The androgen group of hormones includes any substance that assists in the development and manages the appearance of male characteristics. The principal hormone in this group is testosterone, an anabolic steroid. Anabolic steroids promote the retention of protein in the body, contribute to muscle mass, bone strength, bone density and more. Testosterone, which stimulates male puberty, is derived from cholesterol and produced in the testes.
What does Testosterone do?
Testosterone serves several purposes in the male body including the growth and development of sexual characteristics. The testosterone hormone also deepens the voice during puberty, stimulates the growth of facial and body hair, increases sexual drive, and is responsible for sperm production. Furthermore, testosterone contributes to liver function, muscle mass and strength, the ability to produce erections and sexual stamina. While women also possess testosterone, it is in much smaller levels. Testosterone is the main male hormone that differentiates men from women.
Andropause and Testosterone
To put it simply, andropause (male menopause) is caused by low testosterone. As men age, their testosterone production decreases by about 2% a year causing a shortage of this very necessary hormone. The testosterone shortage paired with increasing levels of the Sex Binding Hormone Globulin (SHBG) which inhibits a substantial portion of remaining testosterone from working, causes the andropause symptoms (i.e. erectile problems, hair loss, weight gain, low sexual drive) because there is not enough testosterone to perform all of the functions that the body relies on it for. Hair loss in particular is caused by a hormone created from testosterone, dihydrotestosterone or DHT, which when bound to a particular receptor in male hair follicles, causes thinning hair or hair loss.
Low Testosterone: In Need of Testosterone Replacement Therapy
As mentioned, andropause is the result of diminished testosterone levels in the male body. It is responsible for those symptoms of andropause and can actually cause:
- Loss of Body and Facial Hair
- Loss of Muscle Mass
- Hot Flashes
- Brittle Bones
- Increased Breast Size
Testosterone therapy or testosterone replacement can return the male body to producing normal testosterone levels.
Too Much Testosterone
While uncommon, there are cases of men possessing an excess of testosterone, this is most clearly seen in steroid use among athletes. Symptoms of high testosterone include but are not limited to:
- Low Sperm Count
- Liver Disease
- Aggressive Behavior
- Shrinking Testicles
- Heart Muscle Damage
State-of-the-art testing by BodyLogicMD can inform you if you possess too much testosterone, at which point, your bioidentical hormone doctor will prescribe a treatment plan to rectify your testosterone levels.
The Solution: Natural Testosterone Replacement
The BodyLogicMD process starts with simple yet thorough testing to identify not only the levels of testosterone in your body, but also a series of other hormones that may be causing similar symptoms and problems. If you are low on testosterone, your BodyLogicMD affiliated physician will prescribe customized testosterone hormone therapy for bioidentical testosterone replacement. Common treatments include testosterone creams or under the skin pellets. Furthermore, an individualized nutrition, supplement and fitness program will be suggested to help you maintain your new hormone balance. Getting older is inevitable, aging is not. Hair loss, low sex drive, erectile problems and a loss of muscle mass may be avoidable with the help of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy with BodyLogicMD.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy Side Effects
For the most part, testosterone replacement therapy is safe when used properly. However, like any medication or therapy, there are some side effects from testosterone replacement therapy that may occur. Side effects of testosterone therapy include:
- Acne and/or oily skin
- Mild fluid retention
- Breast enlargement (gynecomastia)
- Decreased testicular size
- Decreased sperm count
- Elevated red blood cell count
Testosterone replacement therapy has also been found to stimulate growth of the prostate. Therefore, men who have or have been previously diagnosed with prostate cancer should not undergo testosterone therapy without first consulting with their physician.