Testosterone deficiency is a more and more common issue in men these days. Due to a lifestyle that is less and less active, modern men experience testosterone drops earlier in life. On top of that, the natural drop that happens around the age of 35 is far more intense as a consequence of these lifestyle choices.
In situations where the deficiency is on the lighter side of things, there are many options to get it back on track. But when the situation is a bit more serious, the only legitimate option is TRT (Testosterone Replacement Therapy).
Low testosterone: Symptoms & why you need treatment
When faced with a reduced level of testosterone, the body may show a wide variety of symptoms. The issue may expose itself as some pretty common symptoms, while others are a bit more specific.
Testosterone replacement therapy(TRT)
As we mentioned, testosterone replacement therapy is reserved to severe cases of testosterone deficiency. It requires a recommendation from a physician, and he or she will guide you through the entire process.
Many people who look at this therapy tend to inquire about the difference between this and synthetic anabolic steroids, which is a fair question. The difference is that this is a controlled procedure, monitored at every step. When people use steroids, they usually stack them with other stuff and blow up their testosterone levels beyond what is naturally possible, even at the extremes of human capabilities.
During TRT doctors will keep your testosterone level in reasonable ranges in order to keep you healthy.
7 Different TRT administration types
When it comes to administering therapy for TRT, we have quite a few options at our disposal. They more or less achieve the same effect, but there are some differences between them.
When it comes to oral administration, we have pills that are swallowed or capsules which are attached to the inside of the oral cavity. This approach ensures a slow release of testosterone into our bloodstream and is very convenient to carry and take.
2. Transdermal patch
These patches are usually put on the skin at night, between 8:00 p.m. and midnight. They are intended to work 24 hours and then be replaced by the next one. The goal here is to simulate the testosterone release your body should be able to give you naturally. Consult your doctor on the proper procedure for putting it on as well as where on your body to position it.
Injections are a common way of administering testosterone into the body. The downsides of this method are that the rush may be a bit more intense and that you’ll need a medical professional to do it for you.
4. Nasal gel
Applied with a dispenser pump to the inside of the nasal cavity, this approach is meant to be administered three times a day to each nostril. There should be an 8-hour break between each administration, and make sure you set the alarm for this, as evenly spacing the doses is crucial to its effectiveness.
5. Topical gels
These gels are meant to be applied to the skin once a day, and doctors usually recommend you do so in the morning so you can go on with your day unburdened. We have to warn you that people who touch the place of application may get a transfer of it, and if you come in contact with kids and women (especially pregnant ones), we recommend you keep track of where you put the gel.
6. Subcutaneous pellets
These testosterone pellets are inserted beneath the skin to ensure a gradual release of testosterone. On top of that, these pallets have the added advantage of having an effect on testosterone levels for three or even six months at a time, leaving the patient to live his best life.
7. Buccal tabs
These tablet-shaped patches are meant to stick to the upper gums and release testosterone slowly. They are meant to be replaced every twelve hours. They are usually placed above the left and right incisors (teeth right next to the two front teeth) but make sure you talk to your physician if you are unclear on how to put them in properly.
As you can see, there are several options when it comes to TRT, and most of them come with their upsides and downsides. We recommend that you discuss these with your doctor so as to determine which exact approach works best for your particular situation.
Risks of TRT therapy
Even though generally considered safe when done properly, TRT is not without its fair share of side effects. Some of these side effects are nothing serious, but some of them are serious.
Here is a list of all of them:
Some of these are pretty serious, but we would leave it to your medical staff to explain the probability of these symptoms occurring.
A medical check-up will be performed before the treatment is started to confirm the absence of any potential underlying conditions which can be aggravated by testosterone replacement therapy. Furthermore, regular monitoring of the effects of the therapy, once underway, will ensure the risks are as low as possible.
TRT and healthy men
Due to the similarity in effect between synthetic steroids and TRT, the question of use for building muscle comes up. After all, there are many men out there that would be motivated to pay for such a treatment. This includes athletes, people attempting to lose weight, or simply building muscle mass for aesthetic reasons.
Up to this date, you cannot get TRT without having an underlying issue that requires it. This is not a cosmetic therapy or a vanity treatment you can pay to get.
Alternative for low to mild testosterone deficiency
If your situation is not caused by an underlying health condition and does not cause your levels to drop significantly, you may be able to avoid TRT altogether. There are several options at your disposal, and you can even use all of them together for a faster and more pronounced impact on T production.
There are specific foods that can help you boost your testosterone levels out there. Similarly, there are foods that will contribute to the drop in your testosterone levels. By correcting your diet, you’ll be able to make a lot of impact on your testosterone levels.
Being that a sedentary lifestyle greatly contributes to low testosterone levels, simply starting to exercise can help a lot. There are two types of training that are considered to be the most effective when it comes to this: HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and resistance training, so we recommend you pick one of them if you decide to go down this route.
Testosterone booster supplements
Testosterone booster supplements do not contain testosterone — they are not TRT medications. They contain ingredients that can promote testosterone production or prevent testosterone from being converted into other hormones (a common issue with people with greater body fat). They come with various ingredients and can be used even by people who don’t experience low testosterone issues — most commonly athletes seeking better results at the gym.
Other things that can help you get your testosterone levels back to normal are:
Testosterone replacement therapy cannot be bought over the counter, and you will need to get a prescription from your physician to get it. It has its share of risks, but with proper follow-up with your doctor, those risks can be minimized.
There are a lot of options when it comes to administration types of TRT. We recommend you get your doctor to list them out for you and tell you about their individual advantages and disadvantages. The choice of taking or not taking this therapy falls to you, but the physician is responsible for recommending it when appropriate and explaining the nuances around it.
There are many potential side effects of testosterone therapy, including acne, increased red blood cell levels, increased risk of heart attack and stroke, testicular shrinkage, infertility, etc. Consult your doctor for a full list of potential side effects.
This is a question that is best decided by you and your doctor. This kind of therapy comes with its fair share of risks and is recommended only with specific conditions, so in these instances, it might be the right choice for some people.
Yes and no. It has the potential to be as effective at muscle building as synthetic steroids, but due to the doctors dosing it not to boost testosterone beyond normal ranges, it will not achieve the same results. This approach is why it is safer than using steroids, as most people tend to stack steroids with other stuff to build muscle as fast as possible, leading to an increase in the probability of side effects.
Side effects are possible, and some serious ones at that. You could develop some types of cancer, get a heart attack or a stroke, and remain infertile. This is why this treatment is not available over the counter and is recommended only to certain men.