What is TRT therapy? Are there any risks linked to TRT?
TRT— Testosterone Replacement Therapy, also referred to as Androgen Replacement Therapy. TRT can be used to combat low testosterone and promote testosterone production. Maintaining proper amounts of testosterone in the body is essential to sustain overall health and well-being.
As people age, a decline in testosterone production is experienced. This decline causes low sex drive, constant tiredness, depression, and loss of strength. Furthermore, deficient levels of testosterone in men increases the risk of obesity and heart attack.
Studies show that when men reach the age of 30, their Testosterone production begins to decline at a rate of 1% per year, every year. As Testosterone production declines, men will start replacing 1lb of muscle with 1lb of fat yearly. This decline in testosterone also begins to affect libido/sexual function, mental clarity, and energy levels. The good news is that with Testosterone Replacement Therapy, your Testosterone levels can be restored to where they were when you were in your early 20’s.
Testosterone replacement therapy can also be done to promote testosterone production. Improved muscle mass, increased bone density, higher energy levels, decreased irritability and anxiety are some of the other benefits associated with testosterone replacement therapy.
Although testosterone is considered a male hormone, women also need small quantities of it for muscle and bone strength. In general, an adult human male produces about eight to ten times more testosterone than their female counterparts. Testosterone production in men increases under the puberty stage. Normal testosterone levels in the bloodstream are about 359 and 1230 nanograms.
There are different ways that testosterone replacement therapy is done. There is the injection method, the oral capsules method, the patches method, and also the implant method. Professionals in testosterone replacement therapy will let you choose which process is right for you and with which procedure you are most comfortable.
Low testosterone levels pose a potential threat to the well-being and health of many older men; the treatments are prescription grade and should not be abused. Individuals are encouraged to talk to doctors or other medical specialists and are discouraged from buying under the table (black market testosterone).
How do I know if my testosterone is low?
A blood test can determine your testosterone levels and help diagnose if you need treatment or not, a healthy diet and regular exercise are necessary for good health and to ensure the maximum effectiveness of testosterone treatment.
Common Signs & Symptoms of Low testosterone levels:
- Reduced Sex Drive (low libido)
- Problems With Erections
- Reduction in Testicle Size
- Reduction in The Amount of Semen
- Sexual Dysfunction
- Reduced Muscle Mass
- Reduced Bone Mass
- Decreased Energy Levels
- Increased Body Fat (belly & mid-region)
- Lower Stamina
- Decreased Strength
- Poor or No Results From Workout
- Increased Cholesterol
- Issues With Skin Tone and Elasticity
- Hot Flashes (men get them too)
- Hair Loss
- Changes In Mood/Mood Swings
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Lack of Motivation
- Decreased Sense of Well-being
- Lack of Confidence
- Changes In Sleep Patterns
- Difficulty Falling Asleep
- Difficulty Obtaining 6-8 Hours of Sleep
- Not Feeling Rested After Sleep
- Wanting More Sleep No Matter How Much You Sleep
- Waking Up Often and Having Trouble Going Back To Sleep
When optimal Testosterone levels (800-1300) are combined with a proper diet & exercise program (weight/resistance training & cardio) you can expect the following benefits of TRT:
- Increased Sexual Desire
- Improved Muscle Mass
- Higher Energy Levels
- Decreased Irritability And Anxiety
Though the use of Testosterone Replacement Therapy- TRT is growing, Yet there is much more debate/contradiction regarding its Uses, Benefits, and Risks. Experts are on their way, trying to understand the risk and side effects of TRT.
- Risks & Side Effects Linked to Testosterone Replacement Therapy – TRT
- Prostate cancer — Increased in development or acceleration of noncancerous prostate growth and growth of existing prostate cancer (benign prostatic hyperplasia).
- Breast Cancer — Simulate the development of growth of breast cancer, which results in breast enlargement, breast swelling, or tenderness.
- Sleep apnea — A potentially dangerous sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. These may result in disturbed/difficulty breathing while sleeping and also cause speech difficulties.
- Acne and Skin Breakouts — Development of causing acne or other skin reactions also result in skin being oily.
- Low Sperm Count — Lowering sperm reproduction may cause testicles to shrink, which may result in a higher risk of infertility.
- Blood Clots — Increased risk of blood clots -Developing too much red blood cell production contributes to the increased risk of forming a blood clot. A clot could break loose, travel through your bloodstream, and lodge in your lungs, blocking blood flow.
- Heart Disease — It can increase the risk of cardiovascular events that may include congestive heart failure, heart attack, and stroke.
Some peoples may also experience some side effects such as the increased risk of polycythemia, alopecia, gynecomastia, increased lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), liver toxicity, swelling in the ankles, hands, and legs, lowered HDL cholesterol, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism.
A relatively small number of men experience immediate side effects of testosterone treatment, such as acne, disturbed breathing while sleeping, breast swelling, or swelling in the ankles, risk of blood clotting.
Men in the long-term using forms of testosterone therapy appear to have a higher risk of cardiovascular complications, like heart attacks, strokes, and deaths from heart disease.
Here are some useful cautions & information men should know about TRT:
- The risk of blood clots and heart problems can be easily solved by donating blood occasionally.
- Effects like sleep apnea and acne usually stop after stopping the use of therapy.
- After applying medication and testosterone gel, men should adequately wash their hands and avoid skin contact to get rid of premature puberty, hair fall, or skin disorders.
- It is strongly suggested that you should not have TRT if you have prostate or breast cancer.
- Studies also suggest that you might be the right candidate if you have been successfully treated or cured for prostate cancer as the physicians closely watch them for signs and diseases.
However, there are many uses for TRT; some of them are acceptable and others under debate yet. Before jumping in and getting yourself treated with testosterone replacement therapy, you first have to consult with your doctor. By conducting a series of tests, the doctor will determine if your testosterone level has declined. If it has, the doctor will then recommend treatments, such as testosterone replacement therapy.
The doctor will be able to recommend a treatment program designed for you and administer and supervise the treatment. You have to consider the fact that you must have the right dosage of testosterone to have a maximum effect while getting rid of the side effects.
Always remember that testosterone replacement therapy should only be done with the supervision of a qualified professional in the field of testosterone replacement therapy. It is essential to give you the best effect possible while minimizing or eliminating unwanted side effects.