A survey of 1,500 men between the ages of 30 and 79 done by the New England Research Institute found that 1 in 4 participants had low testosterone. With statistics that high, it’s no surprise that many men worry that they’re experiencing the symptoms of low T.
The thought of low T is no doubt concerning, but it’s a completely manageable – and sometimes even reversible – condition.
What Testosterone Does
Testosterone is often thought of as a hormone solely responsible for secondary sex characteristics like the growth of facial hair, though in recent years research has revealed that T’s impact on the body is much farther reaching.
T levels impact nearly every organ system and have a significant influence over brain function, metabolism, and body composition. Testosterone is associated with muscle growth, since it encourages the body to convert calories into lean muscle mass rather than fat deposits.
What Happens When You Have Low Testosterone
With low testosterone comes many unwelcome changes in the body. Symptoms of low T differ from person to person, but the most commonly described side effects are hot flashes, fatigue, decreased libido, mood changes, weight gain, and muscle weakness. Other side effects include lower cognition levels, problems with concentration, fatigue, and even depression.
Low T is diagnosed by taking a blood sample and analyzing it to measure you T levels. T is produced throughout a man’s life, but around age 30 the body starts to make less, which can sometimes progress to hypogonadism.
Over time, untreated low T can negatively impact bone density, sometimes leading to osteoporosis or brittle bones. Researchers think this is because testosterone prevents reabsorption of calcium from the bones.
What is Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)?
TRT is a course of treatment that involves introducing supplemental testosterone into the body to combat the side effects of hypogonadism. While this therapy can be beneficial to a small percentage of women, men are the primary recipients.
TRT can be used for both short and long-term treatment of andropause and has been used successfully in a broad age group from adolescents to the elderly.
Several studies have been conducted on the effects of TRT on weight loss in hypogonadal men, results concluding that men on TRT lost more body fat on a hypocaloric diet than those who didn’t take testosterone. Other documented benefits include increased muscle mass and higher bone density.
This type of hormone therapy can be given in a few different ways including gels and dermal patches, but many health professionals maintain that intramuscular injection is the most effective route of administration.
Some doctors prescribe low-dose TRT gels or patches for men who have less severe cases of low T since they work well to keep base levels steady in men with milder cases. Many doctors advocate for the injectable form of T to be administered in cycles, rather than at daily intervals since it gives the body time to register the hormonal changes.
Ultimately the decision to try hormone replacement therapy is one to be made between the health provider and the patient. Men who have an enlarged prostate, are at risk of prostate cancer, heart attack, or stroke are not advised to take this medication. Many patients report an improvement in the severity of their symptoms in as little as two to four weeks.
How We Can Help in Atlanta
Renew Vitality of Atlanta is a trusted provider of hormone replacement therapy for men 30 and older. Our health professionals believe that low T isn’t best treated with medication alone but rather when combined with healthy lifestyle choices.
We request patients submit a blood sample 48 hours before their initial visit so we can have the lab results in time for your consultation and so we have an idea of your current hormone levels. At the exam, your doctor will take some measurements and ask you a few questions regarding your symptoms to help create a treatment plan designed for your specific needs.
From there, we will monitor your hormone levels regularly to make sure you are receiving the correct dosage.
Don’t try to deal with the side effects of low T on your own, our providers will walk with you every step of the way on your journey to wellness. Schedule a consultation with our providers today and let Renew Vitality help you feel like your old self again.