Testosterone is a key hormone that plays a role in sexual health as well as muscle and hair growth. Deficiencies in this hormone can lead to many different symptoms, ranging from mild to severe. A wide variety of conditions can cause testosterone deficiency, though aging is by far the most common cause. Here at Your Family Medical, with locations in Lewisville, Bedford, and Benbrook, TX, we offer safe and effective testosterone therapy in a comfortable setting.
While this therapy is more commonly used by men, women may sometimes need it as well. This is often the case when estrogen-based therapies have failed to correct a hormonal imbalance and testing shows a testosterone deficiency. So, regardless of whether you’re a man going through andropause, a woman dealing with menopause, or you have symptoms that you suspect are related to low testosterone, here’s how we determine if you’re the right candidate for this therapy and how it works.
What Causes Low Testosterone?
An androgen deficiency, or hypogonadism, is normally a deficiency of testosterone and can be caused by many different conditions and environmental factors. When men age, testosterone levels gradually decline each year, and when this causes symptoms, it results in a condition called andropause. Women can also be affected by a similar condition called menopause, though estrogen and other hormones are more commonly responsible for this condition rather than testosterone.
In addition to age-related causes, low testosterone can also be caused by testicular issues, genetic diseases, injuries to the testes or male reproductive organs, liver disease, HIV/AIDS, sleep apnea, substance abuse, anabolic steroid use, certain types of tumors or cancers, and chemotherapy.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Testosterone Therapy?
While our initial consultation serves as a more accurate screener, you may be a good candidate for this treatment if any of the following conditions apply to you:
You’re a Man with Sexual Dysfunction
If you’re a man suffering from a low sex drive, performance issues, or erectile dysfunction, you may be a perfect candidate for this therapy. Hypogonadism is one condition that is regularly treated with testosterone therapy, as it is usually caused by a lack of certain sex hormones, including testosterone.
You’re a Woman with a Low Libido
This therapy may also help women who suffer from libido issues related to low testosterone, though this is relatively rare, as estrogen is normally the main hormone responsible for sexual issues in women. Regardless, both men and women can suffer from hypogonadism, as testosterone is produced in both the testes and ovaries as well as the adrenal glands.
You’re Experiencing Muscle Wasting
Testosterone is crucial for muscle health, especially in men, as it’s one of the main reasons why men typically have more muscle mass than women. When low testosterone occurs, muscle wasting is often the result, which is a loss of muscle mass and strength.
You Have Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue
Another symptom associated with a loss of energy is chronic fatigue, and this too can be caused by testosterone issues. Chronic fatigue isn’t just simply feeling tired every now and then, but rather, it’s when you feel this way all the time or frequently and for no apparent reason. With proper testosterone therapy, this symptom is often quickly corrected.
You’re Having Cognitive Issues
Both memory and concentration can be affected by low testosterone levels, and while these issues may not be noticeable at first, they can become more severe over time. Brain fog can develop, where you find it difficult to concentrate or remember things, and even maintaining conversation with others can become a task.
Your Emotions Quickly Shift
Drastic or unexplainable changes in your mood, (i.e. “mood swings”) can sometimes be an indicator that you’re suffering from low testosterone or other hormonal issues. You may feel happy one moment and suddenly angry the next, and this can occur out of nowhere or in response to triggering events that would otherwise result in only minor mood changes.
You’ve Had Unexplained Weight Gain
While testosterone and weight fluctuations aren’t always linked, a clear association between the two has been proven in some cases. Researchers aren’t quite in agreement yet on whether low testosterone causes weight gain or whether obesity leads to testosterone depletion, but what is clear is that some patients who suffer from obesity can benefit greatly from hormone replacement therapy.
You’re a Woman Who Failed Estrogen Therapy
Although testosterone is normally associated with men and is referred to as the “male sex hormone,” women’s bodies naturally produce this hormone as well, though at much lower levels. So, in some cases, women can experience testosterone deficiency and may benefit from this therapy, especially if they’ve already tried an estrogen-based therapy without good results.
You Don’t Suffer From Sleep Apnea
Some people suffer from a condition known as sleep apnea, which can cause disrupted breathing patterns while sleeping. Because testosterone therapy can potentially make these types of symptoms worse, those who have sleep apnea may not be good candidates for this treatment.
You Don’t Have Cardiovascular Problems
If you’ve had a history of heart attacks, blood clots, or other cardiovascular conditions, this therapy may not be appropriate for you. The cardiovascular system can sometimes be highly sensitive to hormonal changes, which is why it’s important that we know about any history of these conditions during your consultation.
Regardless of whether the criteria above apply to you, we still want to hear from you, as there is no way for us to know who may benefit from this treatment without examining your symptoms and comparing those to the results of a hormone test. Low testosterone can sometimes cause some of the issues mentioned, such as heart problems, so this may not automatically be a disqualifying factor, and we’ll be able to determine more during your consultation with us.
What Are Some Common Symptoms of Low Testosterone?
A testosterone deficiency can cause the following symptoms:
- Chronic fatigue
- Erectile dysfunction
- Loss of sex drive
- Muscle weakness
- Mood swings
- Weight gain
- High cholesterol
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Stomach issues
- Low energy
- Skin issues
- Hair loss
- Low libido
- Chronic acne
- Brain fog
- Vaginal dryness
- Trouble concentrating
- Voice changes
- Memory problems
What Should I Expect With Testosterone Therapy?
We normally treat hormonal imbalances, including low testosterone, with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), which is a safe and effective therapy. When you schedule an appointment with us, we’ll carry out a consultation and exam to assess any symptoms you have while drawing your blood and comparing the results to your symptoms. This helps us determine whether you have a hormone imbalance and whether it’s testosterone or another hormone responsible for it.
After diagnosing a hormone imbalance, we can begin your treatment, which involves the placement of a hormone pellet just beneath the skin, normally in an area near your lower abdomen. This pellet will then slowly dissolve over a period of many months while it releases testosterone into your bloodstream, which is bioidentical to the type your body naturally produces. In time, this can relieve many symptoms related to a testosterone deficiency.
How Quickly Will I See Improvements?
Although you may start to notice the effects quite quickly, in most cases it can take up to three months or more to experience the results of this therapy. One reason for this is that it can take this long for the pellets to fully dissolve, and the other reason is that many improvements take place after a second treatment session, which is normally scheduled about three to four months after the first one.
How Many Therapy Sessions Will I Need?
In some cases, symptoms can resolve after only a few treatment sessions, but if you need to stay on the treatment longer, you can come back for additional treatments once the effects begin to wear off and your symptoms return. Some patients only need to stay on this therapy for a few months, while others remain on it for many years, and this all depends on what’s causing your low testosterone.
Schedule with Us Today
Low testosterone can not only cause debilitating symptoms but can also affect virtually every aspect of your life. Contact us today at Your Family Medical, as we’re ready to assess your symptoms and diagnose you at any of our three locations in Lewisville, Bedford, or Benbrook, TX. With proper testing and a clinical assessment, we’re confident that we can help you get back to living the life you deserve without the symptoms of low testosterone interfering with it.