Testosterone therapy can be a very beneficial treatment for men with hypotestosteronemia- the chronic condition of low testosterone levels. Testosterone therapy may help prevent or treat conditions such as osteoporosis, diabetes, depression, and more.
Although it is a safe treatment for most men, it can potentially cause health complications such as heart disease and stroke. This article will explain the risks and benefits of testosterone therapy.
What is testosterone therapy?
A testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) procedure involves giving natural hormones to men to treat the signs and symptoms of low testosterone. Age-related reductions in testosterone production in men can cause symptoms like decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, and loss of bone and muscle mass. Testosterone replacement therapy helps reduce the loss of energy generated by the imbalance of testosterone.
A series of blood tests that measure your body’s average production of various hormones are used by your doctor to diagnose low testosterone. Maintaining an intermediate level of testosterone, which has been associated with several health advantages for aging men, is possible with the help of testosterone replacement therapy.
What happens to testosterone levels with age?
Testosterone is one of the hormones produced by the testicles. Men have more testosterone than women, but both sexes produce it. Testosterone levels usually peak at age 30 and change very little, even with aging.
Testosterone begins to decline at age 40 and more rapidly after age 60. Levels gradually decline by 1% each year after the onset of puberty; this decline can be reversed with hormone replacement therapy (TRT). The aim is to return testosterone levels to the normal range for your age group.
Does a naturally declining testosterone level cause age-related signs and symptoms?
Probably not. Men may experience a variety of symptoms as they get older. Numerous things, including the following, can result from low testosterone levels:
- Changes in sexual function:
Low testosterone levels affect sexual desire, which can, in turn, decrease sexual activity, erectile dysfunction, and even impotence. Testosterone replacement therapy might improve these symptoms in older men.
Men who take testosterone for low desire can benefit from improving their relationship with their partner.
- Physical changes:
The benefits of testosterone replacement therapy, sometimes called androgen replacement therapy, include increased lean body mass and strength. Testosterone decreases the loss of muscle mass with age. It can also increase bone density and help maintain a healthy metabolism.
- Emotional changes:
Testosterone therapy improves mood, which can help improve emotional well-being. Older men may experience low testosterone levels due to age-related declines in physical health or an aging body. Testosterone replacement therapy could improve their overall quality of life.
What are the potential benefits of testosterone therapy?
Some men who take testosterone replacement therapy for low testosterone levels may experience the following benefits:
01. Healthy heart and blood:
Testosterone influences the heart and blood vessels. Testosterone supplements can raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease. High blood pressure is not a common side effect of testosterone replacement therapy in older men, although it can occur.
02. Less fat, more muscle:
Testosterone therapy can increase fat burning, improve body composition and help build muscle. Older men tend to have less muscle mass than younger men, which can decrease strength and physical fitness. Testosterone treatment increases lean tissue mass, improving one’s physical fitness.
03. Better libido:
Testosterone replacement therapy can improve sex drive. In a study of older men who received testosterone injections, one common problem reported by the men was that their low libido and erectile dysfunction led to a decrease in sexual activity. With this treatment, their sex drive and ability to perform improved significantly.
04. Better mood:
Testosterone replacement therapy can also improve your outlook and disposition, improving your overall quality of life. Low testosterone levels might cause depression, fatigue, or other mood issues that testosterone replacement therapy could correct.
05. Stronger bones:
Testosterone replacement therapy can help maintain healthy bone density. Testosterone helps build and maintain healthy bones and may improve your risk of osteoporosis, a condition in which the bones become porous and weak. So, testosterone replacement therapy could prevent bone fractures and spinal deformities.
06. Better verbal memory, spatial abilities, or mathematical reasoning:
Testosterone replacement therapy might improve spatial ability and verbal memory, especially in men with low testosterone levels. Testosterone therapy also increases your overall energy level and mood, which could improve memory.
There are many benefits of testosterone replacement therapy reported by patients undergoing treatment. However, this approach has a few disadvantages as well. Continue reading to learn about the potential risks of TRT.
What are the potential risks of testosterone therapy for normal aging?
A few potential risks are associated with testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), including possible side effects and interactions with other medications. Testosterone therapy has various risks, including:
- Worsening sleep apnea: Testosterone replacement therapy may worsen existing sleep apnea. If you have sleep apnea and start or stop testosterone therapy, your doctor should monitor you for any changes in your breathing.
- Causing acne or other skin reactions: Testosterone therapy can increase the production of sebum, an oily substance produced by the skin. Sebum can cause acne.
- Increasing red blood cell production: Testosterone replacement therapy might increase your risk of developing polycythemia or an abnormal increase in red blood cells.
- Limiting sperm production or causing testicles to shrink: Most testosterone replacement therapy is delivered via injections into the muscle. This might lower sperm production or shrink the testicles, but this is temporary and reversible with treatment discontinuation.
- Enlarging breasts: Testosterone replacement therapy can increase the size of the breasts in men. Testosterone has the opposite effect on women, causing breast enlargement.
- Stimulating noncancerous growth of the prostate: Testosterone can stimulate prostate growth in men even though it is not known to cause cancer. While this may be a concern, it is not life-threatening.
Natural ways to increase testosterone
The most natural way to increase testosterone is to change your lifestyle. Following these simple steps can dramatically increase your testosterone level quickly.
- Decrease life stress: Stress can cause a drop in testosterone levels, so you should reduce all tension in your life. You can make time for yourself and start an exercise regimen.
- Exercise and diet: Exercising is another excellent way to increase testosterone naturally. Exercising for about 30 minutes daily, three times per week, can help boost your testosterone levels. Eating right can also help you grow your testosterone level.
- Sleep habits: Sleep is another vital factor affecting testosterone production. A minimum of seven to eight hours of sleep each night can help your body’s recovery and help maintain the highest possible testosterone levels.
- Weight loss: Weight loss can be another effective way to boost testosterone. Weight loss can also result in lower body fat, raising your testosterone level.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy has so many benefits it’s hard to keep track of them all. The most important use is that it can help men live healthier, longer lives. It also enhances their quality of life. Low testosterone levels can make it impossible to enjoy life, especially as you get older. Fortunately, many testosterone replacement therapy options are available on the market now. Your doctor will help you decide which is right based on your specific situation and needs.