The Ultimate Guide to Testosterone Replacement Therapy
While it’s easy to feel lost and deserted in the struggle of dealing with low testosterone levels in your body, the fact is that the condition affects around 4-5 million men in the United States alone.
Touted as the main sex hormone in the male body, testosterone (or the T-hormone) plays an important role in building bone density, muscle mass, reducing body fat as well as improving sex drive in men. That’s not all; testosterone levels are also important for your general well being. The hormone is said to play an important role in imparting clarity to your skin, regulating the speed of your metabolism, and improving brain functionality.
As important as it may sound in the proper functioning of your body, testosterone levels tend to drop with age. But male hypogonadism, a condition that refers to inadequate production of T-hormone by the body and/or sperm by the testes, can occur at any age, even to men who are below 30 years. Often detected through a series of blood tests, low testosterone levels can lead to:
- Severe fertility problems
- Body and facial hair loss
- Fatigue or poor energy levels
- Decreased muscle mass
- Reduced sex drive
- Poor sense of well being
- Abdominal obesity
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Prostate cancer
- Erectile dysfunction
The good news is that many health effects of low testosterone levels can be reversed, or at least improved, through testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). With millions of men suffering from low testosterone levels in the body, TRT is the new craze in the country.
In this article, we’ll take you through 5 important things that you must know before taking on the therapy.
What is Testosterone Replacement Therapy?
TRT is a form of hormone therapy in which androgens are injected into the male body to increase the concentration of testosterone hormone to normal levels and treat hypogonadism. But TRT is not a one-size-fit-all treatment and not everyone qualifies for the testosterone replacement therapy.
At Epic Primary Care, we offer a comprehensive and most effective way to treat low levels of testosterone in men. Our team of highly specialized doctors and hormone specialists perform a series of blood tests and health analyses on you to score you as the right candidate for the treatment and create a tailored plan that’s unique to your needs and requirements.
Diagnosis of low testosterone levels
To evaluate the severity of your condition and the line of treatment required, your hormone specialist will carry out extensive blood tests to analyze the amount of total testosterone, free testosterone, luteinizing hormone, and prolactin in your blood. If the numbers are below 250ng/dL, you may be advised to undergo testosterone replacement therapy.
However, before proceeding with the course of treatment, your doctor will ask you to repeat these tests twice or thrice to check if the testosterone levels in the blood remain constantly low.
Types of Testosterone Therapy Available
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a variety of testosterone products that can be used for the treatment of male hypogonadism. Depending on the severity of your condition and the line of treatment chosen, you doctor may advise you either one of the following therapies:
- Skin patch: Used as a tropical application, Androderm is a skin patch that’s worn on your upper body – back, stomach, upper arms or thighs – for 24 hours. At the end of the 24-hour period, a new patch is applied.
- Gels: Available as Androgen gels, the ointment is applied tropically to be absorbed directly through the skin.
- Mouth patch: Testosterone are also available as tablets that stick to the upper gums in the oral cavity. Applied twice a day, these patches releases testosterone directly into the blood for faster absorption.
- Injections and implants: Testosterone can also be directly injected into the muscles, or implanted in the soft tissues of the body to be slowly absorbed into the bloodstream.
- Tablets: Testosterone tablets are also available in the market, but are usually avoided as they are believed to have negative effect on the liver.
Many men have reportedly noticed improved levels of energy and better sex drive after undergoing testosterone replacement therapy. The hormonal therapy also helps in increasing:
- Bone density
- Muscle mass
- Insulin sensitivity
- Mood enhancement
- Overall health
Benefits of Testosterone Therapy
The most common side effects of testosterone replacement therapy include itchiness, rash, and/or irritation at the site where the testosterone is applied. However, these conditions are often reported to fade away after few initial days. You are also advised to explicitly inform your doctor before taking on the treatment if you are suffering from any of the following health conditions:
- Heart diseases
- Sleep apnea
- Prostate enlargement
- Vein thrombosis
Talking with your doctor is the only way to know if testosterone therapy is right for you. At Epic Primary Care, our highly advanced team of doctors, hormone specialists, physiologists, and care coordinators work in synchrony with each other to offer the most comprehensive and systematic care and treatment you need to improve your testosterone levels.
Our team of specialists carefully studies your medical history, signs, symptoms, and cause of disease penetration to chalk out a line of treatment that best works for you and your body. We perform scheduled tests and routine follow ups to detect and treat any underlying cause of disease and prevent it from further penetration.
So, call our Epic Primary Care team at 313-861-4400 (Detroit) or 248-336-4000 (Ferndale) and schedule an appointment with our health care experts today! We offer the best coordinated care and hormone replacement therapy available to help you live a Healthier, Disease-Free Life.
Also view our presentation on Men’s Health