have declining testosterone levels. No matter what the mode of administration is, the user will experience marked improvement in sexual function and increase in libido.
Improved bone density and muscle strength
Since testosterone hormone is linked to the physiology of the human body, its deficiency in hypogonadal men places them in a potential risk of fractures. Natural testosterone is responsible for increasing bone mineral density and hormone replacement will stop bone loss. It facilitates the chances of more mineral deposition and reduces the vulnerability of the bone towards fractures. There is also a prominent gain in lean muscle mass for males who take testosterone treatment.
Better mood and cognitive skills
After several clinical trials, it is still unclear why cognitive skills are improved as a result of testosterone therapy. Nonetheless, aging men have witnessed great results in terms of memory and their ability to focus. Similarly, the reason for elated mood after using testosterone is not completely clear but different clinical trials have suggested that men on testosterone therapy have an improved quality of life.
Protection from HIV and AIDS
It is not a coincidence that people with AIDS or HIV infection tend to have reduced androgen levels. Testosterone deficiency patients on therapy are less susceptible to AIDS attack. When this hormone was administered to AIDS patients, there was an overall boost in health and the users experienced better energy and increased libido.
Potential risks with testosterone therapy
The use of testosterone therapy for extended periods has its darkside. The males on hormone supplements must be aware of prostate cancer and cardiovascular problems. The chances of potential risks can be minimized by altering the mode of delivery.
The natural decline of testosterone with aging can spike the possibility of prostate cancer. Besides, the administration of testosterone can raise the chances even further. Interestingly, the treatment for this condition requires androgen suppression. It is observed that testosterone treatment results in increased prostate volume and there is evidence to confirm the development of prostatic hypertrophy in people undergoing testosterone treatment. Some long-term studies are still underway to test the possibilities in this regard.
Cardiovascular disease risk
Testosterone therapy is an area of major contradiction because the hormone deficiency leads to heart problems and its increased levels can also negatively affect cardiovascular health. The associated risk factors include lipid levels and sensitivity to insulin. Moreover, the studies have shown contradicting results about high-density lipoprotein and cholesterol levels.