Available options to stimulate the natural production of testosterone in men, without replacement.
Our practice (BioBalance Health) is a hormone replacement practice that specializes in the replacement of hormones lost as the body ages. We focus our attention primarily on men and women who are in their forties and fifties and older. However, there are some younger men who need our help because their bodies are not making the appropriate and healthy amount of testosterone. We look carefully at these men and see if we can do something to stimulate the natural production of adequate amounts of testosterone without replacement. We do not want to stop their bodies’ natural processes; we want to enhance them. This is possible in men under 50 but is generally possible in men who are under 50. That is why we replace instead of stimulate T production in aging men.
Currently, there are increasing numbers of men who are experiencing the symptoms of low T at a younger age and the appropriate treatment for them is to stimulate their own production of T, with medication, instead of shutting their own production down and replacing their Testosterone like we do in aging men.
If a man gets replacement testosterone then his own testosterone stops being made, leading to questions about the best way forward when treating the loss of Testosterone. Replacement of T in young men can suppress fertility, can scar the testicles and make it impossible for them to restart their testosterone on their own. Some young men can return to their baseline of T production after T replacement and some cannot. This is why we attempt stimulation in young men before ever replacing their T.
In the last few months the US federal government has ended the ability of men to receive compounded HCG, a medicine with few side effects which mimics the hormones made from the pituitary LH and FSH, and stimulates the testes to make more testosterone, and when compounded is affordable. This drug has mysteriously been banned by governmental agencies by preventing compounding pharmacies from making it. This leaves young men and the doctors taking care of them from treating them in the most conservative manner.
Doctors who take care of these men have lost their most effective tool. The government just banned its use, without public information to explain why. So, for us, it is back to the drawing board. What can we do to appropriately provide the necessary testosterone for these men?
First, let’s look at the symptoms of low Testosterone:
- Low libido
- Poor ejaculation
- Lack of sexual climax
- Loss of muscle mass strength and stamina
- Loss of ability to think
- Belly fat and weight gain
- Hair loss
- Loss of body hair
- Joint pain
It is important to note that the treatment for low T we are talking about is for young men who still have responsive testicles that make more T when exposed to more LH and FSH prom the pituitary. Older men must have their T replaced because stimulatory medications rarely stimulate the testicles as age makes them resistant to stimulatory drugs. Most men over 50 must have their T replaced, since they do not make enough naturally, and stimulation doesn’t work.
Because doctors can no longer acquire HCG to help these young men, we must turn to other medicines which can stimulate the production of testosterone. So now we are using alternate drugs Clomid, Arimidex, Anastrazole and Dutasteride instead. These drugs are much more expensive than HCG, and the side effect profile of them is higher, and the effectiveness is lower than HCG was.
Interestingly, the FDA has just approved a new HCG drug that is meant for infertility and it is very expensive! By eliminating the competition, the very wealthy will be able to afford it! Not fair!
What we know is that we can do some things to encourage the production of testosterone naturally when the body begins to stop making it. But the process is expensive, and we are not allowed to utilize the most efficient and cost -effective drugs. We are not told why, but our patients still need help and we try to find ways to provide that help. The focus of our practice is not on young men in particular, but they do come to us for help, and we will try to find ways to treat them and help them become more healthy and functional, in spite of the efforts of the federal government to prevent our ability to do so. We have to utilize informed consent in order to help them, as they need to know the side effects that are possible if they receive this treatment and they need to know the benefit/cost ratio for living without testosterone or trying to stimulate the body to make an adequate and functional amount.
This Health cast was written and presented by Dr. Kathy Maupin, M.D., Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Expert and Author, with Brett Newcomb, MA., LPC., Family Counselor, Presenter and Author. www.BioBalanceHealth.com.