Bio-Identical Testosterone replacement
Testosterone is a steroid hormone that stimulates development of male secondary sexual characteristics, produced mainly in the testes, but also in the ovaries and adrenals. Luteinizing hormone is released from the pituitary gland to stimulate production. The pituitary itself is stimulated to release LH by gonadotropin releasing hormone which is produced by the hypothalamus. A multitude of feedback mechanisms provide to modulate secretion of GnRH. Whether it’s a primary issue involving the testes, or a secondary issue involving the Pituitary and Hypothalamus, Symptoms can easily be managed with correction of the underlying deficiency.
What does Testosterone do?
Testosterone, in men, is thought to regulate sex drive (libido), bone mass, fat distribution, muscle mass and strength, and the production of red blood cells. Levels are low in men until puberty when a natural spike leads to the development of Male features to develop: hair growth pattern, muscle development, increased height, increased bone density, increased sex drive and sexual function, prominent adam’s apple, and deeper voice. Levels typically stabilize until approximately 30 years of age, and then begin to decline an average of 1-2% per year.
Why do Testosterone levels matter?
Men with low testosterone levels are much more likely to develop Diabetes Mellitus Type II, Metabolic syndrome (obesity, high sugar levels, high blood pressure, and lipid abnormalities), Sleep Abnormalities, Depression, and Diminished Libido. The key is determining what is “Low”. The largest problem with our current medical system, in regards to testosterone, is that a range is given for certain lab values. While a testosterone level for patient A may be 400 and be considered “Low Normal”, Patient A’s baseline may very well be closer to 800. But due to the fact that the majority of men do not obtain a baseline prior to the age of 30, this is difficult to demonstrate to insurance companies and the like. Correct evaluation of testosterone should take all of this into consideration in evaluation of Total Testosterone, Free Testosterone, and Estrogen Levels. These levels also fluctuate throughout the day and are typically highest early in the morning.