As the male population in general has gotten older, doctors have been seeing more and more men who are complaining of lower energy, depression, chronic fatigue, erectile dysfunction and even overall weakness.
While some of these may be symptomatic of sickness, for many it’s likely that low testosterone is the culprit. It’s been estimated that some 13 million men have low testosterone levels, and some 90 per cent do not seek treatment for the problem because they think it’s just a normal part of aging. In fact, testosterone levels do start to decline after age 30 for most men, but that’s no longer something we need to accept as just a fact of life.
Natural testosterone levels can vary between individual men – and even between different labs doing the blood testing. But the normal range is between 300-1000 ng/dl. Lower scores can be caused and/or exacerbated by by many factors, including but not limited to genetics, chronic liver or kidney disease, a thyroid problem, Type 2 diabetes, obesity, HIV/AIDS or other infections and even injury to the testicles.
Once injury and sickness have been ruled out, the doctor is likely to suggest a program of male hormone treatment, or testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). One important health reason for doing so is that low testosterone levels can lead to lower bone density and increase the likelihood of breaks in the future.
So what does the treatment involve? Most often, testosterone is administered daily by means of either a gel or a small, wearable patch. These methods have the advantage of delivering the hormone in a way that keeps the man’s testosterone level steady while keeping his symptoms under control.
A new delivery method involves implanting several pellets under the skin of the buttocks, where they release a measured dose over a longer period of time – typically three to four months.
TRT patients often see their symptoms diminish within just a few weeks and their energy levels return to normal.
AS with any medication or treatment, it’s important to take note of possible side effects. First of all, men who have been diagnosed with prostate or breast cancer are advised against having the testosterone treatment. Some breast enlargement may occur as a result of the TRT. Prostate growth may accelerate. And red blood cell count can increase.
These days, with the constant barrage of advertising, it may be a little too easy to attribute what may be just simple and common sickness to what the commercials like to call “low T”. But in this case, it really is important to “ask your doctor”, because male hormone treatment can often make a significant difference in terms of improved a man’s quality of life.
The key to long term good health and safety with TRT is to work with a qualified and experienced professional who will screen you for any pre-existing medical issues, recommend the right hormone delivery option and continuously monitor your blood levels while you’re receiving the treatment.