Testosterone Replacement Therapy, more commonly known as TRT, is one of the oldest methods of treating or managing the effects of male hypogonadism. With decades on the market, the treatment has evolved tremendously, now coming in various forms of administration, which has caused quite a positive stir in the medical world. Although very effective, TRT cannot be used by all hypogonadism sufferers. So that brings us to the question, who is it for exactly?
Let's find out about that and more below:
Why is Testosterone Important?
In men, testosterone is responsible for male sexual development and reproductive function. It also affects muscle mass, bone density, energy, and red blood cell production. Its function even extends to regulating mood and cognitive function and may protect against certain diseases such as cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.
Testosterone's influence on the mentioned body functions makes the hormone quite important. If levels of the hormone take a dip, all the processes which involve the hormone get disrupted. This causes negative symptoms to rear their ugly head, which affects body functionality and overall health.
What are the Downsides of Low Testosterone?
The downside to low testosterone is, of course, directly linked to the processes the hormone controls or regulates in men and women. However, since we are talking about TRT, I decided to focus on men because TRT is most often recommended for men with severe testosterone decline and hardly ever used for this purpose in women.
After digging my heels into some intensive research, I narrowed the downsides of low testosterone to the following:
How does TRT Work?
As I mentioned earlier, testosterone comes in various forms with different administration methods. Each form serves the same function and introduces a synthetic version (formed in a lab) of testosterone that mimics the function of natural testosterone into the body.
Some of the most common TRT options are:
From looking at the forms, we've deduced TRT works by supplementing the body with exogenous (from outside the body) testosterone to raise testosterone levels in the bloodstream. Once the testosterone is in the bloodstream, it is carried to the cells throughout the body, where it binds to androgen receptors and influences different body processes.
Are there any risks involved?
Like any other treatment or supplement on the market, there are possible risks involved with undergoing TRT therapy. TRT risks are more on the serioue, which is one of the reasons why TRT is os sidnly considered a viable treatment option for those with severe testosterone decline.
Some of the most commonly reported risks and side effects include:
It is important to note that the risks and side effects of TRT may vary depending on the individual, their health status, and the method of administration. In simple, it doesn't always show up.
Are there Any Alternatives?
One of the most common alternatives to TRT is testosterone boosters. Testosterone boosters are supplemental aids created with a blend of natural ingredients like vitamins, minerals, and herbal extracts, which support the body's natural production of testosterone.
Most of the ingredients in these formulas already have a large user following, and some are even backed by scientific research confirming their efficacy and safety. I've been looking into testosterone boosters for quite some time now and have a list of my favorite ones here.
The testosterone booster market is filled with great options that are both effective and accessible. The use of supplements can be paired with lifestyle changes that will really drive testosterone levels to their peak.
When is TRT Recommended?
TRT is prescribed by a qualified healthcare provider for men diagnosed with low testosterone, experiencing symptoms such as low libido, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, depression, and decreased muscle mass and strength.
A thorough assessment of a patient's symptoms, medical history, and testosterone levels must be done before commencing treatment. TRT may also be recommended for men who underwent certain medical treatments that led to a testosterone decline. It is important to note that TRT is not recommended for men with normal testosterone levels or women, as it can have potentially harmful side effects.
TRT is an effective treatment or management option for hypogonadism. However, it cant be used in everyone presenting testosterone decline symptoms. I found that the treatment is only recommended to those with moderate to severe symptoms requiring a potent approach. Talking to a healthcare professional to accurately assess symptoms and possible treatment is best.