Male Hormones


Testosterone Balancing and Supplementation

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.

A man’s 50 sets of hormones act 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 RISE want to help tweak testosterone levels so it can harmonize with the rest of the body’s 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 our bodies, 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?

Warning signs of male testosterone imbalance include:

    • low libido
    • erectile dysfunction
    • infertility
    • low sperm count
    • loss of body hair
    • poor concentration and memory
    • depression
    • insomnia
    • decreased energy, motivation, or self-confidence
    • reduced physical performance and muscle mass
    • increased body fat

What do your results mean?

What is a healthy testosterone range? That depends on factors such as age, gender, and symptoms someone is trying to treat or prevent. It also depends on how well the intensity of those symptoms are tolerated.

Remember: results are not static. Hormone levels fluctuate throughout the day. Level testing provides a starting point which helps determine next steps. Our RISE practitioner can help you interpret and act on the 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, our RISE practitioner will administer supplements via:

    • implanted pellets under the skin
    • troches (mints)
    • pills
    • injections

Testosterone levels will be monitored during and after treatment to ensure optimal health results and minimize side effects. Because excessive testosterone levels can increase blood pressure and potentially damage kidney function, speaking with our highly trained specialists throughout treatment is absolutely crucial.

How is hormone level testing performed?

Laboratory testing is the only way to determine whether BHRT is needed. To assess base hormone levels, we will order specific lab panels. During the initial exam, the patient’s healthcare provider will discuss medical history, diet, lifestyle. Make sure to tell your practitioner if you take any medications, as they may affect your results. (feels important to keep it “you” in that last sentence)

A genital exam may help diagnose or rule out any possible underlying medical conditions that could be causing the symptoms. Then the provider will decide to do one of the following:

Blood test

A RISE hormone specialist will insert a needle into the vein, withdraw a blood sample, and send it to a lab for close analysis.

The blood test, however, is not always reliable in detecting all hormones. Why? 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 test

Saliva testing measures the amount of hormone available in the tissues the 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 testosterone and DHEA. 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.

Urine test

The RISE practitioner may administer an FDA-approved urine test called the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) test. FSH manages the menstrual cycle and menopause.

After reviewing all lab results and determining a baseline of hormone levels, the specialist will determine whether BHRT is needed. Even if it’s determined that it is needed at the moment, lifestyle and environmental factors may alter this need over time, so we recommend routine testing – and that means coming to every scheduled appointment.

Defining a healthy hormone balance will vary considering age, genetics, environmental conditions, other health factors and tolerance for the intensity of the symptoms. Hormone results are never static. They fluctuate throughout the week, even the day. Level testing provides a starting point which helps determine next steps. We’ll help interpret and act on the diagnosis using all of these tests to check progress – today and for the rest of the treatment cycle.

How does it work?

Following lab testing, the provider will review all of the results to determine if bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is necessary, in some cases it may not be. However, lifestyle and environmental factors may change this need over time, so routine testing, along with a preventive health lifestyle is recommended to keep hormones balanced and maintain optimal health.