Hormones are molecules within the human body that play a vital role in communicating changes throughout the body. Testosterone is an incredibly important hormone that has roles throughout the body. Maintaining energy levels, promoting muscle mass development (especially during puberty), fat distribution, making sperm, and even proper sexual functioning are some of the many roles of testosterone.
While testosterone is an important hormone within the body, your level of testosterone can decline as a result of age which can result in a decreased quality of life and unwanted symptoms of aging. Recognizing the symptoms of low testosterone and getting tested is the best way to get a diagnosis and appropriate hormone replacement treatment.
Below is a look at everything you need to know about low T and testosterone replacement therapy. Becoming informed on the process of hormone replacement therapy can better equip you to take the necessary steps to get your youth and hormone levels back.
Take Notice of Symptoms
Before you get tested for low levels of testosterone you should ensure that you are experiencing signs of low T levels. While in theory, you could get a blood test even if you are not feeling symptoms, it isn’t necessarily the best approach as you may waste your time and money to find out you are within a healthy testosterone range.
Below are three symptoms of low testosterone that can be experienced as well as possible hormone-targeted treatments that can help. While an occasional occurrence of any of these symptoms is no cause for alarm, a continual pattern could indicate low testosterone levels which would warrant a blood test to confirm.
Hair loss is a problem that many men can experience as soon as young adulthood. While hair loss tends to be thought of as a genetic trait, in reality, it is a result of the interplay of many factors and androgen deficiency can play a large role in hair loss.
Testosterone specifically can cause hair loss due to the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This conversion results in low testosterone and elevated DHT. An increase in DHT in hair follicles can lead to male pattern baldness.
Finasteride is a drug that specifically blocks the conversion of testosterone into DHT and can help to prevent further hair loss and promote scalp hair growth. If it is found that your balding comes as a result of hormonal deficiency, finasteride may be given as a means to decrease DHT.
Lower Energy Levels
Lower energy levels are another common symptom associated with low testosterone. While everyone gets tired, you should specifically look at how you feel even when you have gotten a full night’s sleep. A common sign of testosterone deficiency is that your fatigue persists even when you have adequate sleep.
The interplay of hormones and energy levels is complex but testosterone can have a drastic impact on perceived energy throughout the day. Supplementing testosterone can allow you the luxury of feeling rejuvenated after a good night’s sleep and enjoy your day free from fatigue.
Testosterone at its very basis is the sex hormone that is found readily in men. Testosterone is naturally produced by the testis and plays a vital role in the normal sexual functioning of men. For men that suffer from low testosterone, they may notice a low sex drive or difficulty attaining an erection.
Sexual dysfunction in itself is not a means of diagnosing low testosterone, but it is an important symptom to keep track of. Because testosterone is a sex hormone, deficiency in sexual performance may be one of the first signs of low testosterone.
Whether it be the inability to achieve an erection or a sudden disinterest in sex, they can all point to the possibility of low testosterone.
Once you have a solid understanding of your low testosterone symptoms, it becomes time to bring these issues to a licensed physician to discuss the possibility of hormone replacement therapy.
While HRT isn’t right for every person and situation, it can allow for those with low testosterone a fighting chance to regain their quality of life and performance.
Below are three clinically relevant steps that need to be taken to help diagnose low testosterone. HRT is a medical therapy that should only be used by reputable brands that take the time to ensure they are necessary and beneficial.
The Elite HRT process takes all of this into account to ensure you are getting a safe and effective treatment plan that is tailored specifically to you and your needs so you can get back to normal testosterone levels.
Medical history can give your healthcare team valuable information that they may otherwise gloss over when trying to decide if HRT is right for you. Elite HRT utilizes a medical history form to help gather pertinent information on your potential treatment options.
Within the medical history form information such as drinking frequency, exercise frequency, prior medical diagnosis, prior HRT use, family history, symptoms, and your primary physician’s contact information is asked for to ensure no detail is left out when creating your customized plan.
A physical exam is important when seeking treatment as a physician can rule out other possible causes of low testosterone symptoms that may be present.
For instance, a person may be experiencing low energy levels and contribute their fatigue to low testosterone when, in reality, they suffer from another unrelated issue. Physicals aim to catch these in addition to assessing the individual’s overall health.
For HRT to be effective it is important to ensure it provides therapeutic value and adds more good than harm to an individual. Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is contraindicated with prostate cancer and breast cancer. This means that testosterone could cause more harm than good in patients with those problems. During a physical, a physician can rule out these and ensure you are safe and ready for HRT.
Get Blood Test
The blood test is arguably the most important step in getting treated for low testosterone and any other hormone deficiency. The blood test is typically arranged by your primary care and aims to quantify the amount of a given hormone circulating within your bloodstream.
The blood test is important because it provides a quantitative data point that can be compared to typical levels to understand whether you truly are experiencing a deficiency in testosterone. The blood test also acts as a way for your care team to find the correct dosage.
Based on the preliminary blood testosterone test, Elite HRT’s experts can estimate an appropriate dosage for you, specifically. After some time you may get another blood test to ensure levels are within their appropriate range and this allows your care team to adjust dosage or course of treatment to ensure you are getting the absolute most out of your care.
The Elite HRT Program
With a physical medical history and test results in hand, a specialized physician at Elite HRT will create a tailored treatment plan for you. While on the surface it may seem as simple as receiving a testosterone prescription for low testosterone, there are also other factors that should be taken into account.
Testosterone replacement is a great way of elevating testosterone levels, but it should typically be taken alongside other medications to ensure you get your desired effects. One possible side effect of testosterone therapy is an increase in estrogen through the natural conversion of testosterone into estrogen. Because of this estrogen blockers are typically included in a TRT treatment plan.
Additionally, testosterone replacement therapy can also cause testicular atrophy. Because you are supplementing testosterone, the elevated levels can signal to your testis to stop producing testosterone.
Over a prolonged period of treatment, this can lead to diminished natural testosterone production within the body. To reduce the risk of this, Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) can be given alongside testosterone to ensure that the testicular capacity to produce testosterone is retained.
In summary, low testosterone is something that many men experience. As you age, testosterone levels drop gradually which can lead you down a path of gradual decline.
Decreased energy levels, sexual performance, and a receding hairline can all be due to a hormone deficiency. While these trends exist, hormone replacement therapy can help you to regain some of your youth and help alleviate symptoms of low testosterone.
By submitting your medical history, getting a physical, and getting a blood test, Elite HRT could help you to get on a path to healthier hormone levels. With a supported endocrine system, you can truly experience life to the fullest and help to alleviate unwanted side effects of low testosterone.
Get started today and a wellness consultant can help guide you along the process of TRT and any other hormone treatment options you may need.
Finasteride: a review of its use in male pattern hair loss
Risks of testosterone replacement therapy in men.