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Should You Use A Testosterone Supplement or Patch?

Updated on June 13, 2014

Blood Test By Laboratory

Blood test for testosterone levels is important as well as tests for other organ functions
Blood test for testosterone levels is important as well as tests for other organ functions | Source

Get a blood test

Published January 6, 2014, by Mary McShane

Testosterone products are all over the media, catering to audiences of all ages and reaping high sales for both big Pharma and supplement companies.

Men want them, need them, or covet them.

Women think they want them, need them, or they tell the man in their life they should be taking them.

Who really needs to supplement their testosterone?

It all boils down to getting a blood test first to get a baseline Testosterone level. You may not even need the Testosterone boost. Without testing, taking a supplement could be toxic, especially if you have liver or kidney problems.

Only a physician can accurately read your test results (along with other blood tests he will order, especially a Vitamin D3 level) to determine if you need to be supplemented by testosterone. It comes in a variety of forms so you are not limited to taking a pill or injection.

Symptoms of Low Testosterone

Men with below-normal testosterone blood levels often have:

  1. little interest in sex
  2. muscle weakness
  3. depression
  4. erectile dysfunction
  5. waist weight gain
  6. tiredness
  7. fatigue
  8. sometimes small or soft testicles.

Symptoms & Treatment

Testosterone Poll

After reading the symptoms here, do you think you might have low testosterone?

See results

Instant Transformation Expectations

Many men feel that if they take the drug on their own and not under the care of a physician that it will instantly make them a lady's man, boosting their libido so they can have more sex and for longer periods.

Unfortunately this is not always the case. Testosterone needs to be given in a controlled dosage and monitored by your physician.

Like Viagra, these types of drugs are very easy to acquire in the USA and abroad. Taking them without some professional guidance can be dangerous.

Results of Testosterone Therapy

Warning For Women & Children

Women should never touch the testosterone pill, patch, gel, cream or any bed linen/bath linen that has come into contact with testosterone products. Thoroughly clean the shower or bathtub before use. Discard towels and washcloths to be laundered and use new clean linens for yourself.

If a person in your household uses testosterone, get in the habit of keeping separate items for your own use, including bar soaps, shampoo/conditioner, toothpaste, mouthwash (men notoriously drink from the bottle), etc.

Store your vitamins and supplements in a separate cabinet, but never in the bathroom where steam and humidity can cause moisture buildup which will cause the product to lose potency.

Coming into contact with testosterone or items that are touched by testosterone can make women develop side effects like:

  1. hair growth in places on the body that did not have hair before
  2. develop skin problems like acne
  3. bone density loss so that bones break easily

In children, testosterone makes their bones mature quickly.

Resources

Here is a great blog to give you a primer on testosterone tests, the results and a little bit of history. It will also explain why lab results vary by the laboratory and what the reference numbers mean.

Enjoy!

Testosterone, Free, and Total, LC/MS/MS

For Newborns

The test is used to diagnose lack of sexual development, as in infants with ambiguous genitalia

While in the uterus, testosterone is needed for the male genitals to develop, usually 46 XY chromosomes for males. In females, there will be little to no testosterone. Male newborns with hypogonadism might exhibit micropenis which left untreated can cause infertility and difficulty urinating.

Boys and Men

The test is primarily used to diagnose testicular failure: hypogonadism, early or delayed puberty and to monitor testosterone replacement or testosterone levels while receiving replacement therapy. In primary hypogonadism, the LH and FSH are elevated. In secondary hypogonadism, the levels are decreased.

It is normal for testosterone levels to decrease as men get older. The Free testosterone test shows more sensitivity than the Total testosterone test when the doctor is looking for hypogonadism.

Girls and Women

This test is used to diagnose hyperandrogenism, to support or rule out androgen-secreting tumors. Excess androgen production in girls and women presents as early appearance of pubic hair and other body areas - usually before age 8. Excess androgen production also includes severe acne, hirsuitism (excessive body hair) and amenorrhea.

Mediterranean Diet Info

Sample of Mediterranean diet
Sample of Mediterranean diet | Source
Mediterranean diet pyramid
Mediterranean diet pyramid | Source

Foods That Might Increase Testosterone Levels

If you don't want to use synthetic methods of getting your testosterone, there is a natural way to still get testosterone into your body.

