What is Low T? (Testosterone)
Low-T is also known as hypogonadism, which happens when a man does not have enough testosterone in his body. Testosterone is the sex hormone that helps boys grow into men. Millions of men use a prescription testosterone gel or injection to restore normal levels of the manly hormone. We strongly believe in testosterone replacement treatment, but we want to make sure we understand each patient’s symptoms and health issues. We check current testosterone thoroughly and responsibly before recommending testosterone replacement as a cure all. Testosterone is a hormone made by the body and is responsible for the normal growth and development of the male sex organs and for maintenance of other sexual characteristics. In men, testosterone is produced in the testes, the reproductive glands that also produce sperm. The amount of testosterone produced by the testes is regulated by the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland. Some effects of testosterone may include the following:
A. More specific symptoms and signs
- Growth and maturation of prostate, and other male sex organs
- Development of male hair distribution such as facial hair
- Changes in body muscle mass and strength and fat distribution
- Mood and energy level
- Bone strength
- Reduced sexual desire (libido) and activity
- Decreased spontaneous erections
- Breast discomfort, gynecomastia
- Height loss, low trauma fracture, low bone mineral density
- Hot flushes, sweats
Results vary by patient
B. Other less specific symptoms and signs
- Decreased energy, motivation, initiative, and self – confidence
- Feeling sad or blue, depressed mood, dysthymia
- Poor concentration and memory
- Sleep disturbance, increased sleepiness
- Mild anemia
- Reduced muscle bulk and strength
- Increased body fat, body mass index
- Diminished physical or work performance
Results vary by patient
It’s not all about the T: Our primary focus during the patient visit is low Testosterone and we truly believe in the importance of treating the low T patient, but we also know that there may be additional underlying causes of a patient’s condition. Each patient receives a complete wellness screening that is reviewed by the medical staff. Through this comprehensive screening, we are able to detect additional health concerns and formulate a more personalized wellness plan.
- Clinical environment: Your arrival at PicMed is inconspicuous as you will be entering a medical clinic that specializes in a wide variety of services. Unlike men’s clinics or Low T centers, PicMed patients enter our doors for services ranging from physicals, vaccinations, weight loss, occupational health, and more.
- Thorough: We don’t make cursory medical decisions based on the results of a single, instant test. We provide a lab draw that will address all of your low T needs as well as a comprehensive wellness profile for the treatment of non-testosterone related conditions.
- Affordable: We file insurance for those that clinically qualify for Testosterone replacement therapy. However, for those just outside of clinical ranges or whom have high deductibles, we have affordable options that are inclusive of all injection, lab, and visit fees. The costs for ongoing treatment are generally 25%-50% lower than most of our competitors.
- Convenient: You can receive your initial screening at one of our facilities, 6 days a week or if preferred, you can schedule one of our nurses to come to your workplace to perform this 15 minute screening. This quick but comprehensive screening will allow the medical staff to more accurately determine your Testosterone treatment plan (not based on a single test) and insurance eligibility (cannot determine insurance benefits without full lab results).
How do I know if testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is right for me?
If you are having one or more of the symptoms of low-T, it is important to make sure you have low-T and not another condition. Many of the symptoms for low-T can be the result of other health problems. For example, erectile dysfunction (ED) may be caused by poor cardiovascular health instead of low-T. TRT can help men with low-T, but you should not be taking TRT if you do not have low levels of testosterone. Before you take TRT, a doctor or medical practitioner who is skilled in diagnosing low-T should examine you carefully. You should not be prescribed TRT without an in-depth health history, a physical exam and blood tests. Someone knowledgeable about hypogonadism should talk to you about the possible benefits, side effects, and risks before you start taking TRT. Only then should you decide whether TRT is right for you.
Side Effects and Risks
The medically monitored aspects of PicMed’s Testosterone replacement therapy helps to reduce or do away with any side effects related to the process. Additionally, the monitoring aspect helps mitigate the risks involved in TRT. Most men experience no noticeable side effects and the risks are minimal at best but it is important to know them regardless.
- Increased red blood cell production which can lead to unnecessary clotting. However, these levels are monitored and maintained throughout the treatment process.
- Worsening of obstructive urinary conditions such as frequency of urination, bladder emptying, and decreased force of urination.
- Prostate cancer risk: Although there has been discussion regarding the link between Low T treatments and prostate cancer, more thorough and recent studies indicate that there is no discernible link, hence no risk, for developing prostate cancer.
- Fluid retention as evidenced by swelling of the lower legs.
