When the topic of testosterone gets brought up, images of broad, muscular men and deep, resonant voices often spring to mind.
Make no mistake, these two impressions are completely true. Testosterone is indeed responsible for these functions.
However, testosterone’s list of functions reaches far beyond that.
It’s also responsible for stimulating the development of other male characteristics, namely increasing our height, lowering body fat, prompting red blood cell production, and improving our sex drive.
It’s clear to recognize the importance of testosterone with its wide range of functions as an anabolic hormone.
That said, it’s unfortunately a common occurrence for men over 30 to face a slower rate of testosterone production, causing a range of unpleasant symptoms.
In such cases, testosterone replacement therapy can help minimize symptoms and maintain a healthy level of men’s total testosterone.
Just be warned: there are some instances wherein testosterone therapy may actually cause more harm than good.
Want to know whether you’re qualified to undergo testosterone treatment? We got you.
Continue reading for a rundown on the effects of low testosterone, how testosterone therapy works, who can undergo this procedure, who can’t, and other natural ways you can improve your testosterone levels.
What Are The Harms of Low Testosterone Levels?
Low testosterone levels are defined as a testosterone blood count of under 300 ng/dL. A testosterone deficiency can manifest in several ways, including:
- Low sexual drive
- Erectile dysfunction
- Difficulty sleeping
- Reduced muscle mass
- Reduction of testicles
- Hair loss
While many people face symptoms, not all people with low testosterone know that they have the condition.
In one study, as much as 47% of men over 50 with low testosterone are asymptomatic.
While this may appear to be a good thing, it can lead patients to develop hidden, progressive ailments that may be more difficult to cure over time.
This is why it’s important to get routine physical examinations with bloodwork to ensure that you have a normal testosterone count.
Once a doctor has diagnosed you with hypogonadism or low testosterone, they’ll push through with the next step—testosterone therapy.
How Does Testosterone Therapy Work?
Testosterone therapy, also known as testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), aims to restore testosterone levels in the bloodstream, thereby alleviating the symptoms associated with its deficiency.
Here’s how hormone replacement therapy (in this case, testosterone) is typically administered:
- Your doctor will first clear you for testosterone treatment.
- They’ll then administer various treatments, like a testosterone gel, creams, injections, or pellets. These usually range from daily applications to once-a-month applications.
- Your testosterone count will be closely monitored throughout the procedure.
- After some time, they’ll see whether you no longer have symptoms of low testosterone and clear your case.
Is Testosterone Therapy Effective? What The Research Says
Yes, it’s effective. According to one published study, testosterone therapy is deemed an effective treatment in improving the quality of life and cholesterol levels of patients with hypogonadism.
According to another study published by Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management, male hypogonadism patients noted multiple benefits following this therapy. This included the following improvements:
- Improve sexual desire and sexual function
- Increase bone density
- Improved energy
- Increased muscle mass and strength
- Improved cognitive function
Risks of Taking Testosterone Replacement Therapy
The aforementioned Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management study also noted the potential risks of testosterone treatment.
These include the following side effects:
- Increased risk of prostate cancer and breast cancer
- Benign prostatic hypertrophy
- Liver toxicity and liver tumor
- Skin diseases
- Exacerbates obstructive sleep apnea
- Testicular atrophy and infertility
Due to potential risks associated with any medical treatment, it’s strongly advised to pursue TRT at the guidance of a medical professional, such as the Low T specialists in St. Louis at our medical clinic.
We can help provide you with a detailed assessment of your case and prescribe you a combination of treatment plans to help you improve your testosterone count without compromising other facets of your health.
Who Can’t Take Testosterone Replacement Therapy?
Testosterone replacement therapy, for the average person, is an effective way to boost your testosterone levels.
However, people who have certain conditions or those who have an affinity towards a particular lifestyle may not fully reap the advantage of TRT. In some cases, TRT could even worsen their condition altogether.
Here are some profiles of people who should not take testosterone replacement therapy:
- Men with prostate cancer: If you’re diagnosed with prostate cancer, or have elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA), it’s best to avoid taking TRT as this treatment can stimulate prostate cancer growth.
- Sleep apnea patients: TRT can cause neuromuscular changes in the airways and alter physiological responses to hypoxia and hypercapnia, making it harmful for sleep apnea patients.
- Congestive heart failure: Men diagnosed with heart failure and stroke for the last six months are urged to not take TRT.
- Men with blood clots: TRT may increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, making it unideal for blood clot patients.
- Benign prostatic hypertrophy: Men with BPH shouldn’t take TRT as it may cause them to have difficulty urinating.
If you’re suffering from any other unmentioned health conditions, it’s best to talk with your doctor about it before undergoing a testosterone blood test and treatment.
Alternative, Natural Ways to Boost Testosterone Levels
If you can’t take TRT right now, don’t worry. There are many ways to bring your testosterone levels back to speed.
Here’s how you can improve your testosterone count at home:
- Improve your diet: Eat food rich in Zinc, vitamin D, and healthy fats. Avoid sweets and processed foods.
- Exercise frequently: Sweat it out at the gym and do some weightlifting.
- Reduce stress: Avoid getting too stressed at work or home as much as you can.
- Sleep more often: Ensure you’re getting at least 7 hours of quality sleep at night.
By following these habits, you can keep your testosterone count at a good, healthy level.
Elevate Your Testosterone Levels with St. Louis, Missouri’s Best Male Health Specialists
Testosterone replacement therapy is not for everyone, but its benefits for the people who can take it are life-changing.
Schedule a consultation with us today, your initial consultation and first treatment are completely free.