Male Hormone Mastery
What causes changes in male hormones?
Puberty. Fertility. Andropause. Mood swings. Memory. Energy. All our biochemical life stages are regulated by our hormones. As testosterone is one of our most crucial hormones, unbalanced levels can stimulate or aggravate a slew of health conditions.
Your set of 50 hormones is like an orchestra, and testosterone, like the drummer, keeps the heartbeat, energy, and sexual libido strong and vibrant. Like musicians in an orchestra, our hormones must perform together, in tune, on pitch, at just the right volume and intervals for harmonious health to ensue. Because our hormones are synergistic, a low level of testosterone not only disrupts its own function, but can cause dissonance with other hormones.
We at Happy Valley Clinic want to help tweak your testosterone level so it can harmonize with the rest of your hormones, and make life feel a bit more like a beautiful, energized symphony.
Why should my testosterone levels be balanced?
Like conductors that prompt musicians to release more or less sound at different intervals, our glands must release a precise amount of hormones into the appropriate organs. Our glands secrete these 50 biochemicals directly into our bloodstream, through which they travel to their target site: every cell, tissue, organ, and body system.
Once they arrive, hormones deliver commands to our cells, which respond by performing every physiological function required for human life: growth, musculature, bone density, metabolism, emotional response, and sexual function. Even a small over or under production of any hormone can cause havoc in your body, especially testosterone.
As a man ages, his body naturally makes less testosterone. In fact, by the time a man is in his mid-forties, testosterone levels can be down by 40%. Lifestyle factors such as excessive stress, weight gain, and lack of exercise can lower levels even further – impacting stamina, sex drive, virility, and bone strength, and potentially leading to chronic fatigue, erectile dysfunction, and even heart disease. A study published in Circulation Journal demonstrated that low testosterone may be a predictive marker for those at high risk of cardiovascular disease.
What are the signs of low testosterone?
Some signs of low testosterone are the same in men; others vary.
Warning signs of male testosterone imbalance include:
- low libido
- erectile dysfunction
- low sperm count
- loss of body hair
- poor concentration and memory
- decreased energy, motivation, or self-confidence
- reduced physical performance and muscle mass
- increased body fat
If you have these symptoms, speak with a Happy Valley Clinic specialist to diagnose or rule out any other underlying medical conditions before discussing testosterone supplementation.
What are bioidentical hormones?
Bioidentical means molecularly identical to the body’s natural hormones. Unlike conventional hormone replacement, BHRT applies testosterone produced from natural plant sources like yams and soybeans, which match human hormones molecule by molecule, alleviating risks and side effects that make synthetic chemical hormones problematic.
The only way to determine whether you need bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is through laboratory testing. There are specific lab panels we can order for you here at Novus to access your base hormone levels.
How is hormone level testing performed?
During your initial exam your healthcare provider will discuss your medical history, diet, lifestyle, and medication intake. A genital exam may help diagnose or rule out any possible underlying medical conditions that could be causing your symptoms. Then your provider will decide to do one of the following:
Before undergoing a blood test, tell your practitioner if you take any medications, as they may affect your results. Then he or she will insert a needle into your vein, withdrawn a blood sample, and send it to a lab for close analysis.
As the Harvard Medical website explains, determining if a man is truly testosterone deficient is far from simple. The blood test for total testosterone is not always reliable. Why? Your sex hormones in the bloodstream are 95-99% bound to carrier proteins, and in this form are unavailable to target tissues. A blood test may not detect them completely.
Saliva testing measures the amount of hormone available in the tissues your hormone is targeting – the bioavailable amount. That’s why saliva testing may better detect levels associated with the specific symptoms of hormone excess or deficiency. Saliva tests also help monitor hormone levels during hormone replacement therapy to help tweak them.
A growing body of evidence suggests that saliva tests can more accurately determine levels of the testosterone and DHEA (a precursor to male and female sex hormones, including androgens and estrogens).
This non-invasive sampling method requires patients to spit into a plastic tube and allows them to collect saliva at home at specific times to more accurately measure hormone levels.
Low testosterone results may lead your Happy Valley Clinic practitioner to other tests that help pinpoint a diagnosis, such as the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) test, which is an FDA approved urine test. FSH prompts the production of sperm in men.
After reviewing all lab results and determining your baseline hormone levels, your Happy Valley Clinic practitioner will determine whether bioidentical testosterone replacement is necessary. In some cases, it may not be; however, lifestyle and environmental factors may alter this need over time, so we recommend routine testing, along with a preventive health lifestyle to keep your hormones balanced and your health optimized.
What do your results mean?
What is a healthy testosterone range? That depends on your age, gender, and symptoms you’re trying to treat or prevent. It also depends on how well you tolerate the intensity levels of those symptoms.
Remember: results are not static. Your hormone levels fluctuate throughout the day. Level testing provides a starting point which helps determine next steps. Your Novus practitioner can help you interpret and act on your diagnosis.
As with any medical procedure, results and efficacy of testosterone level diagnosis vary from patient to patient, depending on age, genetics, environmental conditions, and other health factors.
How is bioidentical testosterone delivered?
Once you’re identified as a candidate for BHRT, your Novus practitioner will administer supplements via:
- implanted pellets under the skin
- troches (mints)
Your testosterone levels will be monitored during and after your treatment to ensure optimal health results and to minimize side effects. Because excessive testosterone levels can increase your blood pressure and potentially damage kidney function, speaking with our highly trained specialists throughout your treatment is absolutely crucial.
If you’re ready to take charge of your hormonal health, schedule a consultation at Happy Valley Clinic online or by phone today by calling (833)336-6386.