Food.

1. Add Garlic. Increasing your intake of Garlic by supplements or freshly added to your food increases your testosterone levels and the weight of testicles.

2. Add more beans to your diet. Beans are high in zinc and zinc increases your natural testosterone and lowers the estrogen in your blood.

3. Eat more Vitamin A foods (yellow and orange foods) like carrots, squash, eggs, sweet potatoes and cantaloupe. If you don't like those foods, you can take a supplement.

4. Follow the Mediterranean Diet which includes nuts, beef, whole grains, fruits, extra virgin olive oil, red wine, certain fats from food, and vegetables. Healthy fats include polyunsaturated and mono-saturated fats. This type of diet decreases risk of cancer and heart conditions. Read labels for cholesterol so you stay under 300mg cholesterol per day from the total of all meals and snacks. Beef is high in cholesterol, so moderation in portions and cuts of beef is recommended.

5. Increase your Vitamin D3 intake. First ask for a blood test to determine your base Vitamin D3 level before starting to take the supplement. Studies show up to 10,000 IU per day significantly increase testosterone levels. Foods that are high in Vitamin D are milk, fish (tuna, salmon, sardines), egg yolks, cheese, beef liver, and mushrooms.

Dr. Oz Talks About Rumors & Myths About Testosterone

There are lots of rumors you may have heard but well known medical authority Dr. Oz can put them to rest.

Here are his answers to popular questions about the myths of testosterone:

http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/truth-about-testosterone?page=2

Here Are The Vitamin Supplements That Dr Oz Takes

Medical Disclaimer: The information in this article is intended solely for the general information for the reader. This article is not to be used to diagnose health problems or for treatment purposes. It is not a substitute for medical care. Please consult a licensed and qualified health professional before starting any new regimen for supplementing testosterone.

© Mary McShane

© 2014 Mary McShane

Comments

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  • Mary McShane profile imageAUTHOR

    Mary McShane 

    4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    @PegCole17

    The more people know, the better they will be able to protect themselves. Thank you for your comment. :)

  • PegCole17 profile image

    Peg Cole 

    4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

    So many commercials on testosterone supplements blazing across the TV screen at all hours, it is no surprise that men are questioning their levels. Truly, it's not only about libido, but overall energy levels, fatigue and depression that are prevalent with low readings. Your caution about keeping laundry items and even soap items separate from a supplement user is important information to know.

  • Mary McShane profile imageAUTHOR

    Mary McShane 

    4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    @Ghaelach.

    LOL @ giving the docs a miss. I'll work on an update about other uses, after I get done the project I'm presently working on. Thank you for coming by to read and comment. :).

  • profile image

    Ghaelach 

    4 years ago

    Hi Mary.

    I'm a bit like Bill and I take enough pills for my ailments as it is, but the eating side of it sounds good.

    Great hub and you know the doctors will be full of men checking their Testosterone levels when they've read this hub. Bill and myself will be giving the Doc's a miss.

    Have a nice day.

    LOL Ghaelach

    Europe 5:40pm

  • Mary McShane profile imageAUTHOR

    Mary McShane 

    4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    @billybuc - Testosterone has many other uses, over and above what I cited in this hub re: erectile dysfunction and libido.

    Low-dose supplemental testosterone given to men with chronic angina has been shown to reduce exercise-induced myocardial ischemia (chest pain resulting from poor blood flow to the heart).

    Here's a short paragraph from NIH stating results of study. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11034937/

    Men who have concentration and memory problems, or have age related depression have shown promising results when treated with low doses of testosterone.

    I once told a male patient who presented with depression, fatigue and concentration problems that I want to test his levels of testosterone. Oh, the look I got for that one! He came into the clinic with one problem and got tested for a whole different area! More often than not, cases like those were low in the hormone.

    I'll plan another hub soon in the other uses for not only testosterone but other hormones as well. I have to come up with a catchy hub title to attract reader attention. Maybe using keywords like hormones and sex. lol Thanks for reading. :)

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 

    4 years ago from Olympia, WA

    I didn't know this was such a popular thing to do. I don't think it applies to me but quite honestly, at 65, I'm not sure I would really care about the supplement. Very interesting read, Mary; thanks for the information.

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