Why use testosterone after castration?Ã‚Â Firstly, let’s talk about the role of testosterone in humans, it’s the foundation of deciding upon testosterone replacement treatment.
Natural testosterone is a steroid hormone, normally produced by the Leydig cells in the testes of humans and animals. Females produce far less testosterone in their ovaries than males do in their testicles. The small amount of testosterone present in females does not have a masculinizing effect on them.
Testosterone increases libido and affects mood in both sexes. Testosterone is classiÃ¯Â¬Âed as an androgen (masculinizing substance).Ã‚Â Androgens control masculine secondary sex characteristics, like male
hair growth patterns (beard, armpits, chest and groin), deep voice, and male fat distribution.
Testosterone is crucial for the development and maintenance of the male sex organs (testes and penis). Testosterone is also an anabolic, meaning it encourages bulky, strong muscle growth. Testosterone has systemic anabolic effects. It inÃ¯Â¬â€šuences Ã¯Â¬â€šuid balance by making the male retain electrolytes (sodium, potassium, and chloride),Ã‚Â water, and nitrogen. Testosterone inÃ¯Â¬â€šuences bone growth by encouraging the retention of calcium and phosphate. Testosterone makes the skin more vascular and less fatty.
What are the side-effects of testosterone replacement therapy?
In order to work out whether testosterone hterapy is needed, who should take and it and who should NOT take it please see this blog post on the risks of testosterone use. Use in men after castration other diseases like prostate cancer are explained and it also runs through who should NOT take testosterone and the side effects.
Long term risks with testosterone replacement therapy are minimal, particularly in regard to the major concerns addressed above.
Side-effects from excessive testosterone dosing are noted, but such adverse reactions are extremely unlikely with testosterone cream or gel topical administration, the most commonly used forms of testosterone.
To produce enough testosterone, your body requires the:
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Minerals boron and zinc
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Vitamins A, B6, and C
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Branched Chain Amino-acids (BCAA) valine, isoleucine, and leucine
You can marginally increase your testosterone level with exercise. However, you may inadvertently lower your testosterone level by consuming foods containing too much protein and too few carbohydrates. If you go on a fad diet with too many carbs and too little fat, it can deplete testosterone.
Other factors that may lower testosterone levels include:
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Acute critical illness, burns, major trauma or surgery
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Drug use (e.g., opiates, glucocorticoids, anabolic steroids, some anticonvulsants)
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Chronic disease and its treatment
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Alcohol abuse
Most of the above cause an increase in Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG). SHBG is a transporter protein found in the blood. It acts as a carrier to move hormones around the body. Up to 99% of testosterone produced is bound to SHBG. Once bound to SHBG, the testosterone is inactive. Testosterone to which SHBG does not attach is the biologically available testosterone that is free to act on cells throughout the body.
Other BeneÃ¯Â¬Âts of Testosterone
Testosterone is the primary hormone responsible for sexual function, sexual motivation, sexual arousal and fantasy in men of all ages. Cancer patients who have had their testicles removed or suffered permanent and irreversible testicular damage due to chemotherapy or radiotherapy may use testosterone to compensate for the loss. Testosterone supplementation helps cancer survivors immensely,Ã‚Â but it also beneÃ¯Â¬Âts people with other conditions:
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Boys with genetic disorders that cause a delay in puberty, like Klinefelter syndrome
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Testosterone is responsible for maintaining muscle mass and muscle strength in athletes
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ AIDS patients often use testosterone to curtail unwanted weight loss and muscle wasting (cachexia)
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Testosterone plays a pivotal role in bone metabolism, especially for older men who take prednisone,
a steroid anti-inÃ¯Â¬â€šammatory.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Testosterone slows bone loss and builds replacement bone.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Testosterone exerts an strong influence on mood, energy levels, and concentration
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Androgen Deficient Ageing Males (ADAM) or late-onset hypogonadal males apply natural testosterone cream to combat their:
- Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Mood changes (fatigue, depression, anger)
- Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Decreased body hair (feminization)
- Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Decreased bone mineral density and possible resulting osteoporosis
- Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Decreased lean body mass and muscle strength
- Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Decreased libido and erectile quality
- Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Increased abdominal fat (lipodystrophy)
- Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Rudimentary breast development (man-boobs or gynecomastia)
- Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Low sperm in the semen
What about homeopathic treatment?
