Can Any Doctor Prescribe Testosterone?
Much of the credit is due to the phenomenon of andropause being more commonly understood as an abnormal process that requires treatment. In the past, declining levels of testosterone, known as Low T, that increased fatigue, lowered libido, etc. were taken to be symptoms and effects of the aging process.
Testosterone replacement therapy, though, has been proven to reduce these effects, and enhance the quality of life for aging adults. As more research is being conducted into the effects of testosterone therapy, doctors are being encouraged to dole out testosterone prescriptions on a more frequent basis.
However, testosterone replacement therapy is not without potential side effects. A good medical professional will always ensure that the patient undergoes a rigorous mental and physiological examination before testosterone prescriptions are handed out.
What does testosterone replacement therapy do?
Aging males, typically over the age of 40, can suffer from a condition known as hypogonadism. Andropause is characterized by this condition. Hypogonadism is understood as a condition where the body’s testosterone levels fall below the lower limit for adults. Patients suffering from hypogonadism experience mood swings, high levels of tiredness, reduced sex drives, erectile dysfunction, and lowered strength. Patients can also become more susceptible to disease, due to weakened immune systems.
Testosterone prescriptions have been known to counter many of these effects, when intake is monitored and controlled. Testosterone therapy causes increased calcium retention which translates to higher bone densities. Testosterone also induces the build-up lean muscle mass and the breakdown of adipose (fatty) tissue. Many patients have also remarked at huge improvements in their mental well-being. Patients have exclaimed how, along with their sex drive, their concentration levels and psychological outlook have greatly improved.
Why doctors may not hand out testosterone prescriptions
All these effects suggest that testosterone prescriptions are extremely beneficial to the aging male patient. However, testosterone therapy can have serious side effects on patients who have a history of heart disease, diabetes, and other physiological complications.
- Studies and research has shown that testosterone therapy has marked effects on lipid levels, blood sugar levels (through increased insulin sensitivity), and other processes. It is said that exogenously induced testosterone is known to improve cholesterol levels; however; some studies indicate that this may not be the case. Testosterone therapy stimulates the process of gluconeogenesis, and resultantly increases blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels could lead to heart attacks and other cardiovascular complications. Many aging adults suffer from high blood sugar levels. If this is the case, testosterone prescriptions would be unwise.
- The condition of polycythemia is characterized by an increase in the concentration of red blood cells, increased red blood cell mass, and high hemoglobin levels. The condition leads to high blood pressure levels, increasing the risk of heart disease and strokes. Patients suffering from high blood pressure levels should not undertake testosterone replacement therapy.
- Prostate disease is another giant problem among the aging populace. Prostate cancer is one of the most common diseases found in older men. Testosterone is a hormone that boosts cell reproduction. It is known to have the same effect on the prostate. This could lead to significant problems in urination, and more importantly, contribute to the build-up of tumors. While there is no conclusive evidence linking testosterone prescriptions to prostate cancer, doctors are discouraged from prescribing the treatment to someone with a prior history of prostate disease.
Testosterone replacement therapy is not meant for everyone. Doctors and medical professionals understand the degree of responsibility placed on their shoulders when they prescribe testosterone replacement therapy. Good medical professionals will conduct thorough examinations of the patient to ensure eligibility for the treatment. That being said, it is the responsibility of the patient to find specialist doctors that are knowledgeable about the treatment and its adverse effects.