Testosterone is a hormone produced in the body. It is mainly produced in the reproductive organs of the male, that is the testicles. Testosterone impacts sexual development and changes the appearance of a man. It stimulates sperm production and the sex drive of a male. It also helps in building muscle and bone mass. Testosterone production lowers with age.
As per the Urological Association of America, 2 in 10 men older than 60 years have low testosterone. This number increases to a higher amount as men age. Testosterone decrease is accompanied by a range of symptoms. Low T or testosterone occurs when the levels fall below three hundred nanograms per deciliter. A normal range is around 300-1000 ng by dl according to the US FDA. Blood tests such as the serum testosterone test determine the extent of circulating testosterone. A variety of symptoms can occur if testosterone production falls below normal levels. Signs of low T are subtle. The need is to keep reading the signs of low testosterone in men.
What is Testosterone?
This hormone is required for male development and sexual function. It is responsible for constructing muscle and bone mass besides influencing sperm production and sex drive. It also changes the fat distribution in males apart from bone density and RBC production. In typically developing males, testosterone peaks at the time of the start of adulthood. Once males reach thirty years, testosterone declines at 1 percent per year. This decline is a critical part of aging. The low levels of testosterone have been discussed, but what is the upper limit? It is around 1000-1200 ng/dl. Low levels need to be further investigated to check from healthy aging.
What is Low-T condition?
Low testosterone is either lack or more economical production of this hormone, not only in men but women as well. Causes include diabetes, infections, hormonal conditions, and obesity. Symptoms of low testosterone include dysfunction in sexual activities, lowering of libido, changing sleep patterns, infertility, emotional changes, and fall in strength as well as weight gain. Testosterone blood levels are tested for this hormone. Low T treatment includes different forms of testosterone replacement therapy. Let’s analyze the different types of testosterone decrease symptoms that are associated with males:
Symptoms and Health Effects
Low Sex Drive
Testosterone plays a vital part in influencing the libido of males. Low T levels are associated with a fall in the desire as well as sperm motility.
Testosterone plays a critical role in hair production, as well. Balding is a natural aging process for many men. But while male patterned baldness is inherited, men with low levels of hormone testosterone may also experience loss of facial and body hair.
Men with low testosterone levels report extreme fatigue and fall in energy levels, with low T creating tiredness all the time despite plenty of sleep or even rest. Chronic fatigue may make it harder to find the energy to do exercise.
Loss of Muscular Mass
As testosterone plays a critical role in building muscles, those with low levels of this hormone may experience declining muscle mass. Research has shown that testosterone affects muscle mass, but not strength or functioning.
The rise in Body Fat
With low testosterone, the increase in body fat is inevitable. This increase sometimes leads to enlarged tissues of the breast or gynecomastia. This enlargement occurs due to an imbalance between estrogen and hormone within men.
Fall in Bone Mass
Osteoporosis or thinning of the mass of the bone is associated with women. But this can also occur in men experiencing low testosterone levels. Such levels are more so in older men prone to diminishing bone volume and more bone fractures.
Changes in Mood
Men with low testosterone levels experience a shift in mood. As testosterone reflects physical processes in the body, it influences mental capacity and temperament. Men with little T face a lack of focus, irritation, and depression too.
So to summarize, testosterone can lead to:
- Sexual dysfunction
- Loss of sex drive
- Rapid muscle loss
- Increased hair loss
- A rise in body fat
- Enlargement of breasts
- Sleep problems and constant fatigue
- Depression and brain fog
Many of these symptoms can cause medical conditions or influence lifestyle factors. Identify the causes, and you can then treat the disease.
Low testosterone is less likely in men under 30. But this does not mean that it cannot happen. Contributory factors include hypertension, high levels of cholesterol, obesity or overweight, excessive alcoholism, use of drugs or steroids, opiates in excess. Other conditions such as hypothalamic or pituitary disease, tumors, injuries, or conditions affecting sexual organs, inherited disorders like Kallman’s syndrome, Klinefelter syndrome, and Prader-Will syndrome are also associated with low T levels. Cancer treatment for radiation and chemotherapy, diabetes, liver disease, or AIDS may also cause low testosterone levels.
