Benefits of Testosterone Therapy
Men on an appropriate testosterone therapy program achieve youthful levels of the vital male hormone testosterone, and will experience: enhanced energy and improved workouts with more cardiovascular endurance and better recovery. Other benefits include: stronger bones and muscles, enhanced memory and libido, better sleep, improved mood with less anxiety, a decrease in total body fat and and improved cholesterol profile.
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is responsible for normal growth and development of male sex organs and maintenance of secondary sex characteristics (secondary sex characteristics such as beard growth, muscular strength and energy level). The effects of testosterone (or lack there of) are evident in a man's mood, sexual function, energy level, muscle mass and cognitive function. Testosterone is the primary androgenic hormone, and its production and secretion is the end product of a series of hormonal interactions.
What is Testosterone Deficiency?
Testosterone deficiency results when the testicles fail to produce normal levels of testosterone. Effects of testosterone deficiency are lack of energy, diminished libido, erectile problems, infertility, impaired masculinity, changes in body composition, reductions in body and facial hair, and osteoporosis. In addition to these complaints, hormone deficient men are known to experience bouts with anger, confusion, depression, and fatigue that are significantly higher than those reported by men with normal testosterone levels.
Diagnosis of Testosterone Deficiency
Before beginning testosterone therapy, a physician must perform a complete medical and medication history exam on the patient, followed by a physical exam and directed laboratory evaluation. The medical history should include questions regarding developmental abnormalities at birth, the rate of virilization at the time of puberty and the current status of sexual function.
Hormone deficient men have statistically significant reductions in the incidence of nocturnal erections, the degree of penile rigidity during erections and the frequency of sexual thoughts, feelings of desire, and sexual fantasies. The physician is also looking for alterations in body composition, including increases in body fat and reduction in muscle mass.
Monitoring Patients on Testosterone Replacement
Patients on testosterone replacement therapy should be monitored by a qualified physician to ensure that testosterone levels are within normal levels. The physician prescribing testosterone replacement should evaluate any changes in the clinical symptoms and signs of testosterone deficiency and should assess for other concerns, such as acne and increase in breast size and tenderness. Like any other medical practice, unmonitored, unregulated testosterone therapy could lead to serious injury.
Testosterone Replacement and Prostate Cancer
There appears to be little association between testosterone replacement therapy and the development of prostate cancer. Prostate cancer has multiple stimuli; including dietary, geographic, genetic, and other influences are all thought to play a role in the development of the disease. Recent studies indicate that testosterone levels have no apparent systematic relationship to the incidence of prostate cancer. The BEST Program will require all patients on the Testosterone Therapy program have their PSA tested regularly.