Testosterone Therapy: Is It Safe?
Posted By: Dr. Gary Bellman on April 7, 2017
The benefits of testosterone replacement therapy in improving sexual desire and erectile function are well known, and there is increasing evidence that testosterone replacement therapy has other benefits and can help to improve the quality of life and help with overall good health in men with low testosterone.
Dr. Bellman diagnoses low testosterone by checking levels of testosterone in the body, along with careful consideration of other signs or symptoms of low testosterone, such as decreased libido (sexual desire), erectile dysfunction (impotence) and chronic fatigue.
If a decision is made to start testosterone replacement therapy to restore testosterone levels to normal, a range of testosterone formulations are available, including injections, topical gels, or patches that are applied to the skin, and long-lasting testosterone pellets that are inserted under the skin.
Current treatments for low testosterone have a good safety record, and any unwanted effects are generally reversible if treatment is stopped, but physicians treating patients with low testosterone have a responsibility to explain any possible side effects, along with the benefits of treatment.
Using appropriate tests for monitoring hormone therapy is crucial in establishing the appropriate dosing regimen. This reduces the chance of undesirable side effects and maximizes beneficial effects. For example, excessive use of androgens (testosterone, androstenedione, DHEA and testosterone derivatives) can activate subclinical prostatic tumors which are androgen-dependent. Monitoring is especially important in older males.
Taking hormones without an evaluation of the actual need for specific hormones entails risks that are both serious and unnecessary. A hormone panel can accurately identify the origin of the most common male hormone problems.
For an appointment or consultation with Dr. Gary Bellman, please contact the office
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