Testosterone Restoration Vs.Testosterone Replacement -- By Dr. Stephen Stevenson
At Atma Clinic, we deal with male hypogonadism (low testosterone levels accompanied by low testosterone signs and symptoms) through Testosterone Restoration rather than merely using Testosterone Replacement Therapy.
The difference between the two is that Testosterone Restoration focuses on the underlying cause of hypogonadism, which can frequently be found in lifestyle behaviors, such as diet, activity, and unaddressed stress. If lifestyle behaviors do not appear to be causing hypogonadism, then we look for and address other metabolic issues that might be involved, such as undiagnosed asymptomatic infections or other hormonal imbalances.
When we cannot determine the underlying cause of the hypogonadism or when the client is not interested in making the necessary lifestyle changes to address the problem, we proceed with Testosterone Replacement Therapy. This type of therapy involves taking supplements or a prescription testosterone product to improve the testosterone level. We prefer to determine the underlying cause of hypogonadism because, regardless of how well we manage Testosterone Replacement Therapy, we still cannot do it as effectively and safely as Mother Nature does when our bodies are functioning optimally.
When testosterone is restored through prescription medication, it is usually given at a steady dose based on a relatively small number of blood levels of testosterone, plus clinical symptoms. However, when testosterone levels are restored naturally, the body automatically adjusts testosterone levels continuously, depending on the individual’s specific circumstances and needs.
Most pharmaceuticals have potential side effects, and testosterone is no exception. I spent three years exclusively treating males with hypogonadism and commonly had to deal with several of the possible side effects of Testosterone Replacement Therapy. While the list of potential complications for Testosterone Replacement Therapy is relatively long, I found three particular side effects were relatively common. I will discuss these and their possible workarounds in future blogs, so stay tuned.
Dr. Stephen Stevenson is a Functional Medicine physician with decades of experience. Find out more about him here (http://atmaclinic.com/practitioners) and call us for your first (free) visit at 785/760-0695.