Low Testosterone (Low-T) (cont.)
What is the treatment for low testosterone?
In males, the treatment for low-T is based on two approaches.
- If there are underlying causes for low-T (for example, HIV, tumors, chemotherapy, diabetes, obesity), the doctor should begin individualized treatment for these underlying causes.
- The low-T levels can be supplemented by hormones prescribed by a doctor. Expert recommendations vary on when to treat with hormones; some suggest treatment if levels are at 300ng/dl while others recommend starting treatment if levels are at 230 ng/dl. Although researchers suggest about 70% of men aged 70 and above have low-T, some researchers suggest that hormone treatment may not be effective in this age group. However, when prescribed, hormone therapy (testosterone) can be given in an injection, on a skin patch, in a gel put on the skin, or as an oral gel or putty applied to the gums.
In the US, there is no FDA approved method for testosterone replacement in females. However, some
doctors may still prescribe some form of testosterone to females, but the efficacy and safety of this treatment has not been proven.
Use of topical hormones should be done with care. Women should not come in contact with the skin area treated with the absorbable testosterone as the hormone may be absorbed through their skin, too. This could cause women to develop male characteristics.
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