If you have low T levels, you need to consider making an appointment with the doctor. Simple blood tests can be used for determining T-levels. If the level is lower than average, additional tests or exams may be needed to investigate why. Diagnosis and medical history, lifestyle changes, or testosterone replacement therapy are some of the suggested treatments for this condition.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy
If males are experiencing symptoms due to low T-levels, the results of using hormone or testosterone replacement therapy can be beneficial. While there are risks, testosterone treatment can raise the red blood cell count as well as breast enlargement. It also increases prostate enlargement or growth. Men with cancer such as breast or prostate should not be receiving this replacement therapy though. Hormone replacement therapy can be used to reverse changes in sleep patterns, physical changes, sexual changes, emotional changes, worsening sleep apnea, and congestive heart failure. Testosterone therapy can help with hypogonadism as well.
Hormone replacement therapy can be administered in the following ways:
Skin patch/transdermal: This is applied once in a day. It is clean and quick to use. Available mouth patches stick to upper gums and need to be applied two times in a day.
Gels: These are placed on the skin and absorbed through it. It includes Axiro and Androgen. Dosing is challenging as these gels are part of pre-measured pumps or single application packages.
Injections: This can also be delivered through a needle directly.
Pellets: The testosterone can be implanted in the soft tissue in the form of pellets. Testosterone is available as a pill, but some experts believe long-term oral deliverance of this hormone can exert pressure on the liver. Other methods of hormone infusion don’t take the liver into the process and reach the bloodstream directly.
Side effects of testosterone therapy for males include stimulation of the prostate growth, skin allergies and breakouts, low sperm production and shrinking of sexual organs, excessive production of RBCs leading to heart attack and an increase in cardiovascular events. Testosterone therapy is a treatment for hypogonadism as well. Possible side effects of the treatment should be considered before embarking on a treatment course, too, especially for cancer patients.
Benefits of Raising Testosterone Levels
The hormone testosterone is produced in the ovaries and the adrenal glands for females, and in the testicles for males. This hormone is critical for vigorous growth and development of masculine characteristics. For women, testosterone is available in smaller amounts, but it is equally important. This hormone’s production increases about 30x times during teens and early adulthood. Post the early adult years; testosterone levels may drop each year slightly. The body will see a 1% decline after 30 years of age, each year.
Testosterone is a hormone with many benefits. It plays a crucial role in muscle mass, bone development. It also impacts the growth of pubic and facial hair. Deepening of the voice in males is also linked to testosterone levels. This increase in the hormone affects the sex drive, visibly improving quality of life. Testosterone even impacts thinking and cognition, besides verbal memory. Check with your doctor if you are worried about testosterone levels. Low testosterone levels, as you age, is a natural phenomenon. Some symptoms such as decreased muscle mass, rising body fat, or sexual dysfunctions may also signal other conditions, besides low testosterone levels.
For those with low testosterone levels or conditions such as hypogonadism, TRT/testosterone replacement therapy is critical. If males with average testosterone level raise their T-levels, they may not benefit additionally from this. The benefits of TRT are more apparent for those with low testosterone levels. So, what are the benefits of increasing testosterone levels? Let’s find out!
Promotion of Cardiovascular Health and Good Circulation
A healthy and active heart is needed to pump blood to the rest of the body. This rejuvenation provides muscles and organs with oxygenated blood critical for an excellent performance. Testosterone also increases the production of erythrocytes/ red blood cells within the bone marrow. Therefore, low levels of this hormone cause many risks to the heart.
TRT can help in bringing about improvements in men with heart disease, with one study showing an increase in walking distance by 33%. Another study found hormone therapy widened arteries and helped in boosting cardiovascular health. An extensive survey of 83K men found males whose testosterone levels were normal had 24% less likelihood of heart attack and 36% fewer chances of stroke.
More Muscle, Less Fat
Muscle mass increases, with rising testosterone levels. Leaner body mass means weight control and an increase in energy. Men with low testosterone can increase muscle strength and size, and they can decrease fat mass through testosterone replacement therapy, studies say. Change in lean body mass is also noted. Most benefits accrue when strength training combines with exercises and TRT.
Testosterone is crucial for bone mineral density. Bone density lowers, as age increases and male testosterone levels drop. This decrease also raises the likelihood of osteoporosis and weak bones. Strong bones support internal organs and muscles, thereby boosting athletic performance.
As bone density increases, with testosterone treatment, the dose needs to be high enough. Clinical studies show the positive impact of TRT on bone density, increasing hip bone, and spinal density. Another study where women underwent gender reassignment surgery saw an increase in bone density due to higher testosterone levels.
