Low Testosterone (Low T) (cont.)
Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.
John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
In this Article
- Low testosterone (Low-T) definition
- What are the "normal" levels of testosterone in men?
- What causes low testosterone (Low-T)
- What are the symptoms of low testosterone (Low-T)?
- How is the diagnosis of low testosterone (Low-T) made?
- How is low testosterone (Low-T) treated?
- What are the risks of testosterone therapy?
- What are natural ways of boosting your testosterone?
- Should I take testosterone?
- Low Testosterone (Low T) - Slideshow
- Take the Low Testosterone (Low T) Quiz
- Find a local Endocrinologist in your town
How is the diagnosis of low testosterone (Low-T) made?
The diagnosis of low-T is based on correlating a low blood level (300 ng/dl or below) with symptoms.
Most of the symptoms are very apparent (see above) but some need to be further investigated (such as low bone density).
How is low testosterone (Low-T) treated?
Treatment of low testosterone in hypogonadism is a fully accepted therapy. Treatment in older men is more controversial. Discuss your testosterone levels, symptoms, and side effects of treatment with your doctor to establish whether you should receive therapy and what form of therapy.
There are several ways that testosterone therapy can be administered:
- Transdermal (skin patch): Usually applied once a day (for example, Androderm). Tends to be clean and easy to apply. There is an available mouth patch which sticks to the upper gums and is applied twice daily.
- Gels: Applied directly to the skin and then absorbed through the skin (for example, Androgel, and Axiron. Dosing is more difficult although these gels are available in single applications packages or premeasured pumps.
- Injections: Testosterone can be delivered by direct injection.
- Pellets: Pellets can be implanted into the soft tissue and release the testosterone.
Why no pills? Testosterone is available as a pill but some experts believe oral delivery of testosterone can have negative effects on the liver. These other delivery methods bypass the liver (as they don't involve a pill being absorbed through the stomach/intestine) and go directly into the blood stream.
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