Should You Get Testosterone Replacement Therapy?
After testosterone treatment, many men with low testosterone report increased energy, sex drive, and mood. Why not supplement testosterone if it's low?
Not so fast, my friend. A low testosterone level does not necessitate treatment on its own. Testosterone replacement therapy can have negative side effects, and the risks and benefits in the long run are unknown. Only men who have low testosterone symptoms and blood tests that show this is the cause of their symptoms should consider testosterone replacement. The only way to find out if testosterone therapy is right for you is to speak with your doctor.
Subtle Signs of Testosterone Deficiency
Low testosterone symptoms can be obvious at times, but they can also be subtle. Men's testosterone levels naturally decline over time as they age. However, certain conditions can also result in an abnormally low level. Low testosterone symptoms include:
- Low sex drive (libido)
- Erectile dysfunction
- Fatigue and poor energy level
- Decreased muscle mass
- Body and facial hair loss
- Difficulty concentrating
- Low sense of well-being
A doctor may recommend treatment if a man exhibits symptoms of low testosterone and tests reveal an abnormally low testosterone level. There is currently no treatment recommended for millions of men who have low testosterone levels but no symptoms. It's also not approved for treating men who have low testosterone levels due to aging.
Forms of Testosterone Supplements
Testosterone replacement therapy is available in several forms. All can improve testosterone levels:
- Skin patch (transdermal): Androderm is a skin patch worn on the arm or upper body. It's applied once a day.
- Gels: AndoGel and Testim come in packets of clear testosterone gel. Testosterone is absorbed directly through the skin when you apply the gel once a day. AndroGel, Axiron, and Fortesta also come in a pump that delivers the amount of testosterone prescribed by your doctor. Natesto is a gel applied inside the nose.
- Mouth patch: Striant is a tablet that sticks to the upper gums above the incisor, the tooth just to the right or left of the two front teeth. Applied twice a day, it continuously releases testosterone into the blood through the oral tissues.
- Injections and implants: Testosterone can also be injected directly into the muscles, or implanted as pellets in the soft tissues. Your body slowly absorbs the testosterone into the bloodstream.
Why not just take a testosterone supplement? There is testosterone that can be taken orally. Oral testosterone, on the other hand, may have negative effects on the liver, according to some experts. Other methods of testosterone administration, such as skin patches, gels, orally disintegrating tablets, or injections, bypass the liver and deliver testosterone directly to the bloodstream.
Testosterone Replacement vs. Performance-Enhancing Steroids
Isn't testosterone replacement essentially the same as steroid use, as seen in athletes who "dope"? True, some bodybuilders and athletes use anabolic steroids that contain testosterone or chemicals that act like testosterone.
The difference is that testosterone replacement doses only achieve physiologic (natural) hormone levels in the bloodstream. Some athletes use illegal testosterone forms in much higher doses, and they're frequently combined ("stacked") with other substances that boost the overall muscle-building (anabolic) effect.
Are You Worried About Your Testosterone Dropping Off A Cliff And Feeling Unwell?
Many males after intense stress or over the age of 40 start to feel tired, weak, depressed and have completely lost their sex drive. Sounds terrible right? The stress of feeling this way makes all the symptoms spiral even further until guys are at their wits end and hopeless. Many have no clue what's going on but worse is some guys will just accept this as a normal part of life without ever knowing how they can fix it for good! Atlas Health Medical Group in Gilbert, Arizona specializes in providing Naturopathic / Functional Medicine to the East Valley including Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, San Tan and Queen Creek. Offering innovative treatments such as testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), Nutrient IVs, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), Bio-Identical Hormones, and emerging alternatives to Stem Cell Therapy that allow us to individualize care for every patient. We pride ourselves on setting the standards of patient care and result-driven treatments. This approach has allowed us to become the leading Naturopathic clinic in Gilbert, Arizona. Contact us today for your first appointment!