Hormone Changes in Men | Testosterone Deficiency and Andropause
Hormone changes in men should not be ignored especially with obvious symptoms of testosterone deficiency. In this article we will further discuss the treatment options for hormone changes in men, including their advantages and disadvantages.
Treatment options for hormone changes in men
As we previously discussed the treatment options for testosterone deficiency can be broken down by where the testosterone replacement is coming from, internal testosterone stimulants and external (outside the body) testosterone supplementation. The internal (and mostly natural) stimulants come from stimulating the testes themselves. These include basically everything short of giving testosterone. The external supplementation is just that, testosterone supplementation by way of topical or intramuscular injection. Here is a breakdown of options in both categories:
- High protein snacks before bed support growth hormone production. Growth Hormone promotes testosterone production.
- Avoid eating and drinking out of plastic containers. These petroleum based containers leach into your foods and act like estrogens (called xenoestrogens).
- Resistance weight training stimulates testosterone production. The more muscle groups and more intensity involved the better.
- Precursors -These act like precursors to testosterone causing your body to produce more testosterone. A word of caution many are not well researched and often lead to gynecomastia.
- DHEA - Has been shown to increase testosterone levels and also supports healthy immune function and mood.
- Androstenedione, 19-Norandrostenedione, etc- Moderate testosterone stimulants however most of these have been Banned wih 2004 controlled substance act.
- Herbal treatments
- Eurycoma longifolia- This herbal treatment has been shown to decrease SHBG. As a result the free and active testosterone increases.
- Ginseng- Has long been touted as an androgen stimulant and has small but favorable research to support its use. Panax Ginseng seems to be the best for this.
- Tribulus terrestris- has little or no testosterone stimulating effects
- LH analog- Strong testosterone stimulants by direct action on the testes similar to how the body naturally produces testosterone. Very well researched and supported.
- Cypionate- long half life and as a result is superior to Enanthate for maintaining steady levels
- Enanthate- reaches peak levels quicker and levels drop quicker making maintaining steady levels more difficult.
- Pellets- Not a big fan of these as the levels cannot be adjusted if problems should arise with dosage. It also requires opening the body t insert the pellets.
Internal Stimulants or External Supplementation
For small hormone changes in men, internal stimulants are highly recommend. If all of said internal stimulants have been attempted then it makes sense to do a trial of external supplementation with testosterone cream, gels, or injections. For larger testosterone deficiencies external supplementation will likely be the only way to reach the desired levels. However I always tell my patients that we are treating the person with testosterone deficiency not testosterone deficiency itself. We are looking for symptoms improvement and quality of life improvement. If you get that, then the levels are not as important short of being on the extreme of high or low.
Health benefits of testosterone therapy.
The health benefits of correcting hormone changes in men are numerous. For cardiovascular health men can expect improved blood sugar regulation, and decreased LDL cholesterol, and decreased triglycerides..... not bad. Most men also experience increased energy and a resulting decrease in weight. If there are libido and erectile function issues, testosterone will often correct these as well. Poor libido and erectile dysfunction are the most common reasons to correct hormone changes in men. If the above is not enough reason to correct testosterone deficiency, you should also consider prevention of age related muscle and bone loss.
There is mounting evidence to suggest that maintaining muscle mass is the fountain of youth. Its a fairly good argument and fits with declining hormones too. Still no treatment is without risk, let's look at the risk of testosterone therapy in men.
Health risks of testosterone therapy.
There are a few things to be careful of with testosterone therapy. Changes in prostate health are probably the first and most noteworthy items to be aware of. Testosterone supplementation has been shown to improve prostate health but in some it can cause an increase in size. This is why it is so important to monitor for changes in prostate. When testosterone levels increase beyond average and normal, estradiol and dihydrotestosterone will increase. This can lead to hyperplasia (growth) of the prostate tissue. It should be noted that there have been many studies looking at the link of testosterone and prostate cancer. None of these studies have show a clear association of testosterone therapy and prostate cancer.
The other risks are with increased production of Red Blood Cells called Polycythemia. This condition comes about in about 10% of my testosterone deficiency patients and is easily fixed with a therapeutic blood donation.
No treatment is without its risks. Thus, when it comes to hormone changes in men, we should look first to the presenting symptoms. Treating those symptoms in conjunction with the corresponding hormone level will give us the best results with minimum side effects. If you have questions about hormone changes in men, give us call or click for a free consult.