By Charlie Blaisdell
Boston Testosterone Partners
October 14, 2013
Boston, Massachusetts – With advancing age, it is natural for hormonal and other changes to occur in men that may require an inquiry into the best options for Testosterone Replacement Therapy. In particular, the levels of testosterone start to decline, and often this is accompanied with a number of pathological and physiological changes. The onset of reduction of testosterone is often called ‘andropause’; a term similar to menopause in women. Other names include partial androgen deficiency in the ageing male (PADAM) or androgen deficiency in the ageing male (ADAM).
In this article, we will briefly review the characteristics features of andropause, testosterone replacement therapy and the importance of getting tested for androgen deficiency.
Broadly classified, the features of andropause can be broadly classified under clinical and biochemical aspects of the condition.
The main clinical symptoms and signs of testosterone include reduced muscle strength and muscle mass, osteoporosis, impaired cognitive function and alteration in mood. From a biochemical perspective, there is an associated reduction in gonadotropin releasing hormone and luteinizing hormone production by the pituitary.
Testosterone replacement therapy
The main purpose of treatment is to help relieve symptoms and restoring normal testosterone levels. Offering testosterone replacement therapy can help increase muscle strength, overall energy levels, mood and psychological and sexual functioning. However, research has shown that all these symptoms do not recover at one time, and lower doses of testosterone replacement therapy helps manage psychosocial functioning while higher doses increase muscle and bone strength.
Testosterone replacement therapies are available in different forms. Patches, oral treatment, intramuscular injections and gels are some of the methods of delivery. Of these, injections are the popular treatment and include testosterone undeconoate or cypionate as the main component.
An underlying issue that needs to be considered when offering men over 30 testosterone replacement therapy is the fact that there are not many long term trials that have evaluated its safety. Furthermore, it is essential to have a baseline testosterone level that needs to be achieved to manage andropause, and this can be different for every individual. In addition to this, there is no clear agreement on what constitutes as a ‘normal’ testosterone level. It is in such situations that extensive testing is required to ensure it is the right treatment options are offered based on these baseline levels, ensuring they are individualised appropriately.
Testing for testosterone deficiency – Establishing a baseline
Given the different levels of testosterone in different men, it is essential to establish a baseline testosterone levels in men in their 30’s so that a goal can be set that must be reached in case testosterone replacement therapy is commenced. The importance of this aspect is further amplified by the fact that the androgen receptor has variable sensitivity in different men. Testing is simple and involves just a blood test which can estimate levels of testosterone and gonadotropin releasing hormone.
Testosterone levels reduce as men get older. Normal levels vary, and testosterone replacement therapies need adjusting to each individual patient. Having a baseline testosterone level in all men at the age of 30 can help guide future treatments, making it an essential aspect of male health.
Boston Testosterone Partners is a Testosterone Replacement, Wellness and Preventative Medicine Medical Center that treats and prevents the signs and symptoms associated with Andropause and hormone imbalances. With affiliates nationally, Boston Testosterone Partners offers hormone replacement therapy, weight loss protocols, erectile dysfunction (ED), Sermorelin-GHRP2 therapy and neutraceutical injectable therapies for men and women. Their medical facilities offer physician examinations and treatment programs that incorporate the latest in medical science.