Posts Tagged ‘testosterone’

5 ways to boost your libido

May 3, 2017

The bad news: men’s sex drive is based on the serum testosterone level which starts to decrease about 1% a year in second decade of a man’s life.  The good news is that low testosterone can easily be replaced.  Here are a few steps or suggestions that you can easily do to restore your libido without testosterone replacement therapy.

Re-connect: Now that the children have left and it’s just you and your partner again, it’s time to re-connect. Raising a family might have kept you very busy, oftentimes taking you away from each other. Spend some time re-connecting and getting to know one another again in order to reignite that flame.  I suggest having a date night with your significant other.  And one other piece of advice: turn off your cell phone and focus on each other! 

Exercise: Health conditions and poor circulation can impede on your libido, while being as healthy as you can is a great way to support your sex drive. Exercise can help reduce your risk of illness and boost your circulation to ensure all your parts are working as they should.  I suggest 20 minutes of cardiovascular exercise at least three times a week.

Be mindful: Stress is a big mood killer, so practicing mindfulness and reducing stress can help boost your libido.  There’s an app for that.  I suggest Headspace.  It’s free and a nice way to learn the art of meditation.

Seek therapy: Maybe you need to see a therapist and work through any underlying issues that could be preventing you and your partner from connecting on a sexual level. Addressing these concerns can help you get past the wall you or your partner may have built between each other.  I suggest that you seek out a therapist that has expertise in dealing with sexual problems.  You can find a therapist near you at: https://www.aasect.org/referral-directory

Check your medications: Some medications cite low libido as a side effect. Antidepressants and pain medications are most known for this. Check with your doctor if you are on any meds.

Bottom Line:  A decrease in libido doesn’t mean you have to live a life devoid of sex. Speak to your doctor.  Get a blood test to check your testosterone level and consider replacement therapy using testosterone injections, topical gels, or tiny pellets inserted under the skin all of which can successfully restore the testosterone level and more importantly your ability to engage in intimacy with your partner.

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Pain Pills Won’t Put Potency In Your Penis

April 25, 2017

There’s a opioid epidemic in the United States as the number of prescriptions written for opioids has skyrocketed over the years. From 1991 to 2013, the total number of prescriptions written for opioid painkillers skyrocketed by 172%. It is estimated to cause nearly 40,000 deaths in the United States which is more than those people who died in car accidents each year.  Besides the risk of death and havoc on the user and his\her family, opioids cause a deficiency in testosterone which significantly impacts a man’s sexuality.

Testosterone deficiency is an underappreciated consequence of using opioids.

Understanding the risks and the potential treatment options available may help minimize the impact of opioids on testosterone levels. This blog will discuss the relationship between opioid use and testosterone deficiency.

Yes, it is true that opioids are well-known to be highly effective at managing pain. Also well-known is their negative impact on testosterone levels in men taking these potent pain killers.   Interestingly, even with the recognition of this phenomenon, this side effect of reducing testosterone remains an underappreciated consequence of treatment.

Testosterone deficiency can lead to serious health consequences. Symptoms include reduced libido, erectile dysfunction, osteoporosis and decreased bone density, fatigue, depressed mood, reduced muscle mass, poor concentration, and sleep disturbances. As such, testosterone deficiency also impacts quality of life and may even be involved in the development of heart disease.

New Findings

In a large study a higher risk of low testosterone was found with opioids. Data revealed that men on long-acting opioids were significantly more likely to be testosterone deficient.

Treatment Options

The management of low testosterone levels in men taking opioids begins with the checking the symptoms of low T such as decreased sex drive, loss of energy, loss of bone and muscle mass and the confirmation with testosterone testing. However, monitoring of hypogonadism can be a challenge as patients may not necessarily report their symptoms.

Additionally, when possible, baseline serum testosterone levels should be obtained prior to initiating therapy with potent pain medications. Testosterone levels could then be recorded at regular intervals to monitor changes.

