Testosterone Therapy: Potential Benefits And Risks As You Age
In today’s society, testosterone therapy is common for males and even more so for females. Despite the lack of long-term research findings, testosterone prescriptions are growing increasingly popular as time goes on.
The main question that arises among patients considering this particular form of therapy is that does testosterone therapy actually help, and guess what? It does. In today’s world, there are various options you can select from according to what suits you best. Along with shots, patches, or creams, medications to increase testosterone levels are also available.
People might think of it as a viable option as they get older, but there are some risks associated that you might want to take a peek at before you go through with it.
So let’s start from the bottom and work our way up to further details.
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is a vital male sex hormone that stimulates fertility, bone density, body fat, and the formation of red blood cells, among many other health factors. Although females have modest amounts of testosterone, it is always attributed to the male population.
Testosterone production rises throughout the teen years. The concentration of testosterone in a male body usually decreases as he gets older. This deterioration begins after the age of 30 and lasts the rest of one’s life.
As an individual gets older, decreasing levels of testosterone may cause conditions like hypogonadism or sterility. There are, however, techniques for individuals with low testosterone levels to improve their numbers.
Testosterone Therapy (TT), also known as Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT), is one of the many ways to improve your low-T levels. This is not an indefinite process, and you can stop once your hormone level stabilizes.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Testosterone replacement therapy is a treatment option for men who have low testosterone levels. Hypogonadism, or a lack of testosterone release, may not usually necessitate treatment. If levels of testosterone are affecting your overall health and wellness, you may well be a contender for testosterone replacement therapy.
Synthetic testosterone can be ingested orally, injected, or applied to the skin in the form of gels or patches. Replacement therapy may yield in intended results, such as increased muscle growth and increased sexual drive. A simple blood test can be used by your clinician to determine your testosterone levels.
Consult your physician if this form of treatment could help you if you really have low T.
Signs and Symptoms of Low Testosterone
When the testosterone levels fall below 300 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl), your body is known to have low-T levels or lower testosterone levels. This can have some pretty subtle symptoms which tend to be overlooked on a normal day due to a variety of reasons.
Regardless, the point to keep in mind is to make sure you get your medical check-up done, rather than assuming the symptoms are from your body’s lower hormone levels. Lower-T levels are monitored in the morning from 7 AM to 10 AM since that is the time period in which your body can provide the most accurate results for low testosterone.
The most common of these symptoms are:
Erections can be hard to acquire or retain when testosterone levels drop.
Testosterone increases the production of nitric oxide in the genital tissues, which triggers a chain of events that leads to an erect penis. A male may be unable to get an erection if his hormone levels get too low.
Although there are many over-the-counter recreational drugs for erectile dysfunction available in the market, their usage should be based on your doctor’s prescription.
It is best to pay your doctor a visit because erectile dysfunctions can also be a result of:
- Excess smoking
- High blood pressure
- Stress or anxiety
- Alcohol consumption
On a routine basis, the hormonal imbalance leads to fluctuations in body weight. The same is the situation with testosterone levels.
When our body’s testosterone levels drop, our bodies respond by gaining weight.
Lowered Sex Drive
Declining sex drive is a known side effect of ageing, and this could be the case.
However, this could also be a sign of low T levels.
Reduced Muscle Mass
The hormone testosterone is vital for the creation of muscular mass in the body. Loss of muscle mass may occur if these levels decrease.
Muscular mass loss does not indicate a decline in muscular strength or functionality.
Mood swings and hormone levels are two aspects of our bodies that are inextricably linked. Keep in mind, significant mood swings might be caused by any hormonal imbalance.
The same can be said with testosterone. If your body has low-T levels, you may experience mood swings in addition to decreased sex drive.
Benefits of Testosterone Therapy
Although testosterone therapy does help counteract the consequences of hypogonadism, it’s uncertain if testosterone therapy would assist a generally healthy male.
At the same time, these are some assured health benefits of TT:
Loss of Fat
Improved muscle development is a result of testosterone. A lower body mass aids both weight loss and higher stamina. A shift in lean muscle was noticed by some males, but no gain in strength. Combining testosterone therapy with gym fitness training is anticipated to yield the best results.
Improved Mood and Sense of Life
Lower testosterone levels are somewhat linked to poor quality of living. Depression, weariness, and irritation are among some of the indications of low testosterone levels. Remember, the impact of testosterone replacement therapy on one’s emotions can be unpredictable.
It seemed to enhance men’s morale and well-being, as well as reduce their weariness and irritability. According to research, this therapy may also be a helpful antidepressant.
Better Cognitive Abilities
Men aged 34 to 70 years old who had testosterone treatment showed significant enhancement in cognitive control. According to studies, males with greater average testosterone concentrations have a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
There’s also proof of a link between testosterone and cognitive capacities like memory retention and higher processing power.
Increased Sexual Drive
Men having high levels of testosterone are more likely to have sexually active behaviour. For sexual drive and penile function, older men require higher testosterone. In reaction to sexual excitement and behaviour, testosterone levels inevitably rise in your body.
Risks Related to Testosterone Therapy
While the positive advantages of testosterone are seldom challenged and extensively acknowledged, there is a scarcity of research on the potential risks with testosterone use. Any male with comorbid conditions that limit TRT from being used should be made aware of the dangers beforehand.
Here are a few risks related to TT:
Only a small proportion of people report rapid negative effects from testosterone therapy. Some of these to look out for are:
- Sleep apnea
- Swelling in ankles
- Tender breasts
The most possible side effects of testosterone replacement therapy are rashes, stinging, or discomfort at the skin surface in contact.
There is a prevailing view that testosterone use can be linked to an elevated danger of heart failure or stroke. Potential cardiovascular negative impacts are becoming more rapid in elderly men.
Some doctors are also concerned that testosterone therapy may promote prostate cancer and moderate prostatic hypertrophy. Since both illnesses are treated with androgen restriction, the likelihood that testosterone replacement will raise the risk of these ailments is a major issue.
Testosterone therapy may cause too much red blood cell production, which increases chances of blood clots that may further cause lung or breathing problems.
Bonus Read: Know more about the testosterone supplements that boost your testosterone levels.
The efficacy of testosterone replacement treatment is a subject of debate among clinicians and scientists. The majority of people agree that the results of most studies are mixed, but for some, testosterone therapy does help a lot. However, as an add-on, health practitioners do recommend a nutritious diet and physical activity for optimum health and to generate high efficiency of testosterone treatment.
August 5, 2021 Sam Bell