Testosterone levels fluctuate in men throughout the day, and throughout their lives. Only one of many active hormones in men, testosterone levels will affect sexual interest, sexual function, energy level, weight distribution, and hair loss. When measuring testosterone levels in the blood, we look at free versus bound levels, as well as the levels of the precursor hormones that influence the secretion of testosterone.
Testosterone is produced in both the testicles and the adrenal glands. Signals from the brain induce the testicles to secrete testosterone into the blood stream. Receptors throughout the body respond to testosterone and produce male characteristics. In adult men, one of the most important functions of testosterone is sexual interest. Lack of libido may be one of the first indications of “low-T”. Erections are less dependent on testosterone. However, strong erections are generally in response to sexual stimulation, which is related to testosterone levels.
IF there is a concern about low testosterone, blood tests can be done to measure the levels of free and bound testosterone in the blood, as well as the levels of Follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, and prolactin. Thyroid testing should be done as well. Based on the results, treatment can be initiated.
Testosterone replacement therapy is done with gels, patches, or injections. Testosterone is not ingested because the oral route can cause liver failure. Not to be taken lightly, testosterone replacement has to be monitored closely by a physician. Elevated red blood cell counts in the blood can lead to a stroke, and liver toxicity can result from high levels of exogenous testosterone. However, in men who have low levels of testosterone, replacement can do wonders for their health and well-being. If you would like to learn more about testosterone replacement therapy, please call our office or press the "Book Online" button to make an appointment to see one of our physicians.