If a patient presents with opioid-induced low T, there are several possible treatment options that can be pursued. Strategies that allow for opioid reduction could be considered, such as the concomitant use of non-opioid pain medications. The good news is that discontinuing opioid therapy can result in the normalization of testosterone, with data suggesting recovery of symptoms may occur as fast as a few days to up to 1 month after stopping treatment. Unfortunately, this is an unlikely option for men suffering from chronic pain.

Lastly, testosterone replacement therapy is a viable option for some patients. Testosterone can be given via injections, topical gels, or pellets inserted beneath the skin to restore the normal level of testosterone that will improve the symptoms of low T.  Close monitoring by your doctor will help identify the development of low T levels. Men who are educated on this potential side effect of low T can also be active participants in helping to identify this complication. While several treatment options are available, the best course of action for treating hypogonadism will ultimately depend on symptoms and the blood level of testosterone.

Bottom Line:  Opioids can help with the control of pain but with the price of decreasing the testosterone level in men.  Men who use opioids should speak to their doctor about their symptoms of decrease in sex drive, loss of energy or loss of muscle mass are candidates for hormone replacement therapy.

Body Builders Using “Juice” Beware!

March 30, 2017

I don’t know of any physicians who would condone the use of anabolic steroids in men with normal testosterone levels whose only complaint is desire to increase their muscle mass or their athletic performance.  The use of anabolic steroids in young men is fraught with danger and can result in permanent hormone deficiency and permanent infertility.

Testosterone was first identified in 1935 as responsible for its masculinizing effects along with the effect of increasing lean muscle mass.

However, recently the illicit use of performance enhancing drugs has become an issue for athletes and those men wishing to increase their athletic performance, their strength and muscle mass.   It is estimated that there are 3 million anabolic steroid users and abusers.  And now we have found that nearly 5-6% of middle and high school students have or are using anabolic steroids.

These anabolic drugs are now identified to negatively affect the pituitary glands hormones that stimulate the testicle to produce testosterone and result in prolonged reduction of natural testosterone production and even permanent decrease in testosterone production for many months and even permanently in men who have used and abused anabolic steroids.  Most men will return to baseline natural production of testosterone in 1-2 years after discontinuing the use of anabolic steroids.

There are numerous reports of profound suppression of testosterone in nearly half of all men who have used anabolic steroids.  Because anabolic steroid can have a profound reduction in sperm production, men should understand the consequences of anabolic steroid use.  That is, if they want to father a child, they need to stay farther away from anabolic steroids.

Bottom Line: Anabolic steroid abuse can affect a man’s production of testosterone and may cause permanent reduction in testosterone production by a man’s testicles.  I suggest that all men who might consider using anabolic steroids to take this into consideration before making a bad choice that may affect their health and well being forever.

 

Low T-Review of New York Times Editorial, March 28, 2017

March 29, 2017

 

Low testosterone affects millions of American men.  Testosterone prescriptions in the United States nearly doubled in recent years from 1.2 million in 2010 to 2.2 million in 2013. Testosterone replacement is not the panacea to restore a middle aged man’s fountain of youth.  However, testosterone replacement can improve a man’s sex drive or libido, can increase his energy level and does improve bone strength and a protector for osteoporosis in men.

That’s the good news.  The bad news is that a single study comparing testosterone gel to placebo for one year found a “buildup of noncalcified plaque” in the coronary arteries of the men treated with testosterone.  However, other studies have not demonstrated any increase in heart problems in men using testosterone.

Although the positive changes were modest in the testosterone group there was a significant improvement in men’s mood in the group using testosterone gel.  The study also pointed out that older men with low testosterone levels often have other chronic health conditions, like obesity, than can affect hormone levels but these can often be managed by lifestyle changes such as an exercise program and diet.

It is important to mention that the results of the recent study do not support the promise implied by advertisements for testosterone that using it “will make you stronger and fitter,” though many men said they simply “felt better” while on the drug, and some improvements in walking could be seen when findings were analyzed.

Again, I would like to emphasize that testosterone has no place in men using these hormones for bodybuilding purposes.  At the present time use of testosterone is snot approved by the FDA for bodybuilding purposes.

