Dallas, TX physician explains the benefits and risks of testosterone replacement
Aging may not just bring lines and wrinkles. Men and women may notice changes in hormone levels. These changes affect energy levels, personal drive, muscle, and bone density. Dr. Jeffrey Buch of Legacy Male Health offers testosterone replacement for patients in the greater Dallas, TX area. Testosterone replacement has become a growing trend to safely, effectively treat symptoms of hormone imbalance.
What is testosterone?
Testosterone is a male hormone that helps maintain bone density, fat, muscle bulk and strength, hair, red blood cell production, sex drive, and sperm quality and count. These levels peak between the ages of 18 and 25 and gradually decline with age. Testosterone rates decline at about one percent per year after the ages of 30-40. Older men may have lower levels due to normal aging or due to a disease called hypogonadism. Hypogonadism involves a problem with the testicles or pituitary gland which results in an inability to produce typical amounts of testosterone.
Having low testosterone or low T can affect a man’s daily life. Changes may impact the following:
- Sexual function – Lower testosterone levels contribute to a lower sex drive, fewer erections, and even infertility.
- Sleep – Hormone changes can affect sleep patterns or cause problems sleeping. Some may even experience insomnia.
- Physical changes – With hormone imbalances come changes to the body. Physical changes may include increased body fat, less muscle, and decreased bone density. Some men may experience gynecomastia or swollen male breasts. Patients may have less energy than normal.
- Emotional changes – Patients with low testosterone may experience a decrease in motivation, confidence, or memory. They may feel depressed or have trouble concentrating.
Although the above symptoms or changes can be caused by various factors including medications or current medical problems such as diabetes or depression, hormone changes are possible causes. Health history, blood work, and a physical exam help determine the underlying cause. This allows the doctor to establish an appropriate treatment plan. Seeing a physician such as Dr. Buch who specializes in low testosterone and male health is crucial to ensure the best outcome.
Benefits and risks of testosterone replacement
Testosterone replacement therapy aims to restore hormone levels to that of normal young adults and to improve a patient’s quality of life. The symptoms and effects of having low T are reversed with testosterone replacement. The therapy helps promote the effects of youth and vitality that may have been lost with abnormal testosterone production. Patients experience improvements in mood, energy levels, muscle strength, bone density, and sexual function.
Low testosterone levels have been treated with oral medications, injections, pellets, patches, or gels. The treatment used may depend on a patient’s health history and fertility needs. Specific considerations needed to be accounted for if men are looking to preserve their fertility as some testosterone therapies may reduce sperm count. Men suffering from hypogonadism or natural testosterone loss with age may benefit from hormone replacement therapy.
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For men, testosterone replacement therapy may involve the following:
- Oral medications are taken regularly. The type prescribed may help improve hormone levels and preserve fertility.
- Intramuscular injections are injected into the buttocks every two to three weeks.
- Testosterone patches are changed daily. They are placed on the arms, buttocks, back, or abdomen.
- Testosterone gel is applied each day. It may be used on the arms, shoulders, or abdomen.
There are differing views on the effectiveness of hormone replacement therapy on healthy men. Some believe that because testosterone is lost as a natural part of aging, there is no need to replace it. However, hormone replacement therapy may help reverse the changes in mood, personality, and sexual function that come with low T. Replacement therapy allows patients to function and participate more fully in daily activities and to feel better about themselves in general.
With any treatment, there may be risks but there are benefits as well. Dr. Buch specializes in low T and male health. Each patient receives a custom treatment plan based on his unique needs to ensure the therapy’s benefits outweigh the risks. The patient’s detailed medical history, current health, and laboratory results are used to create the treatment plan.
Don’t assume hormone changes must remain part of your daily life. If you have been considering testosterone replacement, contact Dr. Jeffrey Buch and Legacy Male Health in Frisco, TX. Call (972) 996-7177.