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What is Testosterone Replacement Therapy?

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Most men reach their peak level of testosterone at about age 30; from there, a slow decline starts and continues throughout life. After age 60, testosterone naturally drops off dramatically; the benefits of testosterone replacement for men over the age of 60 are unclear. Lowered testosterone can be caused by or worsened by:

  • Chemotherapy or radiation from cancer treatment
  • Hemochromatosis (an excess amount of iron in the body)
  • Chronic illness (certain lung ailments in particular)
  • Medications such as hormones or corticosteroids, usually prescribed as a part of chemotherapy
  • Kidney failure or kidney disease
  • Stress, depression and anxiety
  • Loss of body hair

A lowered testosterone level usually manifests itself in problems such as:

  • Lowered muscle mass and an increase in body fat
  • Decreased hemoglobin, or possibly mild anemia
  • Loss of bone density (osteoperosis)
  • Raised cholesterol levels
  • Decreased libido
  • Depression and lack of energy

Las Vegas doctors can help diagnose lowered testosterone by doing blood tests, a first step in any testosterone replacement strategy. Comprehensive blood work is doubly important since it can rule out any other underlying causes of the above problems (they can come from many different sources other than decreased testosterone). Before moving forward with testosterone replacement, your testosterone replacement doctor in Las Vegas should discuss the potential risks with you. They include things such as:

  • Increased red blood cell count and blood volume. This can possibly be dangerous by blocking blood vessels and contributing to stroke or heart attack.
  • Enlarged prostate. Some theorize that prostate cancer can be treated by blocking testosterone, thus an enhanced level of testosterone can contribute to an enlarged prostate or prostate cancer. The jury is still out on this though. Regardless, an enlarged prostate can cause urinary problems such as increased frquency, urgency or a decreased flow.
  • Breast enlargement
  • Decrease in size of testicles. As paradoxical as this seems, it does happen, particularly in young men.
  • Worsening of sleep apnea and snoring. Sleep apnea means multiple interruptions in sleep during the night and fatigue during the day.
  • Infertility. Again this seems like a paradox, but it’s been noted in the past
  • Oily skin, acne or change in amount of body hair
  • Mood changes
  • Mild fluid retention, which can be a problem in patients who have kidney or bladder trouble

Testosterone replacement therapy is usually done through a transdermal patch, gel or injections. Follow-up is important, as your doctor will need to monitor your testosterone levels through regular blood work. Considering the risks associated with the therapy, it’s important to know when to stop the treatment; with the unknowns still associated with testosterone replacement, many doctors are going to be very conservative moving forward with it. And as with any course of treatment, it’s essential that you follow the doctor’s orders to the letter. There are specialists at Las Vegas medical centers who are ready to discuss your symptoms with you, do an assessment and direct you towards a course of testosterone replacement therapy, all the way from testing through follow-up.

Men over 40, get your life back with testosterone replacement therapy! Call Patient First Wellness Center at (702) 474-6300