Enhanced Verbal Memory, Spatial or Mathematical Reasoning
Research has proved men with higher testosterone ratios have a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. A strong correlation exists between thinking capacities such as processing speed or verbal memory and testosterone. Testosterone treatment for men aged 34 to 70 results in enhancement of spatial memories in such individuals.
Testosterone levels arise naturally in response to activity and sexual arousal. Those with higher levels of testosterone have greater levels of sexual activity. Older men require testosterone for correcting low libido levels and protection from erectile dysfunctions.
Studies suggest testosterone therapy benefits sexual performance and reproductive health. Research also indicates that the maximum testosterone level is there for every individual as well.
Lower testosterone levels are linked to poor quality of life. Symptoms of low testosterone levels include irritability, depression, and fatigue, especially in men with hypogonadism. The effect of TRT on the moods of those with low testosterone is positive, with men reporting improved well being and feeling, besides reduced irritability and fatigue. Research also indicates this can be an effective anti-depressant, too.
Men with low testosterone levels report improved sex drive, energy levels and moods, post the treatment.
How TRT Counters Symptoms of Testosterone Deficiency
Symptoms of low testosterone may be obvious, but these can also be extremely difficult to detect. Testosterone levels fall in men as they age over the years. Certain conditions are also associated with low testosterone levels. These include low sex drive, erectile problems, poor energy levels, fatigue, loss of body and facial hair, decrease in muscle mass, and inadequate concentration. Depression, irritability, and lack of well-being may also ensue.
For those with symptoms of low testosterone, tests show abnormally low levels, and this requires testosterone replacement therapy. The TRT is available in several forms. These improve testosterone levels.
- First of all, there’s a transdermal skin patch. The androderm is a skin patch which can be worn on the upper body or arm. It is applied once in a day.
- Gels come in packets. Such gels get absorbed directly through the skin when applied once a day. Some gels come in pumps that release the testosterone amount prescribed by doctors. There’s even the use of gels applied within the nose.
- Mouth patches stick to the upper gums, just above the incisors. Applied two times in a day, this releases testosterone into the blood via oral tissues.
- Implants and injections can also be used. Testosterone can be directly injected into the muscles or implanted in the form of pellets within the soft tissues. The testosterone is slowly absorbed into the bloodstream.
- Oral pills are also available. But some experts suggest the use of other methods, such as skin patches, gels, and injections, to get testosterone into the blood directly.
There are numerous conditions associated with low testosterone levels. Each of these is discussed below:
- Primary hypogonadism: this is when the testes malfunction.
- Secondary hypogonadism: when the production of the hormone is suppressed due to pituitary gland or hypothalamus tumor.
- Cancer: this ranges across prostate, testicular, or male breast cancer.
- Bilateral orchidectomy: this refers to the removal of both testicles on account of cancer or conditions such as testicular torsion.
- Testicular injuries
- Delayed onset of puberty
- Normal processes of aging
Testosterone replacement therapy/TRT replaces lost testosterone caused due to injury or conditions present at birth or diseases causing low testosterone levels. TRT can also be given to replace testosterone levels falling as a consequence of one/both testicular organs.
Transdermal patches can be easy to use, but they can cause skin allergies and irritation and need to be applied multiple times in a single day. Topical gels are equally convenient, but you need to take care that gel applied body parts do not rub off on adjacent areas. Accidental exposure to others must also be avoided. Buccal patches are placed twice on the gums in a single day. But these can cause gum irritation, too.
Injections may be administered 2-10 weeks, based on the prescribing physician. Needles are the least costly. But they do lack the continuous coverage of other techniques. Subcutaneous pellets may also be placed under the skin 3-6 months. Once these are administered, the pellets require lesser maintenance and provide high levels of constant and steady dosing. But each time a new dosage is due, minor surgery may be necessary.
TRT is a standard method of treatment for men with low levels of testosterone and hypogonadism. TRT can produce positive results and even cause masculine qualities to be regained. This therapy can be useful in healthy males with low testosterone levels.
As men age, testosterone levels naturally fall, starting at age 30 and declining through life. While TRT has become a popular treatment, experts are still debating whether this therapy should be used for older men. Due to aging, levels of this hormone fall naturally. Regular changes may occur in the body, such as insomnia, sleeping disturbances, low sex drive, rising body fat, reduced muscle mass, decrease in motivation, and falling levels of self-confidence.
