All men know that with time, testosterone levels drop in their bodies, a process that can deter them from activities they previously enjoyed and cherished. Decreasing levels of testosterone can also cause several unwanted side effects that can present men even more difficulties.
Luckily, low testosterone isn’t a problem anymore. With effective low testosterone treatment options, men can enjoy life as they used to, with ease and with comfort.
We all know that testosterone is the hormone responsible for making men “men.” The hormone is produced in the testicles and is responsible for the main male characteristics, such as the muscular male frame, facial hair, and the deeper voice.
Apart from this, testosterone plays a very important role in mood-boosting, red blood cell production, keeping bones strong, and helping men mentally perform at their best. When testosterone levels are low, the phenomenon comes with quite a few unwanted symptoms that can significantly decrease a man’s quality of life.
Low testosterone symptoms mainly include depression, fatigue, decreased sex drive, erectile dysfunction, decreased concentration, weight gain, anemia, hot flashes, muscle loss, lack of strength, and feeling generally “beaten.” Such symptoms can cause a heap of mental problems in men, who often don’t know where to turn for help.
Testosterone and Age
Testosterone levels drop in men in the early years of their forties and peak in their thirties. The drop in testosterone percentages is fairly small (around 1 to 2 percent a year), and when men reach their fifties, the symptoms of low testosterone (that we’ve already discussed above) become more and more evident.
Decreasing testosterone levels are indeed a normal part of the aging process, some conditions can speed up or worsen the process.
These risks and conditions include:
- Cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation
- Other hormone-based medication like corticosteroids
- Chronic illness
- Infection or injury
- Alcohol abuse
How to Treat Low Testosterone?
Men all around the globe suffer from low testosterone and TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) helps them stay performing at their peak, mentally, physically, and sexually.
However, TRT isn’t the only option since, in most cases, basic lifestyle changes can help test levels come back to normal. Being overweight for instance directly correlates with lowered testosterone levels, so fixing your diet may help you with restoring them. Cutting down on alcohol and more exercise can also help men regain their old virility and quality of life.
That being said, a healthy diet, general lifestyle, proper rest, and other great methods can help you restore your testosterone levels. However, in some cases, testosterone replacement therapy is needed to resolve the issue of low test.
First, to be a suitable candidate for TRT, one must be diagnosed with low testosterone through a physical exam, by examining and discussing the related symptoms along with blood tests.
Once the patient has been diagnosed, other tests may also be run by doctors to see if other therapies are needed (like a bone density test for the treatment of osteoporosis).
Other conditions may also affect the patient’s TRT treatment. Conditions like prostate or breast cancer may be fueled by testosterone and some professionals would advise against the therapy.
That being said, medical professionals may advise against taking TRT when:
- The patient is suffering from prostate or breast cancer
- Has elevated levels of prostate-specific compounds in the bloodstream
- Has bumps on the prostate
- Has an elevated red blood cell count
- Has severe sleep apnea
- Has infected lover urinary tract symptoms
- Had a heart stroke or heart attack in the last half of the year
- Is prone to thrombophilia
When the patient gets green light from his doctors to commence TRT, the next step would be choosing the ideal therapy method. There’s more than one way to take testosterone, and every administration method comes with its benefits and drawbacks.
However, first, it’s smart to disclose that patients can have low T levels and not have any symptoms. And in some cases, when sexual dysfunction and fatigue aren’t among the symptoms, doctors may not recommend hormone replacement therapy at all.
On the other hand, as already stated above, certain conditions (like being overweight) and medications can decrease testosterone production in the body. In most cases, these can be remedied with other methods, like lifestyle changes and changes in medication prescriptions.
However, when it’s clear that testosterone replacement therapy is the best solution than the patient and his doctor will opt for the best delivery method, primarily based on the measured testosterone levels.
- Testosterone Skin Patches – Patients need to apply them every 24 hours. They release small amounts of testosterone into the skin.
- Gels – These topical treatments should be used daily on the skin and applied over the shoulders, thighs, and upper arms. With gels, the most important thing is for the patient to keep his hands clean and cover the treated area with clothes so others won’t get exposed to testosterone.
- Pellets – The pellets are implanted under the skin (around the buttocks or hips), and they slowly release the testosterone. Pellets should be replaced after three or six months.
- Oral Therapy – With this method, testosterone comes in oral form, taken as capsules or as tablets attached to the gum or inner cheek. This should be taken twice a day, and when using this method, testosterone is absorbed into the bloodstream.
- Injections – By far one of the most widespread methods, with various dosages, injected weekly or every two weeks. After every injection, testosterone levels peak and gradually decrease over time, causing a potential roller-coaster effect with significant mood and energy level changes in some patients.
Generally speaking, patients feel the positive effects of TRT within four to six weeks of starting their regiment, however, more palpable changes, like an increase in muscle mass may take longer to show.
As you can see, there are a lot of pros to testosterone replacement therapy, however, it’s not recommended for everyone. For milder cases and those with other serious conditions, lifestyle changes would be the best route to take.
As already mentioned, testosterone therapy isn’t the only solution to problems with low testosterone. In some cases, a proper diet, regular exercise, and cutting down on certain substances (like alcohol) can give significant results in becoming your old self again. If you feel you might have low testosterone, scheduling an appointment with your general practitioner should be your first step in identifying the cause of your symptoms and taking further steps from there.
On the other hand, if you want to know more about testosterone replacement therapy and all its benefits, either learn more from our other blog posts or better yet, reach out to us as we can’t wait to answer all of your questions.