Low testosterone can lead to weight gain, changes in mood, decreased energy levels and a reduction in libido. What's more important is this: Many women suffer from low testosterone and this condition is missed by most physicians. As a result it becomes very important for you to understand the signs and symptoms of low testosterone to determine if you would benefit from replacement.
In this article I'm going to go over why testosterone cream may be one of the best ways to replace low testosterone levels and all of the benefits that you may experiencing during replacement. Why you should consider Testosterone Replacement Therapy Both men and women have and need adequate levels of testosterone.
While men do have more testosterone than women, that doesn't mean that testosterone isn't important for women. Women with low testosterone get many of the SAME symptoms that men get when they have low testosterone.
To see a full list of therapies that can help improve libido and increase sex drive please read this post. May improve overall mood, reduce depressive symptoms and reduce irritability Do you feel yourself getting more irritable as you age? Or that you can't control your emotions as well as you used to? Some of this change may be related to low testosterone levels.
Studies have shown that replacing low testosterone levels can act as an anti-depressant. May help increase lean muscle mass and increase metabolism Supplementing to normal and healthy testosterone levels has been shown to increase lean muscle mass in both men and women.
First an increase in lean muscle mass helps with weight loss by increasing your metabolism. Everyone is looking to shed a couple extra pounds and increasing your metabolism is one way to do this. A higher metabolism means it takes more energy at rest to eat, breath and sleep.
Much of this metabolism is mediated through your muscle mass. One symptom of muscle mass is "loose skin", especially in the upper arm area. As muscle mass declines termed sarcopenia and your muscle mass shrinks your body will replace that excess space with subcutaneous fat.
This process may result in sagging skin. Reduced muscle mass leads to higher frequency in falls, inability to maintain balance and weight gain. Giving you more than just 1 reason to build those muscles up.
Most women tend to gain weight during menopause sometimes as much as 15 pounds and this weight gain is felt to be caused by changes in hormone levels. Although testosterone also alters energy levels and helps women stay up and active.
There are several factors to consider when replacing testosterone levels and different vehicles to make it happen. Some methods are definitely better than others so it's worth discussing each in detail and giving pros and cons of each. You can then use this as a general guide to determine which form of testosterone will be best for you.
This is especially important with testosterone: In the female body testosterone is produced by the ovaries and the adrenal glands. This hormone is then dumped directly into the blood stream avoiding the GI tract where it hits target tissues and exerts its effects. This should be compared to taking testosterone or any other hormone in a pill or capsule. By taking it by mouth the hormone is absorbed through the GI tract where it hits the liver and is metabolized FIRST before it can hit all of your target tissues.
This phenomenon is well known and called the first pass effect or first pass metabolism This reduces the potency of the hormone and also may cause dangerous side effects due to potentially harmful breakdown products in the liver. Who should use testosterone cream? Attempting testosterone cream for at least months and checking blood tests at the week mark will allow for adequate time to determine if it is working for you.
Pros and cons of using Testosterone cream: Using injections is worth considering in the following circumstances: Pellets are surgically implanted pellets that contain a high dose of hormones that slowly dissolves over months.
Because of this mechanism there is far less control over dosing meaning that the dose tends to be either too high causing negative side effects or too low failing to cause positive side effects.
Couple this concern with the fact that you need to undergo a surgical incision to place it in your body and pellets look even worse. The problem with hormones is that most physicians are not trained on how to replace hormone imbalances and so they don't appreciate their importance or the benefit they may provide. As a result it's usually better to look for a physician who specializes in hormone replacement therapy for the best results. To diagnose low testosterone you need to check the following labs: Free testosterone optimal ranges for both below Total testosterone Ordering the right tests is only half the battle, the other half is understanding how to interpret them correctly.
To illustrate this I've included an example of real lab results below This case is typical and very obvious. The total testosterone is low at less than 3 with a range of The DHEA another androgen is also low at On the other hand, some patients have what is referred to as "sub optimal" hormone levels that still technically fall within the "normal" range.
In this example the free testosterone is sub optimal at 0. The reason is simple: If you have one hormone imbalances, you are much more likely to have other hormone imbalances as well. Because of this you should consider getting a complete hormone panel to ensure proper treatment.
I recommend the following labs: If you have other questions please feel free to ask them in the comments below and I will be sure to update this list as well. Any area with high vascularity and low subcutaneous fat will work well, but remember you should not use multiple hormones on the same area of skin.
Testosterone can also be applied vaginally assuming your formulation won't burn or cause problems and may be very beneficial especially if you are suffering from low libido or low sex drive.
You should notice improvement in your symptoms within weeks of starting testosterone replacement therapy. In some cases women continue to experience slight benefits over the next several months, and some symptoms take time like building muscle mass , but energy levels and libido should increase within weeks. Is it dangerous or are there any side effects? Testosterone replacement is generally well tolerated. Symptoms usually occur if the dose of testosterone is too high.
If they occur with testosterone pellets then they may take months to improve. Side effects from testosterone shots should improve within 7 days. The reason for this is the absorption of testosterone depends on the individual, how quickly they metabolize the testosterone and how much their body actually needs.
When diagnosing low testosterone it's best to use a combination of lab tests plus symptoms. Remember to use the "optimal" ranges vs the standard "normal" ranges when determining both if and how much testosterone you may need.
Now it's your turn: Are you currently using testosterone gel or cream? Is it working for you? Why or why not?