Side Effects of TRT
Short term side effects of TRT include acne, oily skin, swelling or breast tenderness, fluid retention or swelling of the ankles, decrease in stream or urination frequency, high blood cell counts, increasing risk of blood clots, worsening impact of sleep apnea, testicular shrinkage, mood swings, and hair loss. Apart from that, there are mood swings, increased irritability, and aggression, change in levels of cholesterol. Reduction in sperm count can also impact fertility adversely. Long term side effects are even more problematic. Here, you run the risk of stroke, heart attack, other cardiovascular conditions, liver toxicity (when transdermal patches are used) and increased chances of a heart attack. Polycythemia is an increase in hemoglobin levels from rising blood cell levels. Worsening of urinary problems is also a common side effect of TRT. Then, there’s a possibility of hip fractures due to osteoporosis. As far as prostate cancer, cell growth is concerned, research conclusions are mixed.
Tests to Take Before TRT
Relevant recommendations must be in place those receiving TRT as a precautionary measure must follow. One is the application of bone density tests. This testing is essential because TRT can only be performed if osteoporosis has not set. A PSA, A level test, is necessary. This PSA evaluation is a laboratory test measuring the risk of prostate cancer. Regular lab tests are a must to check testosterone levels, hematocrit levels, and liver enzymes.
Apart from this, men taking this therapy need to get a physical exam every 3-6 months for evaluating blood pressure and checking other side effects or symptoms like insomnia. If serious side effects occur post-therapy, it’s essential to seek medical care on emergency and priority basis.
Signs You Need Medical Care
You need to visit the doctor post-TRT if you experience any chest pains, shortness of breath, problems in breathing, weakness on one side of the body, or slurred speech. However, these side effects are rare.
Why Opt for Testosterone Therapy
Many positive benefits of TRT enhance the quality of life for those with low levels of testosterone. Before opting for testosterone, it is critical to examine the pros and cons of effective and safe use. Benefits of this therapy outweigh the risks involved. Check with your healthcare provider before opting for testosterone replacement. While TRT has been suggested to be linked with prostate gland enlargement, sleep apnea, and polycythemia, among others, the evidence is not substantial enough to back potential risks. Through proper monitoring by providers of healthcare, and thorough examination of medical history, regular office visits and consistent lab checks, TRT is an effective treatment for those with low levels of testosterone.
While it is impossible to predict what can be expected from testosterone treatment, for each individual differs, most men report high sex drive, increase in energy levels, and improvement in sexual performance. Testosterone also increases insulin sensitivity, muscle mass, and bone density. Improve mood states result from testosterone replacement therapy.
Risks of TRT
Testosterone replacement therapy has side effects such as irritation, itching, or rash in areas where the testosterone is absorbed. There is evidence of possible heart attack or cardiovascular stroke linked to excessive TRT. The long-term benefits and risks of testosterone therapy are being studied. There are some conditions which TRT can worsen:
BPH/ Benign prostatic hypertrophy: the prostate gland grows naturally under testosterone stimulation. For many, as they age, prostates grow larger, squeezing the urethra. The result is a problem in urination. This medical condition can worsen due to excessive testosterone.
Prostate cancer: this hormone also stimulates prostate cancer to grow. A lot of experts recommend screening for this form of cancer, before starting testosterone replacement. Those with elevated PSA or prostate cancer should not go for testosterone treatment.
Sleep apnea: testosterone replacement can worsen sleep apnea as well. This sleep disorder requires polysomnography to make the diagnosis.
Blood clots: The USFDA requires testosterone replacement products to carry a mention of the risk of blood clotting in the vein. This use can raise the chances of pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis. These are potentially life-threatening clots taking place in the lungs. A warning is carried about the risk of blood clots due to polycythemia. This phenomenon refers to the pathological rise of RBCs that occur when TRT is administered.
Congestive heart failure: those with severe congestive heart disorders should not choose TRT for it can worsen this medical condition.
There is, of course, a lot of difference between TRT and steroids. Doses used in TRT only kickstart the natural levels of the hormone in the bloodstream. Anabolic steroids, on the other hand, offer testosterone in many high doses illegally. Testosterone also has many benefits, including an increase in bone density and strength, induce hematopoiesis, driving the libido and sexual function, providing a cardioprotective effect, thereby raising muscle strength. As men age, testosterone levels begin to decline, for example. The Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging reported hypogonadism in men was 20% in those above 60, 30% in those over 70, and 50% in men over 80 years.
