If you were to search for treating “erectile dysfunction Atlanta” online, you may come across many Atlanta health clinic ads as well as a ton of articles about Low-T or low testosterone. While a “little blue pill” is often prescribed to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) in men by helping to increase blood flow, other times, the underlying cause could be a low sex drive and symptoms cause by Low-T. Symptoms of Low-T will vary based on age and overall health. This post is dedicated to explaining what Low-T is and what can be done about it. (For direct assistence in Atlanta, GA – see our post – TRT Altanta – about testosterone replacement therapy in Atlanta.)
Testosterone is produced by specialized cells in the testicles called Leydig cells. The process is driven and regulated by the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland, referred to collectively as the Hypothalamic Pituitary Axis (HPA). When testosterone levels are dropping, the HPA detects it and produces signaling hormones that act directly on the Leydig cells to stimulate testosterone production.
As testosterone levels rise, this processing is inhibited. Testosterone production peaks during puberty and starts to level off and decline in our twenties.
What does Testosterone do?
Testosterone is involved in the development of male sex organs before a male child is even born. As a child ages, testosterone is responsible for the development of secondary sex characteristics at puberty, including voice deepening, penis and testicle size, and the growth of facial and body hair.
In adult men, testosterone plays a role in sex drive, sperm production, fat distribution, red blood cell production, and maintenance of muscle mass and strength. For these reasons, testosterone is associated with overall health and well-being in men.
What cause Low Testosterone (Low-T)?
As men age, the amount of testosterone in their body gradually drops. The science suggests that this natural progressive decline starts in a man’s twenties, picks up in their thirties, and continues throughout their life at a rate of about 1% per year. If T levels drop past what would be considered normal for a man’s age, that man is considered to have low testosterone or low-T.
The American Urological Association (AUA) has established guidelines on what they would consider to be normal T levels for a man in his thirties, however, we believe that the most holistic approach to treating our male patients for Low T is to not only look at the actual testosterone levels provided by blood work, but also consider the symptoms, which may or may not be related to their T levels.
When the testes are not producing enough testosterone is referred to as hypogonadism (HG). There are two basic types of hypogonadism: Primary hypogonadism (primary testicular failure) originates from a problem in the testicles, and secondary hypogonadism, which indicates a problem in the hypothalamus or the pituitary gland (ie. a pituitary mass).
The potential causes of primary hypogonadism include testicular injury (most common), congenital abnormality of the sex chromosomes, hemochromatosis (high levels of iron in the blood), and side effects of medications used to treat cancer (ie. chemotherapy or hormones). In secondary hypogonadism, the testicles are normal but will not function properly due to a problem with the pituitary gland or hypothalamus. Secondary hypogonadism causes include pituitary disorders (ie. pituitary mass), inflammatory disease, side effects of certain medications, obesity, and just the slow, progressive decrease in testosterone production that comes with normal aging – also known as Adult-Onset Hypogonadism (HG).
What are the symptoms of Low-T?
Symptoms of low testosterone will vary based on the age and overall health of each patient affected by it. The most common symptoms of Low-T that prompt men to seek treatment are:
- Low libido (sex drive)
- Erectile dysfunction
- Lethargy and decreased sense of well-being
- Increased body fat and weight gain
- Difficulties with concentration and memory
- Loss of strength
- Moodiness and irritability
What can I do about Low-T?
Because the symptoms of Low-T can technically be caused by other underlying issues, it is important to understand if your testosterone levels are actually low. This can easily be diagnosed by measuring the amount of testosterone in the blood with a simple blood test.
Testosterone levels in the blood stream change throughout the day, and for most men, the highest levels of testosterone in their bodies typically peak in the morning, usually around 8AM. It is for this reason that many TRT doctors in Atlanta may prefer for your first appointments with them to be in the early morning, so that they may accurately test for peak levels of testosterone in your system. At Elevate Wellness Clinic, we can perform the necessary blood test in our office; or if you have recent test results from your PCP or another men’s clinic, we can use those as well.
What can I do if I am diagnosed with Low-T?
At Elevate Wellness Clinic, we treat Low-T with testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). The potential benefits of testosterone replacement therapy may include:
- Enhanced sexual function and libido
- Healthy weight loss
- Improved muscle strength and physical performance
- Decreased insulin resistance and reduced risk of Type II diabetes
- Improved mental sharpness
- Improve cardiovascular health
- Increased bone density
- Better mood and sense of well-being
What is the best TRT method for me?
There is always a new scientific breakthrough for the treatment of Low Testosterone, and in our Atlanta Men’s Health Clinic, we consider all available possibilities for each patient on an individual basis. Every patient is different and choosing the correct TRT treatment plan should be under the care and supervision of a licensed physician. Not all low testosterone therapy programs are the same. There are several different methods of administering a TRT program which include:
- Intramuscular injections once a week
- Subcutaneous injections once or twice a week
- Daily testosterone patches which can be applied to different parts of the body
- Daily application of testosterone cream or gel applied to the skin
- Bioidentical testosterone pellets that are implanted under the skin every two to three months.
- Mucoadhesive testosterone buccal system, which is a tablet that adheres to the inside of your mouth between your cheek and gums.
- Oral testosterone, which was recently approved for use in the United States.
What are the side effects of Testosterone Replacement Therapy?
Of course there are potential side effects to almost any medical treatment or procedure and Testosterone Replacement Therapy is no different. The best way to avoid any significant side effects is by consulting with a licensed physician that has experience with TRT. Often times, it is a matter of dialing in the proper dose to fit each patient’s biology, which is why regular follow-up appointments with your physician are critical to a successful TRT program.
Here are some of the potential side effects of TRT:
- Acne or oily skin
- Mild fluid retention
- Leg swelling
- Difficulty urinating
- Decrease in sperm count
- Potential increase in prostate-specific antigen (PSA score)
- Increase in red blood cell count
- Sleep apnea
- Shrinking of the testicles
- Breast enlargement or tenderness
In summary, if you live or work in the Atlanta area and believe that you are experiencing any symptoms of Low-T, we would love to speak with you. Elevate Wellness Clinic is here to help you navigate the potential risk and rewards of deciding on Testosterone Replacement Therapy.
Want to know more about TRT in Atlanta, GA?
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Need your personal Low-T questions answered today?
We are happy to accommodate you! Dr. Powell and his team are specialists in testosterone treatment in Atlanta, GA. If you live or work in the Atlanta area, Elevate Wellness is running some amazing pre-opening promotions to celebrate their new location in the Northlake section of Atlanta! Click the button below to sign up for a FREE testosterone therapy consultation and qualify for major pre-opening discounts. We would love to help you on your journey to better health!