Are You Contemplating Trying The New Testosterone Transdermal?

Posted on April 15th, 2014

If this is your intent, please educate yourself completely before doing so.

The application of testosterone by your physician may provide many benefits.  However, if your testosterone level has decreased due to a metabolic disease, testosterone therapy may create many detrimental effects. Please beware!

What are the benefits that testosterone therapy might help?

Testosterone is thought to help maintain a sexual drive, with normal sperm production. It also is thought to help maintain normal bone density, including normal muscle mass and normal red blood cell production. A loss of production of testosterone may be attributed to aging, a change in the pituitary glands, management of the testicles and other health concerns, which will be discussed as this article continues.

If you search the internet for the signs and symptoms of low testosterone, some of the effects you’ll find are:

  • Abnormal weight gain
  • Lethargy but with insomnia
  • Emotional extremes including depression
  • Lack of libido and possible sperm production
  • Reduced amount of hair
  • Reduction in the size of muscles
  • Detrimental weight gain, including the possibility of enlarged, painful breasts, referred to as gynecomastia.

These are extreme changes that should make you wonder if they are all a result of low testosterone and if taking a testosterone supplement is really the answer.

Let me share my clinical experience as a veterinarian that also applies to men and sometimes even to women that take testosterone supplements. A testosterone deficiency might cause all the above signs and symptoms in men, however, similar signs can also occur in a normal male dog with both testicles intact and functioning. What is the reason for this happening?

It is important to realize that if a male dog or a human has a cortisol imbalance, they will not be able to fund the negative feedback mechanism to their pituitary gland. When this occurs, the pituitary gland will keep producing its hormone, ACTH, in hopes that the middle layer adrenal cortex will release more functional cortisol, which it is unable to do. Then the inner layer adrenal cortex will respond with a direct feedback and produce excessive amounts of adrenal estrogen, which unfortunately is rarely ever measured in dogs, cats, horses and humans.

At this time, in women, only their three ovarian estrogens are being measured and in men, dogs, cats, and horses, only estradiol is being measured. For this very reason, many allergies, autoimmune diseases and cancer continue even with the best known treatments. Even though medical professionals are fearful of elevated amounts of estrogen, they still are not measuring total estrogen!

What also is important to recognize, is the fact that the endocrine system regulates the immune system. Determining the amount of replacement hormone a patient actually requires, whether human or animal, will depend on the amount of hormone it will take to normalize the antibody levels produced by the B-lymphocyte. The regulation of the T-lymphocyte also seems to follow proper hormone replacement. Merely replacing a hormone imbalance, without first checking the immune system’s production of immunoglobulins will never be the answer.

The fact that a hormone may be present in normal amounts in a serum test or has been identified as normal and active in salivary and 24 hours urine tests, does not indicate the hormone can be used by the body unless it’s compared to its function in regulating the immune system.

Once this total adrenal estrogen is produced in excess, it can do the following:

  • It causes the immune cells not to protect the patient and also causes these immune cells to lose recognition of self-tissue, which can lead to autoimmunity and possibly cancer.
  • The elevated estrogen can block the receptor sites for the thyroid hormones, and in people, cause the production of a Reverse T3, which can further damage the availability of the thyroid hormones.
  • At the same time, this elevated estrogen can cause the B-lymphocyte to reduce its production of antibodies referred to as immunoglobulins. When this occurs, usually all the immunoglobulins are deficient in animals, but can vary in humans. However, in both humans and animals, when the mucous membrane antibody in the gut called IgA is below a certain level, oral hormones and supplements are not absorbed effectively. This why oral supplementation my not be effective in a patient that has a deficient IgA.

This may be why a hospitalized patient, whether animal or human, does well on intravenous or intramuscular injections. However if their IgA is too low, when they are sent home on the same medication, they do very poorly because they cannot absorb the oral medication.

Hopefully the day will arrive when an IgA blood test will be included with most general blood tests to help determine if oral medication sent home can be absorbed.

Now that you are beginning to realize this, let’s see how this might affect the production of testosterone and the use of its replacement.

If this cortisol imbalance is present in a patient, whether human or animal, the elevated total estrogen will bind the thyroid receptor sites, causing a metabolic hypothyroidism. Under Dr. Plechner’s Corner on this website, please read the article entitled Metabolic Hypothyroidism.

When this imbalance occurs, the production of testosterone will be decreased and could cause possible weight gain. This estrogenic block of the thyroid may cause all the signs of hypothyroidism, even though the thyroid hormones appear in the normal range. This can also lead to less activity which can also lead to a weight gain, and insomnia.

The excess estrogen has been proven to cause increased and sore breasts in men. When this occurs in male dogs, it is referred to as gynecomastia, but the condition creates enlarged mammary nipples and can also occur due to an estrogen producing tumor of the testicles called a Sertoli Cell tumor.

What I believe should be your greatest concern, is the fact that the metabolic hypothyroidism, will cause an increase in fatty tissue.

As the fatty tissue increases, so does the enzymes that it contains, called Aromatase. Aromatase has the ability to turn testosterone in males and adrenal androgen in females into more estrogen. This increased estrogen can cause a reduction in the number of red blood cells produced by the bone marrow, and a loss of bone density, called osteoporosis. But what is even more important is the fact that the increased estrogen may lead to autoimmunity and cancer!

Hopefully you can now see why all the clinical signs and symptoms that occur may not all be due to low testosterone?

If you have low testosterone and decide to try one of these TV testosterone enhancement transdermal gels, before trying it, please do yourself a favor and have your physician measure both your testosterone and your total estrogen levels.

After 2 to 3 weeks on your testosterone gel therapy, have both hormone levels checked again. If you are feeling better and your testosterone level has been boosted, while your estrogen level remains the same, it indicates that you may need replacement testosterone. If after applying the gel, your testosterone level remains the same or even decreases, while your estrogen levels increases, stop the gel and speak with your physician immediately. Hopefully this article will help you realize that all your clinical signs and symptoms may not be related to low testosterone and also help you decide if using a testosterone replacement gel will be helpful or harmful for you!

As a side note, if you are using any hormone replacement gel, please be aware of the placement of the gel, so the gel cannot come in contact with your pet. As an example of this, last week a 10 week old female puppy developed all the clinical signs of a heat cycle. A vaginal smear was performed and it indicated that the puppy may have all the signs of estrus but her ovaries were way too underdeveloped to produce ovum. The owner of the puppy was using an estrogen gel that she applied to her wrist and forearm and when she picked up her puppy to give it a hug, she exposed the skin of the puppy to her estrogen gel!

These are just some of my thoughts, and I hope you find them of interest.

For further information, on testosterone, please go to