As age increases, there is a decline in testosterone production. There’s also an increase in sex-hormone binding globulin, which decreases bioavailable testosterone. With a gradual decrease, the positive effects of testosterone can diminish, causing damage to a sense of well-being. TRT is a reasonable treatment option for those with low testosterone levels and hypogonadism symptoms. When replaced, the most positive impact of the hormone is regained. The positive results lead to a drastic increase in the use of testosterone replacement for those with hypogonadism.
While the benefits of TRT are well known, there is less awareness about the risks. Here, in detail, we will discuss the risks associated with testosterone replacement.
Effect on Prostate
One of the most significant risk factors linked to testosterone supplements is the effect on the prostate gland. The prostate is an androgen-linked gland, and anti-androgen agents decrease prostate volumes in BPH patients. As men age, more chances of developing BPH and late-onset male hypogonadism occur. In studies, TRT for six months improves serum androgen levels, while not impacting prostate tissue androgen levels, gene expression or tissue biomarkers. Testosterone supplementation increases the prostate size by 12% but lowers urinary tract symptoms.
Effect on Cancer of the Prostate
There is a clear link between serum testosterone levels and prostate cancer advancement; Exogenous testosterone worsens prostate cancer symptoms. Androgen deprivation therapy is the cornerstone of treatment for those with advanced prostate cancer. TRT is, therefore, contraindicated in men with prostate cancer and high-risk patients.
While there is no risk of testosterone leading to breast cancer, high testosterone levels lead to increased aromatization and active derivatives of estrogen. This further stimulates breast tissue receptors, increasing the risk of male breast cancer. The role of testosterone in breast cancer is still being explored.
Effect on RBCs
Testosterone leads to rising hemoglobin by as much as 5 to 7 percent, through the production of erythropoietin. This prevents anemia in men. Studies have, however, also investigated the occurrence of polycythemia as a significant side effect of men on TRT. Studies show 20% of men treated on TRT can develop polycythemia. This may lead to increased incidence of vascular events, including stroke, deep vein thrombosis, and myocardial infarction.
On account of the risk of this condition, those taking TRT should have their complete blood count monitored during therapy, but also have baseline CBC drawn before the treatment was initiated. While on testosterone therapy, if HCT/hematocrit rises more than 54%, testosterone therapy should be left aside till HCT normalized. If it is restarted post normalization, it should be performed at a lower dose with careful regulation.
Effect on OSA
OSA is a problem associated with TRT in males. Though studies have suggested the link may not be too explicit, other research has shown OSA in men on TRT and resolution of the condition when supplementation is ceased. Men on TRT should be counseled on the risk of OSA when therapy commences. They should be regulated for increased symptoms. If patients starting TRT carry out OSA diagnosis, the symptoms could worsen.
Systemic Effect of TRT
For men with low cardiovascular reserve, TRT’s systemic effect may worsen. Significant reports of liver toxicity and jaundice are associated with orally administered testosterone. But there are mixed results, as TRT also reversed hepatic functions in men with end-stage liver disease. For men suffering from chronic renal insufficiency, TRT is not recommended as it causes water retention. Aside from congestive systems and peripheral edema, TRT is safe for those with chronic kidney disease in the absence of dose adjustment. TRT is also associated with a decrease in spermatogenesis. Exogenous TRT can cause a problem in the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, leading to excess estrogen and male gynecomastia. Excess estrogens can trigger an increase in visceral obesity.
On the other hand, testosterone replacement also has various benefits that enhance a patient’s quality of life. It can bring improvements in energy levels, libido, quality of life, cognition, muscle mass, and bone density.
Frequently Asked Questions/FAQs
Does TRT impact bone and muscle strength and energy as well as sexual libido?
The relationship between TRT and muscle strength, energy, bone density, and libido levels are being explored. A recent study examined 308 men who were 60 years and older with low to low-moderate testosterone levels found the only moderate impact on sexual performance. Mayo Clinic has, however, reiterated that low muscle strength, osteoporosis, and insulin sensitivity in men with metabolic syndrome and diabetes could be combated through testosterone replacement.
Discuss the risks associated with testosterone therapy?
The risks linked to TRT include increased likelihood of development of blood clots. TRT can also result in excessive blood counts. It also triggers acne, worsens sleep apnea, leads to enlarged breasts, limited spermatogenesis, and increased infertility. It also triggers BPH and heart diseases.
