Several scientific articles have laid to rest the implications that testosterone therapy in men with andropause could cause benign prostatic hypertrophy (enlarged prostate) and/or prostate cancer. In the journal THERAPEUTICS AND CLINICAL RISK MANAGEMENT, the conclusion was that “testosterone therapy appears to have little effect on prostate tissue androgen levels and cellular functions and causes no significant adverse effects on the prostate. At the present time, there is no conclusive evidence that testosterone therapy increases the risk of prostate cancer or benign prostatic hyperplasia”. Furthermore, numerous studies show no increased risk of prostate cancer in clinical trials of testosterone supplementation and high risk population of men receiving testosterone treatment.
So why replace testosterone? Well, testosterone deficiency predisposes men to osteoporosis, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and a generalized inflammatory state. As testosterone levels decrease most people observe “he ain’t what he used to be…” Complaints centered around testosterone deficiency include decreased muscle mass and strength, decreased sex drive, reduced frequency and firmness of erections, reduced ejaculate volume, excessive emotions, unnecessary worry, anxiety and fear, depression, loss of self confidence, joint pains, persistent fatigue that increases with activity and poor concentration and memory. Men also notice increased fat deposition in breasts, abdomen and hips, as well as dry eyes, pale skin, a nervous attitude and anemia.
A generalized treatment plan for andropause takes into consideration all of the factors listed in the last several blogs. Insulin sensitivity must be increased by consuming low glycemic index carbohydrates. One needs to increase exercise and build lean muscle mass. One needs to reduce stress and the demand for cortisol. Reduce toxin exposure especially BPA and Phthalates. Try to consume organic foods to limit pesticide exposure. Reduce inflammation with Vitamin D and fish oil supplementation. And importantly, hormones need to be balanced. This requires a visit to a knowledgeable physician who understands the interactions between all of the hormones from testosterone and DHEA to estrogen and progesterone, thyroid and cortisol.
Testosterone replacement therapy can be given via transdermal gels, pellets and/or injections. The method chosen should reflect the preferences of the patient. Once therapy is instituted, I usually check the patent’s blood levels at 8 weeks to make adjustments to the dose, and then blood is checked every six months thereafter. It is remarkable how most if not all of a man’s symptoms of andropause disappear after several weeks of therapy. Most patients claim that the feel like “a new man”, they are energized, happy and sexually active. Wives notice the improvement in their husbands and are generally pleased with the progress. Remember, the replacement therapy also is PROTECTIVE against heart disease, osteoporosis, dementia and type 2 diabetes.
So do yourselves a favor. Eat responsibly, sleep well, exercise, avoid toxins and BALANCE YOUR HORMONES. You will live long, healthy and active lives!
By the way, visit our Giannotto Clinic online store for many of your supplement and vitamin needs!