- Increased acne
- Breast enlargement and tenderness
- Testosterone replacement can cause the body to stop producing certain hormones necessary for sperm production.
What else should I know about TRT?
It is important to talk our medical staff about the benefits and risks of taking testosterone replacement therapy. Our patients are required to follow up with blood tests for testosterone level, PSA and hematocrit. PSA is a test for prostate issues, including prostate cancer, and hematocrit measures how many red blood cells you have. Based on your health history, our team may want to follow up with other tests.
What is the cost of testosterone replacement therapy at PicMed Wellness?
Most Insurance is accepted, in which case you are responsible for any applicable deductibles or co-pays under the terms of your health insurance policy. Filling out this Insurance Verification Form will enable us to verify your benefit and eligibility for treatment with your insurance company. In some cases, however, we feel that in order to offer our patients the best care, we have had to remove the restrictions that can be placed on a provider and patient when dealing with PPOs and HMOs Also, deductibles, co-pays, and red tape result in many of our patients opting for self pay. For patients choosing a self pay option, testosterone, replacement therapy cost $289.00 per month, which includes necessary office visits, any lab work, and injection therapy. *$289. per month is a discounted “self pay” price due at the time of service, and which reflects administrative savings due to reduced costs of insurance claims processing and associated overhead cost.
PicMed Wellness process offers a complete initial screening which includes testing for :
- A1c – The A1C blood test result reflects your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months and is used to diagnose type I or II diabetes.
- CBC – A complete blood count (CBC) is a blood test used to evaluate your overall health and detect a wide range of disorders, including anemia, infection and leukemia.A complete blood count test measures several components and features of your blood, including:· Red blood cells, which carry oxygen · White blood cells, which fight infection · Hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells · Hematocrit, the proportion of red blood cells to the fluid component, or plasma, in your blood · Platelets, which help with blood clotting
- CMP – A comprehensive metabolic panel is a group of blood tests. They provide an overall picture of your body’s chemical balance and metabolism. Metabolism refers to all the physical and chemical processes in the body that use energy.
- Free Testosterone – Testosterone is the portion of total testosterone that is available for use in a person’s body. It is important to regulate this level along with TT for TRT to achieve optimal results.
- FSH – The Follicle Stimulating Hormone is produced in the pituitary gland and stimulates the production of sperm.
- LH – The Luteinizing hormone in men stimulates certain cells in the testes to produce testosterone.
- Lipid panel – The lipid panel test for levels of total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides. Irregular cholesterol levels can indicate heart disease.
- SHBG – Sex Hormone Binding Globulin is a protein found in the blood that can bind to Testosterone and render it inactive and useless to the body. Often, high SHBG levels will coincide with low Free T levels.
- Total Testosterone – Total testosterone is the sum total of all Testosterone, free or otherwise, that is in the body. Testosterone is the primary hormone responsible for the development and retention of male-like characteristics.
GE InBody’s Body Composition – GE Healthcare’s InBody bio-impedance is one of the only devices that measure leg, arm and belly fat. The Inbody is used currently used by federal government agencies, the armed forces, and Division 1 collegiate athletic programs, PGA golfers , and professional athletes. The Inbody measures body water, lean muscle mass, body fat mass, Skeletal Muscle Mass, Body Mass Index, Percentage Body Fat, and Distribution of Lean Body Mass through 5 different Areas of your body.
While most TRT clinics offer a quick instant testosterone screening without looking at other medical reasons for symptoms, our process involves a more comprehensive lab based screening. If your test indicates your testosterone levels are below clinically acceptable levels, the medical professionals at PicMed Wellness will discuss your individual treatment options. You will then return every 7-14 days to receive your booster injection. Each subsequent visit takes about 5-10 minutes.
What are the advantages of testosterone injections versus other replacement methods such as patches or gels?
The proper method of testosterone delivery for you is a matter for your health care provider to determine. However, there can be a risk of unintentional transmittal to children or others with whom you may have physical contact with the use of gels. Testosterone patches can create a significant rash at the site of application. The providers PicMed Wellness generally employ intramuscular testosterone injections because of their clinical effectiveness and convenience.
**Individual Results vary. Discuss this information with your own physician or healthcare provider to determine what is right for you. All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. The information contained herein is presented in summary form only and intended to provide broad consumer understanding and knowledge. The information should not be considered complete and should not be used in place of a visit, call, consultation or advice of your physician or other health care provider. Only a qualified physician in your state can determine if you qualify for and should undertake treatment.**