The Bottom Line: Hormone replacement therapy has a role in men who have symptoms of low T and documented low blood levels of testosterone.  All men who receive testosterone need to have close follow up with PSA testing, a digital rectal examination and a blood count to check for overproduction of red blood cells.

Testosterone Replacement-Relationship With Heart Disease

March 27, 2017

Much has been written about the use of testosterone in men with symptoms of low T and documented low levels of testosterone.  One of the issues is the use of testosterone replacement therapy and its impact on cardiovascular health.

First, there have been documented trials that demonstrated clinically improvements in bone density and low blood count or anemia.  Another recent study demonstrated an impressive reduction in cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke in men taking testosterone for low T levels.

A two year study was conducted comparing testosterone replacement therapy using topical gels containing testosterone to placebo that had gel only and no testosterone. At one year after starting the study, there were no heart attacks, strokes, or deaths in either group. At two years there were more heart attacks and strokes in the placebo group (nine events for placebo versus two events for testosterone).  The study concluded that testosterone replacement may be cardioprotective or can protect your heart.

A key additional finding was significant improvement in bone density and strength in men treated with testosterone.

Bottom Line:  These new, exciting results provide even more evidence to support the importance of using testosterone replacement therapy in men with low levels of testosterone and who are symptomatic from their decrease in testosterone levels.

Non-Medical Solutions to Raising Your Low T Level

March 23, 2017

I am often asked by patients what can a man do to raise his testosterone level without taking testosterone replacement therapy?  Here are a few suggestions that may be helpful.

  1. Exercise and lift weights

If you want to increase your testosterone levels, you will need to increase your exercise frequency. Regular exercise will not only help you by preventing different lifestyle related health problems, but it will also help you by boosting your testosterone levels. Men who regularly exercise have a higher testosterone levels. Even elderly men will also have higher testosterone levels if they regularly exercise.

  1. Reduce stress and cortisol levels

If you are suffering from long-term stress, it can increase the levels of cortisol hormone. If your cortisol levels are high, testosterone levels will decrease.

That’s why, you need to reduce stress as much as possible and which will also decrease the cortisol levels in your body. Regular exercise, whole foods, good sleep, balanced lifestyle and laughter can help you to reduce stress and also improve your overall health.

  1. Get more Vitamin D

Vitamin D offers several health benefits and it boosts testosterone naturally. If you consume just 3,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day, it can increase testosterone levels in the body by 25%.

You can get more vitamin D by increasing your exposure to sunlight regularly. You can also take a daily supplement of 3,000 IU of a vitamin D3 supplement.

4. Get Enough Sleep.

A lack of sleep affects a variety of hormones and chemicals in your body. This, in turn, can have a harmful impact on your testosterone.

The time honored goal is try for 7 to 8 hours per night.

5. Keep a Healthy Weight.

Obesity can have a deleterious effect on your testosterone levels.  Exercise and diet can improve your testosterone and also is good for your heart to avoid obesity.

6. Review Your Medications.

Some medicines can cause a drop in your testosterone level. These include: pain medications, steroids (prednisone), anabolic steroids such as those used by athletes and body builders, and anti-depressants.

7. Deep 6 the Supplements.

You may be bombarded with unsolicited snail mail and E –mail offering testosterone boosting supplements such as DHEA.  Let the truth be told, you are wasting your money as these supplements will not boost your testosterone.

Bottom Line:  Although these suggestions are helpful, they are just a step in the right direction.  For more information about testosterone replacement therapy, speak to your physician.

February 13, 2017

HCG And Testosterone: Double Bang For Your Sex Drive Buck

If you find that your sex drive is in the tank, you have difficulty with erections, that Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis which once worked, are no longer effective, then you may be suffering from low T or low testosterone.  The diagnosis is easily made from a blood test.

If you are like most men, you will find that your manhood and confidence level comes from the area between your belly button and your knees, i.e., your “package”.  It is there in the testicles which are are responsible for making testosterone, the male hormone associated with so many functions including sexual activity, energy level, muscle mass, and even your mood.

