A New Look at Testosterone Replacement Therapy
The Difficulties of Hormonal Treatment for Men
TRT has been used in traditional medicine for years. Low testosterone level (or testosterone deficiency) is a problem of millions of men and accompanies normal aging, as well as a range of diseases. Lack of this important hormone is associated with unpleasant physical conditions, including abdominal obesity, reduced libido, reduced vitality, depression, cardiovascular diseases, fragile bones, anemia, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, erection problems, and so on.
For a long time these health problems were left without proper treatment. And many doctors wondered whether testosterone replacement was a useful and appropriate decision, in particular, for older men. It is still a controversial issue because inappropriate TRT has potential health risks (for example, cardiovascular disease) that are not examined enough, while the benefits are not always certain. Another problem is that safe oral testosterone supplementations still cannot be found everywhere, like they can be ordered, for example, from Canada.
New Results of Testosterone Researches
Many men were prescribed hormonal therapy without paying attention to subjective symptoms and without necessary tests and analysis – only after a test for total testosterone, which does not allow to assess testosterone levels in blood correctly. But in the recent years many specialists became interested in treatment of low testosterone and started conducting researches in this field. This allowed to find out some new causes (including external) of decreasing testosterone, the ways of their diagnosing and managing. Attention is also paid to methods of testosterone delivery: pellets, creams, gels, patches, shots, injections, etc., which often confuse not only patients, but also professionals. The choice of methods in each particular case should be made in accordance with symptoms and lab results.
During one of the tests men (the majority more than 60 years old) were divided into groups for a year. Some of them were taking testosterone gel; the others were getting a placebo gel – all this on a daily basis. All of them regularly went through tests, and after a year of treatment the results were assessed. Those receiving real TRT experienced improved sexual activity and function including erection and desire. Their achievements in vitality (mood, moves) were less visible. The patients also noticed cognitive improvement.
At the same time it was found out that replacement therapy may ease health problems as frailty, cardiovascular disease, obesity, memory loss for older men, and in many cases improve their life quality. All this means that maintaining hormonal balance in the body is very important and can make patients with lack of testosterone feel much better in many ways. What testosterone replacement therapy is intended to do is to bring men back to their normal testosterone levels, but not exceed them. Higher hormone doses than needed may bring risk. Men usually felt improvement in 4-6 weeks, but some changes took longer to show.
Interesting Facts Concerning Testosterone
Hormone replacement therapy may be not necessary for some men, and may be only one of the remedies for the others. Thus, excess weight has a significant impact on testosterone levels, so proper loss of weight, sport and healthy diet may solve the problem for one group of patients. The medications taken by a man may also reduce his male hormone. In this case the dosage may be changed or a medication may be replaced by the doctor. If the main cause of the drop in testosterone resolves, TRT may be cancelled. So it is not always necessary to go through TRT for life.
It is worth mentioning that in comparison to women, men’s loss of testosterone is not uniform. And it is still not completely clear whether the decline of testosterone with age is a normal or a pathological process, because there are men who have 25-year testosterone levels in their 90s. It is really an interesting phenomenon and an issue for reflection. Besides, some men have low testosterone but no symptoms that are usually related to it.
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