What are the ways the TRT can be administered?
There are numerous ways testosterone replacement therapies can be administered. The first of these are gels, which are very useful, besides being easy to apply. The cons are the higher cost, possible skin or eye irritation, potential of gel rubbing off on women or children and increased risk of accidental exposure.
Injections come in next. The advantages of testosterone injections are you can opt for various dosing regimens, with infrequent doses from once a week to once in a month. It is also less costly. The cons are that injections make it hard to control testosterone levels precisely, which is too high after some injections and too low after the next doses.
A testosterone patch is easy to use, applied nightly on different spots. The cons are possible skin irritation. Testosterone pills can easily mold to the upper gum, so eating and drinking are easy. The problems are the difficulty of replacement every half a day, the bitterness of the taste, toothache, and gum irritation. Intranasal testosterone is more natural to use, although it must be given a day thrice. TRT has the possibility of making a positive impact on life when used in appropriate circumstances. However, medical intervention is not without its risks. If you choose TRT, be careful while considering supplements. Discuss all prescriptions and OTC supplements and medicines with the doctor before starting a treatment plan.
Can TRT make me feel energetic?
If you have an abnormal level of low testosterone, boost your hormone levels with TRT to ward off fatigue, and regain energy. It can also lead to a drop in weight gain, body fat, and buildup of muscle mass.
Should I avoid TRT if I am not medically healthy?
Guidelines from the American Endocrine Society say males should not opt for TRT if you have breast cancer or prostate cancer. Some studies suggest doctors should be consulted for prostate cancer before you start TRT. If you suffer obstructive sleep apnea, or severe lower urinary tract symptoms, or even acute congestive heart failure, TRT is not recommended. TRT is also linked to abnormal RBC counts. TRT is not advised for treating testosterone due to aging.
Can TRT help in the ED?
Erectile dysfunction/ED is a common problem. If you have a low testosterone level, TRT can help in having a healthy erection and boosting sex drives. However, note that ED also has other different causes. Talk to your doctor about this before proceeding.
How do I take TRT?
There are many ways you can take TRT. Patches and gels are easy to apply and convenient to use. These patches can, however, cause skin rashes and must be applied more times in a day than just once. Gels should be applied in such a way that there is no accidental exposure of others to the hormone. Then buccal patches can be applied on the upper gum twice in a single day but can cause gum disease or irritation. Injections can occur anywhere from 2-10 weeks apart. They are not so costly, but needles cannot provide steady benefits. Subcutaneous pellets can be put in every 3-6 months, but a minor surgery is required for every dosage of the hormone.
How is TRT monitored?
Doctors measure testosterone levels at 3-6 months after the treatment commences. After that, there is once a year of testing. If the levels are okay, one stays on their current dose. If testosterone levels are low, the dose may be adjusted. Doctors will also need to check the RBC levels. Within 1-2 years of TRT, the doctor measures the bone density, especially if you have osteoporosis. The doctor evaluates the prostate cancer risk at the beginning of the treatment, and carry out more tests at three and 6-month marks and yearly as well.
If you suffer from specific symptoms like the ones listed below, call 911 immediately:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath and trouble breathing
- Weakness on one side of the body
- Slurring of speech and disorientation.
How long does TRT have to be taken?
Testosterone replacement therapy does not cure low testosterone in just a couple of sessions. It is a solution for managing low testosterone levels, so symptoms may return if you cease taking it.
Should You Opt for TRT?
A lot of American males use prescription testosterone gel or injection as forms of testosterone replacement therapy to increase levels of this hormone. Low T treatment or treatment can make you feel mentally sharp, alert, and energetic, besides enhancing sexual performance. Legitimate safety concerns are there, though. Older men on TRT can face high cardiac risks.
However, considering the impact of low T levels, you should opt for TRT if you are healthy and in need of a solution for a condition like hypogonadism. Reduced testosterone levels can lead to depression, disturbed sleep, difficulty in concentration, and reduced self-confidence. The physical effects of low testosterone levels include increased body fat, fatigue, hot flashes, or fatigue. Some of the other effects of testosterone levels is a lower sex drive, fewer erections, and difficulty in sustaining erections or sexual performance.
Take Stock of Your Health
Consider the reasons why you may be experiencing fatigue, poor sexual performance, and symptoms to understand the impact of testosterone. Eat a balanced and nutritious diet, sleep well, and exercise regularly, when opting for TRT. If your sex life is not satisfactory, and you suffer from ED, TRT could be the solution. But you need to make sure you are correctly diagnosing these conditions.
