Thursday, May 11, 2017
TRT...Fact vs Reality
It's well known by medical professionals (less so by the general public that both men and women BOTH need testosterone in order to live a normal healthy life. As we age or get sick, our body’s natural T levels decline. Often at a rate of 1-2% annually! Often this will lead to symptoms such as depression, low levels of energy, lowered libido, gains in body fat with decreases in lean muscle mass, poor sleep quality, lack of sexual performance and more.
Much misinformation exists as a great number of people equate the use of TRT to that as the same thing as an athlete who takes steroids for performance enhancement. Men with normal levels of testosterone boosting what they had to gain an unfair advantage over their competition. People also believed (and still do) that taking therapeutic doses of testosterone will cause aggression, or “roid rage”, cause a man to develop breasts, lead to heart attacks and early death. These are all scientifically proven to be untrue and in all actuality, the benefits of TRT has been linked to IMPROVED health and longevity in men. Men who have optimal levels of testosterone live better, longer and healthier lives.
It wasn’t until the late 2000’s that physician guided and administered testosterone therapy became more widely accepted. Back then, there was still a lot of misconception and that STILL exists to this day, however enough medical journals, peer reviewed articles and scientific research exists to show the amazing health and life benefits of TRT. But due to years of scrutiny and misinformation, many physicians are reluctant to prescribe testosterone and know very little about the actual treatment. That’s why having an expert in the field of TRT to guide and monitor you through the process of diagnosis, treatment and protocol is paramount towards the overall potential success of a patient. We have heard many stories of patients who doctors prescribed TRT with little or no formal experience in that particular field of medicine. The results were underwhelming. With a clinic like NovaGenix, we can assure that the patient experience will be geared towards maximizing the therapy’s benefits in order to help the patients reverse the negative symptoms of andropause.
The numbers don’t lie. Testosterone levels are dropping from generation to generation. Debate rages on as to whether it’s from environmental factors such as lotions, deodorants and medication. Or perhaps from the preservatives and hormones found in the foods we eat. It may also be due to differences in lifestyles and lack of physical activity. Some other factors that may cause low testosterone could be things like chronic illness, alcoholism, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, a high fatty diet, smoking cigarettes and marijuana, elevated estrogen levels, Hair loss medications, drug usage (recreational and prescription). Whatever the cause is, the end result is that men today have lower T levels than their fathers and grandfathers did respectively. Fortunately we can treat causes and bring men back to the levels that they should be at, and experience the life changing benefits as a result. It’s thought that over 60% of men over 50 years of age have a deficiency in testosterone and possibly 50 million American men total. It’s now possible to prevent our senior population from suffering from the chronic conditions that arise from sedentary lifestyles, which can be prevented with optimization of hormone levels, thus allowing people to enjoy their lives well into their golden years.
Testosterone production begins in the brain, which can help explain why our levels will often fluctuate based on our levels of stress and happiness. Substances like alcohol and cortisol (stress hormone) destroy our T levels. In a health male (or female) the process looks like this. Gonadotropins are produced by the pituitary gland which then produces SHBG (Sex-Hormone Binding Globule) stimulates FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) and LH (Luteinizing Hormone), which will then stimulate the testes in the male and the ovaries in the female to produce natural testosterone. A small amount of testosterone (usually less than 10%) can be produced by the adrenals. So as you can see, there are multiple factors at play when it comes to the production of testosterone and it’s difficult to determine what exactly can be causing low testosterone. As a result, you’ll see many doctors shy away from this area of medicine. It’s easier to treat the symptoms that arise from low T than to actually treat the andropause directly. You’ll even hear of physicians buying into the misinformation and perpetuation stories like “TRT causes prostate cancer” If high levels of testosterone caused prostate cancer, why is it virtually non-existent in men between the ages of 17-24, who have the highest natural levels of testosterone? Or in the athletes who uses testosterone for performance enhancement who have a much lower rate of prostate issues than the same age group that live a less active lifestyle? Studies have shown that there is no link between TRT and prostate cancer. See related article from the urology times…
Problems associated with low testosterone levels can be often me primary from the testicles and secondarily related to the organs which are responsible for controlling hormone production. It can truly be difficult in determining the actual cause of low testosterone. Sometimes, starting TRT for the sake of raising levels isn’t getting to the true heart of the problem so careful monitoring and medication adjustment is necessary. As most of our testosterone is bound to our blood, we need to run careful lab panels to get the picture. Free vs. available and SHBG vs. Albumin binding testosterone will be factored in to determine the best treatment plan for a patient. So blood alone is NOT the answer. A physician consultation to review several factors like past medical history, current medical status, medication and lifestyle will paint a much broader picture that an experienced
Symptoms of “low testosterone” are common and rater tell tale; loss of drive (in work, life and the bedroom) less energy, loss of sex drive, problems achieving and maintaining erections, lack of quality sleep, loss of mental clarity (fogginess), anxiety and mood swings, irritability, loss of lean muscle mass, low HDL and high LDL, increase in body fat and overall lowered general and physical activity levels.
After a patient has been seen, evaluated, diagnosed and begins therapy, the patient starts to see improvement almost overnight, yet the benefits typically can start to peak several weeks after. A clinical manager once told me, “…most patients don’t even realize how crappy they feel, because they’ve been run down for so long…TRT gives them a new lease on life.”
For more information, come in for a free consultation and see how you can get started on testosterone replacement therapy. The process is easy, painless and affordable. Call us at 561-277-8260 for more information and check us out at NovaGenix.org