Not only does testosterone control so many of these functions, so does hCG or human chorionic gonadotropin.  hCG stimulates the gland at the base of the brain, the pituitary gland to produce more LH or luteinizing hormone (LH) to encourage the testicles to release more testosterone. hCG can be injected and administered to stimulate the right dose of healthy testosterone production.

The benefits of hCG for men include boosting healthy levels of testosterone that’s needed for every biological process to ensure optimal health. Correcting low testosterone levels by using hCG for men can bring on many benefits for men which include:

  • Increase red blood cells
  • Support the cardiovascular system
  • Increases flow of blood and oxygen
  • Healthy body hair growth
  • Weight loss, reduction of fat mass
  • Increased energy levels, endurance, and performance
  • Increase in lean muscle mass and muscle strength
  • Reduced risks of obesity
  • Improved oxidation in the groin area
  • Increase in libido
  • Improved penile growth due to oxidation
  • Proper stimulation to continue boosted sexual desire
  • Proper stimulation to improve endurance and sexual performance
  • Reduced risks of erectile or other sexual dysfunctions
  • Increase in bone density
  • Reduced risks of arthritis-related conditions

 Although hCG is both safe and effective for females and males to use, there are possible side effects that you should be aware of. These include:

  • light-headedness
  • nausea
  • headaches
  • mild fatigue
  • irritation at injection site

More serious side effects are rare and are normally associated with incorrect use of hCG but can include:

  • Swelling of breast tissue in males
  • Depression, irritability and other mood changes
  • Swelling of feet or ankles
  • Early onset of puberty in young boys

Bottom Line: It is crucial to discuss treatment with your doctor to determine if the benefits of using hCG therapy outweigh the possible side effects you may experience and to ensure correct dosing and application of the hCG.

Arimidex For Treating Low Testosterone Levels

February 13, 2017

I have seen on several occasions men who have low testosterone levels who are on hormone replacement therapy and yet fail to improve their libido, energy level, or their erections.

One explanation is that some of the testosterone is converted to estrogen which is the female hormone.  If men fail to respond to testosterone replacement therapy for low testosterone, then it is important to check the estrogen level (estradiol) and if this is elevated then the man will need to add an estrogen lowering medication, commonly Arimidex (anastrozole). It’s from the class of medications called aromatase inhibitors, which essentially block the conversion of testosterone to estrogen.

It helps by forcing testosterone output to remain high while keeping estrogen levels low.  The dosage is 0.25mg every third day.

Bottom Line: anastrozole therapy, given over 12 months, significantly increased serum testosterone and modestly reduced E2 levels in men 60 years of age and older with mild-to-moderate hypogonadism. Aromatase inhibitors intervention resulted in the restoration of testosterone levels into the mid-normal range with improvement of the symptoms of low testosterone.

 

 

There’s More To Testosterone Replacement Than Meets the Eye

February 9, 2017

Today, it is very common for middle aged men to have symptoms of low testosterone.  Many times these men will complain of decreased libido and decrease in their erections.  The treatment is hormone replacement therapy.  In addition to improving your libido, there are other advantages to hormone replacement therapy.  This blog will discuss the other benefits of testosterone replacement therapy.

Breast Formation. Male breast formation, also known as gynecomastia, is a source of anxiety for most men when they start to sprout. Men can form breasts during infancy, adolescence, old age, or anywhere in between. It all start with lowered testosterone and increased estrogen levels. Male breasts can be reduced or removed through gynecomastia surgery, but in other cases a simple adjustment of body sex hormone levels may be enough to provide the change desired.

Bone Density. Men start to lose bone mass as testosterone levels go south.  The same thing happens to women (though by a different mechanism), and typically starts to be noticed during old age. However, the groundwork for bone strength  starts in young adulthood, when your body starts to store calcium that will last for the rest of your life. If you don’t have sufficient testosterone, you can’t form bones that are strong enough to last until you die. Get tested for testosterone now to learn about how your health will be as you age.

