What You Need to Know About Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Low testosterone levels cause a variety of problems in men. From low energy levels, decreased sex drive and mental fog, having low testosterone can become debilitating if not treated properly. While more common in older men, younger men can experience low testosterone due to chronic illnesses or lifestyle choices.
Regardless of your age, testosterone replacement therapy is a viable option for those looking to increase their libido, energy levels, physical and mental strength. Here is what you need to know about testosterone replacement therapy.
Causes of Low Testosterone
Causes of low testosterone vary widely based on lifestyle, family history and age. As you age, your testosterone levels will decrease naturally, but if you notice a sudden change, talk to your doctor right away. Lifestyle factors that cause low testosterone may include drug and alcohol abuse, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and lack of sleep.
Medical conditions also affect testosterone levels. Diabetes, thyroid problems, liver disease, chemotherapy or other cancer treatments, autoimmune disorders and genetics are all factors when determining the cause of low testosterone. Discuss with your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms of low testosterone and suffer from one of these conditions.
How do I Know if My “T” is low?
To obtain an official diagnosis, consult with your doctor before starting any form of hormone therapy. Symptoms of low testosterone can vary from person to person. Here are the most common symptoms:
- Low sex drive.
- Fatigue and overall lethargy.
- Erectile dysfunction.
- Hair loss.
- Muscle loss.
- Decrease in semen production.
Your doctor can determine your T levels by conducting a blood test. Normal testosterone levels range between 300-1000 ng/dL (nanograms per deciliter). Anything below 300 ng/dL is considered low and treatment options can be discussed with your doctor. If left untreated, low testosterone levels can lead to increased body fat, swelling of the breast tissue, osteoporosis and cholesterol problems.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy Options
Low testosterone levels are nothing to be ashamed of and there are treatment options available. Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) is administered through injections, pills, patches or topical creams. TRT is usually recommended for younger men who should otherwise have normal testosterone levels and not for older men who will naturally have low testosterone. According to the May Clinic, there is little evidence to support that TRT is beneficial to older men who are otherwise healthy.
Testosterone injections are the most common form of TRT. To qualify, your doctor must conduct blood and urine tests to make sure you are eligible. Injections are self-administered every two to four weeks into the gluteal muscle. The dosage will vary depending on your testosterone levels and the results of your blood and urine tests. If injecting yourself is not something you want to do, there are other options.
Injections are not for everyone, which is why there are topical creams and gels that are less invasive. Testosterone lipoderm cream or Testim gel is applied to the groin area daily and allows for testosterone to be absorbed into your body through the skin.
When using topical treatments, thoroughly wash your hands and any clothes that come into contact with the cream or gel. Adverse health effects in women, children and pets have been reported after coming in contact with topical testosterone substances.
Patches are a great way to administer TRT without the hassle of messy creams or painful injections. Patches like Androderm are applied once a day and worn on the upper arm so they are discrete.
Why not just take a pill? While oral testosterone treatments are available, many medical experts have noticed that TRT pills can have adverse effects on the liver. Other options like injections and topical applications bypass the liver and go directly into the bloodstream. If you want to use oral treatments, Jatenzo is the first FDA-approved capsule for treating low testosterone and is prescribed by your doctor.
Coping with Low Testosterone
Regardless of your age, low testosterone can cause physical and emotional problems for you and your partner. It is essential to know that there is nothing to be ashamed about and it can be easily treated through lifestyle changes, doctor visits and TRT.
If you are experiencing any symptoms related to low testosterone, talk to your doctor and avoid self-diagnosing. Self-diagnosing or using online questionnaires may not be accurate and it is always best to be tested by a medical professional in case of other complications. If eligible, your doctor will set you up with the right treatment while maintaining discretion.
Contact Us Today if you are experiencing erectile dysfunction, to learn more information about what we offer. At MenDown, we are committed to helping our customers get through this condition.