Trouble Shooting

 ‘My pellets didn’t work last time’

Testosterone release from pellet implants is very consistent.  They always release testosterone.  Testosterone and stearic acid are the ingredients in the implants.  Both are found throughout the body.  Neither compression pressure nor added ingredients changes the release of testosterone.  Studies have also shown that the site of implantation does not affect release.  The actual dose of testosterone may affect your results.  Higher doses are associated with more relief of symptoms. 

SO, what factors do affect how you feel and the result you get from testosterone therapy?

The most common reasons NOT to get the ‘great results’ you have experience with testosterone pellets in the past are:

1. STRESS:  Increased stress, either physical or mental, will definitely affect how you feel physically and emotionally.  Stress can even cause hot flashes.  Stress can affect how long the pellets last.  Symptoms may return several weeks sooner.
2. DIET:  A diet high in refined foods & processed carbohydrates and low in fat will definitely affect the result you get with testosterone.  Fatigue, irritability and anxiety may be diet related.  Whole foods, good fats and protein can beneficially affect mood and energy.  Testosterone increases muscle mass and gets rid of fat deposits.  Refined carbohydrates can prevent weight loss usually seen with testosterone therapy.

3. LACK OF CONSISTENT EXERCISE:  Aerobic exercise is a remarkable stress reliever.  It increases energy and metabolism and decreases anxiety.  Exercise improves sleep patterns. The best results from pellets are seen in people who exercise.

4. LACK OF SUNLIGHT:  The lack of sunlight will affect mood, sense of well-being and physical energy.

5. HIGH ESTROGEN (Estrogen dominance):  Fluid retention, weight gain, breast pain, anxiety, PMS, insulin resistance, and lack of ‘sense of well being’ are all symptoms of excess estrogen.  Often women cannot loose weight or fat when they have high levels of estrogen.   Also, it is the fat cells themselves that contain aromatase, the enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen.  

Most complaints of ‘pellets not working’ occur during the winter months.  The stress of the holidays, change in diets, lack of sunlight (especially in Ohio), change in activity level can all affect how you feel both mentally and physically.  Some patients do much better with a higher dose of testosterone in the winter months, especially those with ‘seasonal affective disorder’.

Testosterone can convert to Estradiol.  This is one way the body naturally makes healthy levels of estrogen.   However, if estrogen levels become too high, this can contribute to the symptoms of estrogen dominance listed above.  Exercise, whole foods, fiber, losing weight and getting rid of refined carbohydrates can help lower estrogen levels.  Occasionally a medication (Arimidex, Letrozole) may be prescribed to reduce estrogen excess. 

The factor that doesn’t change is the release of testosterone from the implant.