Testosterone is the primary male hormone that is produced in the testes. It is responsible for a wide array of functions, including sexual health, muscle building, and mood regulation. Without enough testosterone, men can experience negative health impacts that can seriously drag down quality of life. As men age, they typically experience a 1-2% drop in floating testosterone levels every year as measured by blood tests. Testosterone levels peak in adolescence and then begin their slow decline. This is why, as men age, they may encounter problems with sexual performance, decreased muscle mass, and depression. The good news is that modern medicine has provided a relatively pain-free and effective treatment for low testosterone called testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). Check out our guide to TRT below to find out if it may be the right choice for you or your loved one.
How Do I Know if I Might Have Low T?
A blood test is the only sure method for identifying exactly how much (or how little) testosterone is actually in the body, but there are a number of telltale signs of low T, including:
- depression or anxiety
- decreased sperm count
- weight gain • erectile dysfunction (ED)
- changes in sex drive
- hot flashes
Because these symptoms are commonly associated with the natural aging process, their presence alone does not mean that a patient definitely has low T. A responsible healthcare provider will rule out any other obvious causes of these symptoms before concluding that they are due to a testosterone deficit.
How Does TRT Work?
The first part of TRT is to measure existing testosterone levels to discover the baseline. In some cases, testing may prove that there is actually no deficit of testosterone and new possible causes of the health issues that drove the patient to seek help might then be identified. In most cases of referral to a low T center, though, a provider’s intuition is proved correct and there is indeed a testosterone deficit. The process then continues to the treatment phase. Before beginning the testosterone injections, the provider must give patients a test to determine their red blood cell count. This test is crucial to ensure that the testosterone will not cause a dangerous rise in red blood cells in the body. After performing all due diligence to prove a patient’s fitness to receive the therapy, injections are then made. These are generally made with weeks between shots, depending on the individual patient’s needs and the doctor’s treatment preferences. In the meantime, benefits should accrue as the patient’s testosterone levels gradually climb. Before new injections are made, doctors usually take blood samples to measure progress between each new shot.
Who Can benefit from TRT?
- Aging Men
- People Recovering From Injuries
What Risks Are Involved in TRT?
TRT is mostly safe. Like any medical procedure, though, there are risks that affect a small minority of patients receiving the therapy. Examples of adverse side effects include a higher risk of blood clots, acne, shrinking testicles, decrease in sperm count, and a higher incidence of heart attack or stroke. Most of these risks can be avoided with proper screenings before treatment to identify patients who may be at higher risk of these effects from the therapy.
What are the Benefits of TRT?
Testosterone replacement therapy has been described as nearly miraculous by some of the patients who have seen huge improvements in their physical and mental well-being after receiving testosterone injections. Common examples of improvement include lifted depression and overall better mood, more desire for sex, better performance during sex, higher sperm count and better sperm quality, and more energy. Many patients summarize the benefits of TRT as simply “making me feel young again”. It may be difficult to distinguish between natural aging and abnormally low testosterone levels.
In any case, men do not have to settle for low energy, low quality of life, and poor sexual performance that is so commonly chalked up to simple aging. A well-targeted TRT regimen has the potential to revamp a man’s life and return him to his vital, outgoing self that may have been lost to falling testosterone levels. As part of an overall lifestyle adjustment that includes changing dietary habits and getting plenty of exercise, many patients have witnessed their lives transformed with testosterone replacement therapy. Call us today at 205-352-9141.