Homeopathy is a complementary therapy. Homeopaths claim that like cures like. Essentially, homeopaths believe that if a substance causes a disease, then you can cure it by taking a very minute, diluted amount of the same substance. Homeopathic treatments contain NO testosterone, nor have they been demonstrated to cause any change in testosterone levels. Testosterone is the worldwide gold standard for restoring male secondary sexual characteristics and treating androgen deficiency.
Who should not take testosterone?
Do not take testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) if you are a man with any of these pre-existing conditions:
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Known hypersensitivity or allergy to testosterone
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Existing or suspected cancer of the breast or prostate gland
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Severe heart, kidney, or liver disease
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Excessive calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia)
What precautions should I take?
When you are diagnosed and before the castration is performed, ask your doctor for a blood test for testosterone. The adult normal range isÃ‚Â 300 to 1,200 ng/dl or 10 to 35 nmol/L. It will be highest in the morning. You should target your hormone treatment to achieve this same level after you recover.
Ask for a copy of all your reports: Ultrasound, laboratory blood work, and pathology. If the diagnosis is Stage I nonseminomatous germ-cell cancer, then consult an oncologist, because you might be able to get away with close surveillance, rather than more surgery.
Before initiating TRT, your doctor should check for prostate abnormalities by means of a digital rectal examination (insertion of a gloved Ã¯Â¬Ânger through the anus and feeling the hardness of the prostate gland) and a blood test for Prostate SpeciÃ¯Â¬Âc Antigen (PSA). This is to ensure that youÃ‚Â do not have prostate cancer and that complications of the prostate should not arise due to testosterone usage. Testosterone should not be used if there is active prostate cancer or irregularities. During therapy, get a yearly PSA test for early detection of prostate cancer and a rectal examinationÃ‚Â of the prostate.
You need regular hemoglobin, hematocrit, liver function, and cholesterol tests and frequent monitoring by your doctor for the risks discussed above.
If you have chronic liver or kidney disease, then you should only use testosterone under strict medical supervision.
Which testosterone route is best for me?
If one Googles Ã¢â‚¬Å“natural testosterone creamÃ¢â‚¬Â or Ã¢â‚¬Å“testosterone gelÃ¢â‚¬Â there are dozens of products claiming to be the Ã¢â‚¬Å“bestÃ¢â‚¬Â and Ã¢â‚¬Å“authenticÃ¢â‚¬Â natural testosterone creams or gel. Just how does a man determine which product is most suited to his requirements? The following is an outlineÃ‚Â of basic manufacturing processes to help you decide. The three quality standards of natural testosterone cream are:
1. Pharmaceutical Grade: The manufacturer operates to international standards of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP). GMP means all production processes are standardized and controlled from the time the raw material is procured through to the expiry date printing on theÃ‚Â Ã¯Â¬Ânished product. The Australian government, like the U.S. and European regulators, enforces rigid government controls on the manufacturing facility and its equipment, processes, and packaging. AndroForteÃ‚Â® 2 and AndroForteÃ‚Â® 5 natural testosterone creams are guaranteed stable, effective, and potent. The Ã¯Â¬Ânal product has detailed documentation and is backed by clinical trials that substantiate its therapeutic claims.
2. Cosmetic Grade: This is the quality sold over-the-counter in drug, department and grocery stores. Cosmetic grade products are 70% pure. Often, brand-names have exactly the same ingredients as generics, just with a different label. Cosmetic grade products are allowed a high bacterial content, so their shelf-life is very limited (usually 3 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 6 months). Cosmetic manufacturers are not requiredÃ‚Â to register their products with the government because cosmetic products do not require clinical trials to prove their worth.
3. Compounded Product: Natural health products from pharmacists, herbalists, homeopaths, naturopaths, and practitioners of traditional Indian and Chinese medicines are compounded. This means the product is tailored to the patientÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s individual needs in the delivery system most desired. Pharmacists compound drugs that are not commercially available, or in a different strength than that readily available. A compounded product may be needed to make a drug palatable. A compounded product may be needed if the patient reacts to dyes, preservatives, and allergens found in commercial products. Compounded products do not undergo any form of productionÃ‚Â control, concentration, impurity, stability or efÃ¯Â¬Âcacy testing. Safe shelf- life is usually extremely short, if at all known. Compounded items are time-consuming to make, so generally they are more expensive.
The information in this article has been taken with permission from the official Lawley booklet onÃ‚Â Understanding Castration.