When Your Get Up and Go Has Got Up and Gone
Do you wake up feeling exhausted before your day has even begun? Has your motivation and drive diminished, leaving you feeling like a shadow of your former energetic self? Plummeting energy levels and zest for life can affect both men and women as they get older, often signaling declining testosterone levels.
The good news is that research shows testosterone therapy may help reinvigorate your get up and go. However, if you’re a woman or man with a history of breast cancer, the commonly prescribed testosterone-blocking drug Arimidex may dampen the benefits.
In this article, we’ll explore the science linking low testosterone to low energy, whether testosterone therapy offers a real solution, and what it could mean for Arimidex users. You’ll learn practical strategies to naturally boost energy and rediscover your zest for life.
What Happens When You Take Testosterone?
Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone that gives men their masculine traits and characteristics. As men age, testosterone production begins to decline, leading to unwelcome symptoms like low energy, diminished sex drive, erectile dysfunction, loss of muscle mass, weight gain, and mood disturbances.
To relieve these symptoms, men can take prescription testosterone in different forms – injections, gels, patches or pellets implanted under the skin. This testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) aims to return testosterone levels back to a healthy normal range.
However, there is an important complication to understand. Introducing additional testosterone into the body can lead to higher estrogen levels. Here’s why:
1. Testosterone Converts to Estrogen
You might be surprised to learn that estrogen plays an important role in men’s health. We typically think of estrogen as a “female” hormone. But men produce estrogen too at much lower levels than women. Like everything in the body, it needs to be balanced.
In men, a small amount of the circulating testosterone gets converted into estrogen by an enzyme called aromatase. Estrogen is important for bone health, libido, mental clarity and cardiovascular function in both sexes.
The aromatase enzyme is found in different places throughout the body – including the testes, adipose (fat) tissue, skin and brain. The testosterone that gets converted into estrogen is called “estradiol”.
When men take prescribed testosterone therapy, there is more testosterone available floating around the body. Some of that additional testosterone makes its way to aromatase enzymes and gets converted into estrogen.
2. Too Much Estrogen Causes Problems
In small amounts, estrogen serves important purposes in men. But too much estrogen from testosterone therapy can lead to troubling side effects including:
- Gynecomastia – breast tissue enlargement in men
- Weight gain and fluid retention
- Mood disturbances – depression, anxiety, irritability
- Erectile dysfunction
- Decreased sex drive
- The testicles shrinking
Additionally, excess estrogen may cause your testosterone therapy to be less effective, as high estrogen counteracts the effects of testosterone.
To prevent elevated estrogen and maintain healthy testosterone-to-estrogen balance, many men are prescribed aromatase inhibitors along with TRT.
That’s where Arimidex comes in. Let’s look closer at how this medication works.
Understanding How Arimidex Works
Arimidex (chemical name anastrozole) belongs to a class of drugs called aromatase inhibitors. These medications work by blocking the aromatase enzyme and preventing the conversion of testosterone into estrogen.
Specifically, Arimidex binds competitively to the aromatase enzyme and interferes with its activity. Less aromatase activity means less testosterone gets converted into estrogen. Doctors may prescribe a low dose of Arimidex, taken 1-2 times per week, to keep estrogen levels from getting too high in men undergoing testosterone replacement therapy.
Monitoring estrogen levels through blood testing allows physicians to adjust the Arimidex dosage to achieve ideal hormonal balance.
Benefits of Arimidex With Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Taking Arimidex in conjunction with testosterone replacement provides several advantages:
|Increases Free Testosterone||Lower estrogen equals higher free testosterone circulating in your body. Preventing the conversion to estrogen helps ensure treatment is getting fully utilized.|
|Relieves Estrogen Dominance Side Effects||Excess estrogen can sabotage the benefits of TRT. Arimidex helps relieve issues like fluid retention, breast enlargement, low libido and erectile dysfunction caused by too much estrogen.|
|Supports Healthy Bone Density||Estrogen plays a role in bone health. Arimidex helps maintain normal bone density by keeping estrogen in the ideal range – not too high or low.|
|Boosts Energy and Sex Drive||With testosterone-to-estrogen levels optimized, many men feel increased energy, stamina and libido.|
|Reduces Bloating||Lower circulating estrogen can relieve water retention and bloating. This also supports burning fat and building lean muscle.|
|Elevates Mood||Estrogen impacts neurotransmitters like serotonin. Arimidex can improve mood, mental clarity and motivation in men who tend to aromatize testosterone into estrogen.|
Controlling estrogen levels with Arimidex can also make TRT more comfortable by reducing breast tenderness and nipple sensitivity. Overall, adding Arimidex allows men to fully realize the advantages of testosterone therapy like increased energy, better sexual function, muscle growth and fat loss.
What’s the Best Dosage for Arimidex With TRT?
The most common starting dosage of Arimidex for men undergoing testosterone replacement therapy is 0.5mg taken twice per week. That’s one 0.5mg tablet every 3-4 days.
The ideal dosage varies by individual. Your doctor will monitor your lab work and symptoms and titrate the Arimidex dose accordingly. Typical dosing ranges from 0.5mg to 1mg administered 1-2 times per week. The goal is to keep estrogen lowered, but not crash below normal levels.
Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, you receive the personalized Arimidex dosage that brings your hormones into optimal balance. This prevents unwanted side effects of testosterone therapy.
Your doctor will continue checking blood levels of testosterone, estrogen, and the ratio between the two to make adjustments over time. Don’t hesitate to report any side effects so the dosage can be fine tuned.
Monitoring is important because aromatase inhibitor medications like Arimidex do carry some potential side effects.
What Are the Side Effects of Arimidex?
While Arimidex can optimize hormonal balance on TRT, it does come with some risks and possible side effects to be aware of including:
- Joint pain and stiffness
- Increased bone loss and risk of fractures
- Higher LDL cholesterol levels
- Headaches and fatigue
- Hot flashes
- Mood changes – depression or irritability
- Decreased sex drive
- Lower sperm count and fertility
These adverse effects stem mainly from estrogen being suppressed too low, below normal physiological levels. That’s why proper monitoring and dosage titration is important.
The most concerning risk is bone loss, fractures and osteoporosis. This points to the importance of maintaining adequate estrogen levels for bone health. Arimidex is not recommended for long-term use due to increased osteoporosis risk.
Make sure your doctor orders regular bloodwork to check hormone levels and monitor for adverse events. Tell your physician about any side effects so the Arimidex dosage can be adjusted for your optimal hormonal balance.
Regain Your Vitality with Professional Guidance
If you’re struggling with symptoms of low testosterone – low energy, reduced sex drive, loss of muscle tone – know that options are available, including testosterone replacement therapy augmented with selective estrogen modulators like Arimidex.
But hormonal balance is complex. Work with an experienced physician to monitor your bloodwork and dial in an individualized treatment plan. At Physician’s Rejuvenation Centers, we specialize in testosterone therapy and balancing medications to help men and women feel healthy, energized and youthful again. Contact us today to schedule your consultation!