Testosterone is an essential, steroid hormone naturally produced by testicles, ovaries and indirectly by adrenal glands. All people need testosterone for sexual, mental and physical functioning. Low testosterone (Low-T syndrome) AKA hypogonadism is a recognised syndrome in aging men.
Low libido, reduced erectile function, depression, fatigue, weakness and loss of work and sports performance are hallmarks of this syndrome. Answering the 10 ADAM questions can predict if you have testosterone deficiency.
Careful testing of bio-available testosterone is important to establish a diagnosis or testosterone deficiency. Other confounding hormones should also be tested. Many medical conditions and drugs affect hormone levels and need to be evaluated. A comprehensive medical evaluation to look for signs of deficiency, other causes, and reasons to avoid treatment needs to be done by a physician experienced in testosterone therapy. This could be a family physician, endocrinologist or urologist with a special interest in testosterone.
After full evaluation, you and your physician can discuss risks and benefits of testosterone therapy. Injectable, oral, skin and nasal testosterone have different pros and cons. You need to choose the technique with least risk of adverse events such as breast enlargement, urine obstruction, hair loss, testicular shrinkage, acne eruptions. Sleep apnea, infertility and inadvertent spread of testosterone to intimate contacts must be discussed.
If you and your physician decide to embark on a testosterone therapy program, regular physical, prostate and blood test surveillance must be planned. You should expect improvement in sexual, mental and physical functioning within 3 months of appropriate testosterone therapy.
Dr Gidon Frame has more than 17 years experience with hormone therapy having been originally certified with the American Academy of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine (ABAARM) in 2001 and later certified with the North American Menopause Society. He has devoted a substantial proportion of his practice to Men’s Health and is passionate about balanced, optimal hormone therapy in a safe and effective way.