Testosterone Replacement Therapy – What’s the Buzz All About?

Quincy AdamLow T Treatments

Open any men’s fitness magazine, and the buzz words are everywhere: Low testosterone, ED (erectile dysfunction), male menopause, and the like.

Are they hype – fads designed to sell more products and magazines – or are they real?

While it’s certainly true that testosterone — the primary male hormone — naturally declines with age, averaging about 1% a year beginning in the 40s. 1

And, this decline can affect sex drive, energy levels, sleep quality and mood. But how do you know if this is normal aging or if you can benefit from treatment with testosterone replacement therapy (TRT)?

While many of these symptoms may be attributable to other conditions, it’s easy enough to get tested and determine whether low testosterone is at the root of your problems. A simple blood test can quickly rule it in or out.

Embarrassed to bring it up?

For most men, it’s not the blood test – it’s overcoming their embarrassment about bringing up the topic in the first place. Rest assured, you will not be judged. In the U.S. alone, 4 to 5 million men have low testosterone 2, so it’s a fairly common condition. As men reach their 50s, many begin to experience loss of sexual desire, depression, anxiety, reduced muscle mass, fatigue, weight gain, anemia, and hot flashes, and it’s often a result of low testosterone. 3

For those who are reluctant to mention it to the receptionist on the phone or the nurse in the office, simply bring it up in private with your doctor when you go for your next physical or urgent care visit.

Treatments

Some men opt for lifestyle changes such as diet, exercise, herbal supplements, minimizing stress levels, and improving sleep habits, all of which may boost testosterone levels.

Other men choose Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) in the form of a topical gel, skin patch, pill or injection, all of which must be prescribed by a doctor. Research studies show that TRT improves quality of life, depression, erectile function and libido, 4 while also improving obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and exercise capacity. 5

Of course, there are potential side effects and certain risks associated with every treatment option, so it’s important to get a thorough examination to determine the cause of your symptoms and the treatment options they that are best for you.


1 https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/Testosterone_aging_and_the_mind
2 http://www.bumc.bu.edu/sexualmedicine/publications/prevalence-diagnosis-and-treatment-of-hypogonadism-in-primary-care-practice/
3 https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/male-hypogonadism/symptoms-causes/syc-20354881
4 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5701987/
5 http://www.npjournal.org/article/S1555-4155(16)30716-4/pdf