Libido and Sexual Development. Testosterone has an enormous impact on secondary sex characteristics like body hair, but it’s absolutely central to sexual desire and performance. If you are having trouble with sexual intimacy, you may need to get checked for testosterone. Many men have seen improvement that changes their lives for the better after getting testosterone replacement therapy, without ever having to resort to pills for erections like Viagra, Levitra, Cialis.

Red Blood Cell Formation. Red blood cells are necessary for oxygen transportation in the body.  Testosterone increases the red blood cell production.  However, it is important to check the red blood cell count every 4-6 months if you are using testosterone replacement therapy as too high a level of red blood cells can be harmful.  Therefore, it is imperative to have a testosterone level, a PSA test (a screening test for prostate cancer), and a red blood cell count on a regular basis if you are using testosterone replacement options.

Bottom Line:  If you are middle age and complain of lethargy, weakness, loss of muscle mass, and alternation of your moods, then you may have testosterone deficiency.  The diagnosis is easily made with a simple blood test.  Treatment consists of injections, topical gels, patches and even small rice-sized pellets inserted under the skin.  For more information speak to your doctor.

Boosting T Levels Without Medication

February 3, 2017

Testosterone is the male hormone produced in the testicles that is responsible for sex drive, energy, muscle and bone mass.  Testosterone decreases slowly in the late 20s and becomes symptomatic in men around middle age.  This blog will discuss natural ways of preserving and increasing your testosterone levels.

Get Moving: Drop 10, 15, or more pounds

Overweight men are likely to have less testosterone, which means less energy and increased susceptibility to depression.  If you shed pounds, you can cause your T levels to surge.

No Zinc In the Sink

Research has shown that supplementing your diet with zinc can improve testosterone levels. According to the National Institutes of Health, 45 per cent of us aren’t getting enough of the stuff.  Protein-rich foods like meat and fish are packed full of zinc, along with raw cheese, beans and natural yoghurt.

Sweet Nothings

In addition to causing you to pile on the pounds, sugar can also wreak havoc on testosterone production. Regular intake of the sweet stuff can cause insulin to spike, which is a factor leading to low levels of testosterone.

To counteract the effect, simply limit your sugar intake – the overall health benefits far outweigh a quick dopamine hit from a soft drink.

Take D and See

Vitamin D is a steroid hormone, which means it boosts your sperm count, , libido and  testosterone.  You can increase your vitamin D by being exposed to sunshine.  Since I don’t condone exposure to sun as it causes skin cancers, then vitamin D supplementation is in order, 1000 IU\day.  This is available in most nutrition and drug stores.

Stress Less

Kicking back is easier said than done, but a reduction in stress will work wonders for your testosterone production. Cortisol (the stuff your body makes when you get hot under the collar) actually blocks testosterone. Chronic stress has actually been shown to stop testosterone production, which translates to bad moods, fatigue and decreased libido.

Exercise and weight loss are beneficial in reducing stress levels so this is another reason to getting moving!

Fat and Fit

Eat ‘good’ fats of the monounsaturated variety. You can find a high dose of these fats in foods like olive oil, almonds, avocados and grass-fed meats.

Going From ZZZZZ to T

Men who got a full eight hours sleep had 60 per cent more testosterone than their sleep-deprived counterparts.  I recommend stop looking at screens, i.e., computer and TV screens at least an hour before bedtime as screen watching affects melatonin which if decreased can make it difficult to have a good nights sleep.

It’s Quicker Without Liquor

We all know that alcohol consumption is bad for us – but it’s bad for your Johnson. Not only does too much booze lower growth hormone levels and increase cortisol, it will reduce your testosterone levels for up to 24-hours.  I recommend 1-2 glasses of alcohol a day and definitely avoid binging.

Bottom Line:  Testosterone is a necessary ingredient for your sex drive, your energy level, and overall body metabolism.  The hormone also affects our moods and psychological well-being.  I have provided you some suggestions for boosting this very important hormone.