What an easy decision to make when you are choosing the clothes you wear, the morning drink once you reach the office, the food you will have for lunch, and the place you are going to on the weekend. In fact, you are taking lots of decisions every day, mostly without a second thought. However, would this be the case when it comes to deciding on starting a Testosterone Replacement Therapy?
Across the globe, millions of men are receiving testosterone replacement therapy (commonly known as TRT) to restore their normal levels of the manly hormone. The ongoing marketing blitz promises that this treatment can make men restore their alertness and clarity of mind, boost their concentration and mental sharpness, feel more energetic, and saving the hottest for last, increase their sexual function. Nevertheless, a significant safety concern lingers in the air: Who is the right candidate for testosterone replacement therapy? Here are the facts you ought to know:
Hormones are chemical messengers made by your glands and carried through the bloodstream to transmit signals to other organs in the body about processes and functions such as development and growth, metabolism, cognition, and reproduction. Among these is testosterone, often known as the male sex hormone, which plays a fundamental role in men’s physical and emotional well-being.
Testosterone is primarily produced in the testicles and is responsible for many physical characteristics specific to males. In adults, it helps maintain muscle mass and strength, bone density, facial and body hair, red blood cell production, fat distribution, sperm production, and sex drive, among others.
By and large, male testosterone levels surge with adolescence and peak during early adulthood. As you get older, your testosterone levels tend to decline gradually and cause something which is commonly referred to in the media as the `andropause` or male menopause. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), normal testosterone range is usually between 300 - 1000 ng/dl. When the levels fall below 300 ng/dl, low testosterone is diagnosed.
Low testosterone - a surprisingly common health problem that affects millions of men worldwide - is where your body ceases to produce enough of the hormone. This can impact your mental and physical health, and leads to a myriad of distressing problems such as mood disturbances, increased body fat and weight gain, decreased muscle and bone mass, decline in intimacy desire and poor sexual performance, lack of energy and fatigue, anaemia, difficulty with concentration, memory and sleep difficulties.
Should you talk to your doctor about it?
Have you been experiencing vague, but distressing, symptoms for some time? Feeling weary, lethargic, and lacking energy despite sleeping soundly and working out? Struggling to summon the motivation to get out of bed every morning? Gaining an unexplained weight despite regular exercise and diet control? Experiencing intimate drawbacks such as low sexual drive or weak erection? Feeling depressed, irritable, or moody? Lacking the proper focus to perform your daily tasks?
It is easy to dismiss changes in your body, mind, and your weariness as signs of ageing and pay no heed to the possibility that low testosterone levels may present a prime suspect. If you suspect that you might have low testosterone, make an appointment with your male health expert who will use a simple blood test to determine your testosterone level. You may be a candidate for testosterone replacement therapy if low testosterone is interfering with your health and quality of life. When prescribed after confirming that low testosterone is at the root of your problem, testosterone replacement therapy does not just alleviate your symptoms but also boosts your overall health and well-being.
Testosterone replacement therapy can induce major life-transforming results. It has been proven to slow, and may even reverse the signs of age-related hormone drop. Below are some of the most important ways by which testosterone replacement can enhance your quality of life:
- Helps you get, and remain, in shape: By boosting metabolism and increasing your body’s ability to build up muscle bulk instead of storing fat, testosterone therapy can help you attain a leaner, healthier body.
- Improves bone density: Testosterone therapy has been shown to increase bone mineral density. Its role in lowering the risk of fractures as men get older is well-recognised.
- Boosts energy levels: Testosterone therapy has been shown to improve men's vigour, with so many men reporting the regression of the `brain fog` that associated their hormone drop.
- Enhances potency: Testosterone therapy plays a crucial role in restoring your libido and sexual stamina which can help you achieve more sustainable and firm erections for a more satisfying intimate life.
- Improves cognition: Testosterone therapy boosts cognition, short-term memory and ability to concentrate. Moreover, it has been shown to amplify motivation and improve sleep pattern.
- Enhances mood: Men on testosterone therapy usually report a more stable emotional well-being.
Being a long-term treatment, the key is to get a proper diagnosis before commitment to testosterone replacement therapy. Every man needs an individual, tailored management plan – there is not one therapeutic protocol that fits all. A thorough discussion with your male health expert is essential before starting testosterone replacement therapy to decide whether it is suitable for you and review realistic expectations of treatment. You will be monitored regularly to assess the clinical response and ensure that your health and well-being are on the right track.
Once the therapeutic course is started, usually the results do not take long to appear. After a few weeks, many men report an improvement in their intimate drive and performance, a sunnier mood, and a sense of being energetic. Other benefits, inclusive of improved muscle strength and bone density, may take six months or more to become noticeable.
Used by millions all over the world nowadays, it comes as no surprise that testosterone replacement therapy has become one of the most common requests male health experts receive. When it comes to hormones, testosterone represents the essence of what makes men who they are, and there is no doubt that men with symptomatic low testosterone can benefit from testosterone replacement. If you think you may be having low testosterone levels, or to find out if you are a candidate for testosterone replacement therapy, now is the time to be more proactive about your health!
Dr. Anis Haddad, MD
Urologist, Andrologist, and Sexologist
Male Health Expert