Wrong or inaccurate test results can indicate a case of testosterone deficiency when it may not be so. Testosterone levels need to be measured between 7, and 10 am when it is at the peak level. Confirm a low reading with a second test on another day. Remember that low testosterone can be detected only through multiple measurements and careful interpretation for assessing bioavailable hormone and its effects on your body. Always opt for a second opinion from an endocrinologist, too. Once you start therapy, follow up with the physician periodically to check testosterone levels, and see that treatment is not causing issues with blood chemistry and prostate.
Be Mindful of the Risks
Be aware of unknown or undetermined risks of testosterone replacement therapy. Always approach testosterone therapy cautiously and especially if you have been diagnosed with heart disease, a heart attack, or risk factors for heart problems.
Check with the doctor to explain the side effects of testosterone. Different treatments include gels, patches, and testosterone injections. Be clear about how to look out for something going wrong. Remember that this TRT therapy is not for bringing back your youth, making you live longer, preventing heart disease or prostate cancer or improve mental sharpness or memory. Do not opt for TRT therapy if you want to achieve the impossible! However, low testosterone can dim the sex drive, performance in bed, energy, and motivation. It also exerts harmful effects. When needed, TRT can boost T levels to normal and give you your energy and performance capabilities. Awareness of low T and its importance for the mental and physical health of men has been poorly recognized by public and physicians alike. There are also risks to TRT, and long-term safety is not apparent.
Normal levels of testosterone range across 300 to 900 nanograms per deciliter or ng/dL. Men whose levels fall within this range advance on account of therapy, according to the experts.
The range covering the total amount of testosterone is not indicative of the entire picture. Experienced doctors also measure free testosterone or the amount of hormone activity in a body for a specified period. Total testosterone in the normal range has classic symptoms of low T if free T measurements fall short. Free T levels are more indicative of actual testosterone status.
Low free testosterone levels have been exclusively linked to sex problems; TRT renews a man’s interest in sex and his capacity to maintain erections. For men, treating low T symptoms should also involve therapy and working on psychological health markers. Based on numerous studies, it is essential to health issues like osteoporosis, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and diabetes.
Testosterone plays a role in how long men live. Recent studies showcase a link between shorter life expectancy and low T levels. Men with low T die sooner than those with normal levels of testosterone. While it is not clear if low T levels make earlier death likelier, other factors could also be involved. Boosting testosterone to normal levels impacts longevity. On testosterone, the fat mass decreases while muscle mass increases. This is excellent for overall health. Treating low testosterone levels strengthens a man’s bones and helps to prevent osteoporosis. Treatments also aid blood glucose control, necessary for control and prevention of diabetes. Therapy can also be tied to heart health. Lower levels of testosterone have been linked to more significant cardiovascular problems. It is not clear if low T levels can cause heart issues. Testosterone therapy dramatically impacts the quality of life. Apart from its sexual performance benefits, TRT offers mood-boosting and energy raising levels, while reducing irritability or anger. The benefits outweigh the risks for men otherwise healthy yet have low testosterone levels. The results of treatment are rewarding for him and his patients.
TRT for Aged Males: Pros and Cons
The promise of T therapy comes with many benefits, but there are also a lot of misconceptions about what treatment can do for you. As you become older, don’t think of only using testosterone therapy as the ultimate anti-aging formula. The health benefits of testosterone therapy for age-related decline in testosterone are not as bright as they seem. Check out how to use testosterone therapy for coping with aging issues.
Testosterone is a hormone produced primarily in the testicular organs. Testosterone helps men to maintain bone density, fat distribution, facial and body hair, muscle strength, and mass. Red blood cell production, sperm production, and sex drive boosts are some of the other benefits of opting for testosterone therapy.
What occurs when you age? Testosterone levels peak during adulthood and adolescence. As you get older, testosterone levels decline gradually, about 1 percent before age thirty or forty. It is essential to assess if low testosterone levels are due to a drop in aging or it is a condition like hypogonadism. This condition is a disease when the body cannot produce reasonable amounts of testosterone due to problems with the testicles or pituitary glands controlling the testicles. Testosterone replacement can improve testosterone levels too. Doctors can prescribe these in the form of patches, gels, pellets or patches. A question that may arise is whether fall in T levels cause aging? The answer to this is that it is not necessary. Men can experience symptoms and signs of aging. These may occur as a result of low T levels and include changes in sexual functions and even sleep patterns.
