Testosterone is a key factor of maintaining optimal health and well-being throughout life. As both men and women age, we tend to lose more and more of the testosterone produced within the body, which can accelerate age-related diseases as well as the frustrating symptoms we typically associate with aging. Many doctors, both progressive and traditional, are understanding the important role that testosterone plays in disease prevention as well as improving your quality of life. When discussing testosterone therapy with your doctor, make sure that they offer the right application method for you using bioidentical testosterone, a comprehensive testing and treatment program and regular patient monitoring. It's crucial for your health to understand that not all testosterone therapy treatment programs are the same.
Do You Need Testosterone Therapy?
Weight gain, muscle loss, low energy, sleep troubles, and erectile dysfunction are just a few of the classic symptoms of hormone imbalance in men. In women, sub-optimal hormone levels can mean insomnia or poor sleep, brain fog or trouble concentrating, fatigue, reduced sex drive and weight gain. For both, this can start happening as early as in their 30’s.
Symptoms of low testosterone:
- Fatigue and exhaustion
- Weight gain and difficulty losing weight
- Deceased interest in sex
- High cholesterol
- Increased inflammation
- Low libido
- Vaginal dryness
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Mood swings or depression
- Difficulty concentrating or lack of focus
- Brain fog
- Hair loss
The good news is, these symptoms are treatable with bioidentical testosterone replacement therapy. Getting older doesn’t have to equal an inevitable decline in energy, vitality, strength, performance, or sexuality.
Testosterone Therapy – What Are My Options?
With any testosterone therapy application method, you want to be sure you are working with a doctor who truly takes a balanced and holistic approach to hormone therapy. A very successful hormone therapy treatment plan is one that brings all your levels to optimal or desired ranges and stabilizes them. All of these application methods can be successful, it just depends which one works best for you, your lifestyle and your body chemistry. It is very important to measure your individual response to therapy and work with a doctor who can adjust your therapy as needed.
There are three application methods for Testosterone Therapy:
- Pellet Therapy
- Injection Therapy (3 esters available: Cypionate, Enanthate and Propionate)
Bioidentical Pellet Therapy
Bioidentical hormone pellets are derived from plants, meaning they are naturally-based and structurally identical to the hormones produced in the body. Pellets are currently available for testosterone and estradiol. Each pellet is as small as a grain of rice and is inserted into the upper hip area during a simple, in-office procedure. The body then slowly begins to metabolize the pellets, releasing a steady, optimal dose of hormones—much like our normal function—over three to six months. The duration depends on how quickly your body metabolizes the pellet.
Benefits of Hormone Pellet Therapy
- Convenient, customized dosing. The pellet is inserted and goes to work – you don't have to remember to inject, or deal with needles, applicators or messy creams. People with busy lifestyles or who travel frequently tend to find this method the most convenient. With pellet therapy, you can be confident your body is always getting the exact amount of hormones it needs.
- Minimizes fluctuations between treatments and offers the most stability. Pellets are specifically designed to work with each patient’s body chemistry, releasing an optimal amount hormones throughout the treatment period. Patients on pellet therapy have the most stability in their levels with no movement after 30 days, and after 3-5 months are often able to achieve optimization.
- The process is quick, like having your blood drawn. Local anesthetic is applied to the injection site, a tiny incision is made in the skin and the pellet is put into place by trained medical staff and sealed with a piece of medical tape. There is no need for stitches or fear of scarring.
- Estrogen aromatization. Any negative response or side effects from TRT is likely is due to either estrogen conversion (i.e. your estrogen levels not being managed correctly) and/or mis-dosing. Pellets do not cause as much estrogen aromatization, and this is something your doctor should monitor closely during treatment in order to fully understand your individual response.
Testosterone Injection Therapy
Injection therapy is very common. This treatment is fast acting and can help improve your levels within 30 days. With injection therapy, it's very important to ensure the proper balance and ratios of testosterone to estrogens. The most common forms of injectable testosterone include Testosterone Cypionate, Testosterone Enanthate, Testosterone Propionate, and a blend of esters. Each type of ester metabolizes in the body at different speeds. Testosterone Cypionate is considered a very long-acting ester, metabolizing every 7-8 days. Enanthate is a medium-acting ester, metabolizing every 4-5 days. Propionate is a fast-acting ester, metabolizing every 2-3 days. The type of ester used will determine your dosing schedule in order to most effectively stabilize your levels.
Benefits of Injectable Testosterone
- Convenient. You can inject yourself in the comfort of your own home. Most people, even those squeamish about needles, find this is much easier than they thought it would be once they learn the proper injection method.
- Direct absorption. You will be injecting testosterone directly into the bloodstream, so you can guarantee 100% absorption of your specific dose.
- Easy to adjust and monitor. Injectable testosterone makes it very easy to control your levels. Adjustments can be made quickly and as often as needed during your treatment program.
- Alleviates symptoms quickly and effectively. This method is fast acting and you will start to feel better almost immediately. In addition, your levels should correct quickly, making this an efficient, powerful and trusted method for hormone restoration.
Cream or Gel Based Testosterone Therapy
Another method of administering testosterone is through transdermal absorption. Testosterone is available as a transdermal delivery system (TDS) in several different concentrations. It is a clear, odorless, quick-drying gel or cream that gets absorbed into the skin in order to restore testosterone gradually and to stabilize your levels. The testosterone hormone comes in a easy to dose and use topi-click system which you apply topically to the skin, usually to your arms, shoulders, or stomach area. After application you must allow the site to dry, then cover with a shirt and avoid showering, swimming or bathing for five hours.
Benefits of Testosterone Creams or Gels
- Extremely easy to use. No need to inject yourself every day--you simply wipe on a cream and the testosterone goes to work immediately.
- Convenient. Perfect for people who travel a lot, testosterone cream is highly convenient for most busy lifestyles and easy to travel with.
- Non-invasive. If you hate needles and want to avoid an even minimally-invasive treatment, this is the testosterone therapy option for you.
- Provides daily stability of levels with little movement. As soon as you apply your cream, the testosterone is absorbed and your levels adjust. As long as you continue to apply the product every day, your levels should remain stable and your symptoms will alleviate.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy at the biostation – Discover the Difference
At the biostation, our hormone therapy programs are overseen by Medical Director, Martin G. Bloom, M.D., a Cardiologist with over 40 years of experience. You can be confident that our treatments are safe, natural and holistic, and designed with the health of your entire body in mind. Our program also includes robust testing with in-depth 90 minute doctor consultations, regular follow ups and patient monitoring, to ensure your treatments are working and that your symptoms are alleviating. The benefits of a comprehensive treatment plan for hormone balance extends well beyond addressing symptoms. Our goal is to help you get your body back in balance and operating at peak performance, so you can feel better than you ever thought possible at any age. Learn more about our comprehensive, customized program.