The condition of hypogonadism, low testosterone, affects as many as 6 million men in the United States. However, only about 5% of those affected are currently receiving treatment.1 The most common symptoms of low testosterone are decreased sexual desire (libido), erectile dysfunction, decreased energy levels, and changes in body composition (decreased muscle mass and increased body fat). Other associated symptoms are moodiness, inability to concentrate, lack of motivation, and poor quality of sleep.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, have your blood tested for total testosterone and free testosterone levels. Some doctors may suggest other lab values as well. Some clinics have different ranges for what they consider “normal” testosterone levels, so what may be considered low at one may be normal at another.
The most common forms of testosterone replacement in the United States are injections, transdermal cream or gel, and pellets that are implanted subcutaneously. Discuss the best form of treatment with your medical provider.
TOP MISTAKES PEOPLE MAKE WHEN TAKING TESTOSTERONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY:
1. CYCLING ON AND OFF TESTOSTERONE. In most cases, testosterone is a life-long commitment. Giving the body a “break” from time to time will lead to negative consequences.
2. NOT USING THE RIGHT DOSE OR RIGHT DOSING FREQUENCY. The correct dose and frequently differs from person to person and should be discussed with your medical provider.
3. NOT KNOWING HOW TO MANAGE POTENTIAL SIDE-EFFECTS. Educate yourself about common side-effects. Generally, they are easy to treat and should not be a reason to stop the treatment.
4. POOR COMPLIANCE. If your doctor recommends weekly injections and you show up every third week, don’t expect to experience the benefits of testosterone replacement. However, full compliance can be life changing!
The goal of hormone replacement therapy isn’t to create alpha males, but to enhance quality of life. Many people who seek treatment just want to feel normal again. But why settle for normal when you can have optimal?
Source: 1. Harvard Prostate Knowledge “A Harvard Expert Shares His Thoughts on Testosterone Replacement Therapy: An Interview with Abraham Morgentaler, M.D.” March 11, 2009
Natural Ways to Increase Testosterone
Eat more fat: according to the Journal of Applied Physiology, diets with higher amounts of monounsaturated and saturated fats can increase testosterone.
Drink less alcohol: as shown in a recent Dutch study, drinking more than a glass or two of beer or wine a night leads to lower levels of testosterone.
Relax: mental or physical stress creates more cortisol in the body, which suppressed the production of testosterone.
Lose weight around your middle: an increased waist size is directly related to lower levels of testosterone.
Get more sun: a vitamin D deficiency is linked to lower testosterone levels.
Justin Williams of Pro Health Wellness Clinic (901) 417-6551 http://www.prohealthmemphis.com