Low testosterone trigger lowered sexual desire, spontaneous erections, such as sleep and infertility. Sometimes, low T levels can also cause insomnia or other disturbances in sleep. Various physical changes are also possible. This includes increased body fat, reduced muscle bulk and strength, and a decrease in bone density. Swollen, expanded and tender breasts or gynecomastia and body hair loss may also occur. You may even experience lower energy levels. Emotional changes can also be caused by low testosterone. This contributes to a decrease in motivation or self-esteem. Feeling sad and depressed or having trouble concentrating can be solved.
Sure signs and symptoms can be caused by underlying factors such as obstructive sleep apnea, medication issues, thyroid problems, depression, and diabetes. Lower T levels can cause these conditions. Treatments of problems can cause testosterone levels to rise. A blood test is the only way to diagnose low levels of this hormone.
Testosterone therapy can promote vitality and youth. Testosterone therapy can reverse the impact of hypogonadism. It is unclear whether testosterone therapy would benefit aged men, who are healthy otherwise. Some individuals feel taking testosterone helps to make them feel rejuvenated and younger, as they age. Few intensive studies have examined T-therapy in men with healthy testosterone levels. Small studies have shown mixed results. In one study, men who took testosterone medicines increased their muscle mass but did not gain strength.
Consider the risks of T-therapy for healthy aging. Testosterone therapy comes with many risks. One such change is that it contributes to sleep apnea, a severe sleep disorder in which breathing starts and stops on its own. T-therapy can also lead to skin reactions like acne. This stimulates non-cancerous growth of the prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia. Extension of existing cancers can also be a result of excessive testosterone therapy. It also leads to enlarged breasts and limits spermatogenesis and causes testicles shrinkage. This leads to an increase in the risk of blood clots forming in the deep vein or deep vein thrombosis. This could break through, traveling down the bloodstream and lodging in the lungs, blocking blood flow in the form of pulmonary embolism. Testosterone therapy impacts the chances of heart disease. Research shows conflicting results, so exact results are not precise.
If older patients are wondering whether testosterone therapy is right for them, they should check with their doctor regarding individual benefits and risks. The doctor will also measure testosterone levels at least twice before, considering if T-therapy is an option that can work out.
A medical disease leads to an unusual decline in T-levels, is the reason to take testosterone supplements. Treating healthy aging with testosterone therapy is not presently advisable. Your doctor may even suggest natural ways to boost testosterone such as weight loss, and increasing muscle mass through resistance exercise. In the past century, life expectancy for men has risen by 65%, according to the CDC. In the 1900s, men lived till about age 46, while the age jumped to 76 by 2014. Men are now redefining old age. Regular exercise, healthy diet, and adequate rest help to boost energy and vitality in those over 50. But men are also turning into one of the most advanced aging solutions, using testosterone. This is a hormone responsible for the development of male genitals and secondary sexual characteristics. But it offers a whole lot of other benefits too, such as bone density, muscle bulk, RBC, sexual and reproductive functions. Testosterone contributes to vitality and well-being, also. As men age, their bodies produce less testosterone. This decline naturally commences around age thirty and continues throughout the rest of a man’s lifetime.
Some men have testosterone deficiency as well. Symptoms of male hypogonadism include decreased muscle mass, ED, infertility, loss of bone density and osteoporosis, decrease in body hair growth and beard growth. Then, there’s also fatigue, concentration problems, and the development of breast tissues. For such conditions, the use of testosterone therapy is essential.
Many men experience similar changes as they age. Symptoms can also be related to disease or injury.
There are changes in sleep patterns and sexual functions. Increased body fat, reduced muscle mass, decreased motivation, or self-confidence must all be considered. TRT helps men with hypogonadism. Results are not so precise as those men who have normal testosterone levels or older men with low T levels. More rigorous studies are needed, according to researchers at Mayo Clinic.
Testosterone levels are directly implicated in the etiology of many medical conditions and are, in turn, caused by many others. T-levels play a vital role in men’s health, and lowered amount of this hormone due to aging can have negative consequences. Fortunately, hormone replacement therapy is in place to treat this problem. Under the care and medical supervision of a top fertility specialist, there is no reason why low testosterone levels should continue.