By Dr. Richard Chern, MD
Testosterone shots for men have been used to treat testosterone deficiency for many years. There has also been a lot of bad press about using “testosterone” in men because previously, many men abused testosterone and later faced consequences such as heart attacks, strokes, pulmonary embolisms, sudden death and other health problems. We’ve all heard about “Roid Rage” and have seen reports of domestic abuse, murder and suicides all associated with testosterone. So how is it possible that testosterone is good?
There are several issues to keep in mind with testosterone use in the past. First, these issues often occurred with dosages as high as 20x the natural levels found in humans. Second, all of these reports are associated with the use of synthetic versions of testosterone. The medical community has known for decades that any synthetic testosterone is associated with adverse effects such as strokes, heart attacks, sudden death and more. This includes the most commonly prescribed testosterone cypionate. Third, breakdown products or metabolites of testosterone are also hormones that can have major effects on the body in both beneficial and detrimental ways. Many of the issues that occurred were because of over-dosing and a lack of understanding of the metabolism and full effects of synthetic testosterone in the body.
Many men use weekly testosterone cypionate injections to maintain their testosterone level. While this provides some benefit, most men complain about the common issues shots have. Shots are absorbed based on time rather than blood flow, so the first days after a shot are typically amazing and most guys feel like superman because of overly high levels. Unfortunately, this only lasts for a day or two and these overly high levels are not only bad for us but they also rapidly decrease. These days are typically followed by two days where guys feel good. Then, the last few days are nearly always nonproductive and include increasing moodiness, fatigue and a lack of desire to engage in the world. Next, because of these swings in testosterone, estrogen quickly becomes difficult to control. The hormonal ups and downs cause mood swings, tear-fullness, irritability, anger and other emotional disturbances. Levels on either side of optimal can cause erectile dysfunction so these swings often lead to additional medications such as anastrozole, Viagra, or other medications to control issues that just don’t happen with pellet therapy. Then, of course, there are the general issues of remembering to take your weekly injections, constantly going to the pharmacy, multiple doctor appointments, lab draws, etc.
With pellet therapy we see our guys about two times a year and once we get your dosing dialed in we only need labs once a year. Hormone levels are consistent every day and it’s unheard of to need additional medications once optimized. So, are you REALLY still happy with your testosterone shots?
Dr Richard Chern, MD and Sue Griffin, ARNP specialize in hormone therapy for both men and women. Dr Richard Chern, MD is the only BioTE Platinum provider in the area and has been providing BioTE hormone pellet therapy longer than any other provider in the region. He has been asked by BioTE to teach providers across the country on how to provide proper hormone therapy for both men and women. Dr Richard Chern, MD is currently accepting new patients so call today at 850-837-1271 for an appointment.