The subject of testosterone therapy and hormone therapy for men specifically can be a complex or even embarrassing topic. For some, testosterone therapy may be seen as “cheating” or “taking a shortcut” to manhood or masculinity.
However, the stigma surrounding hormone therapy for men is largely a result of lack of knowledge and understanding about hormones in general and the role they play in our everyday lives.
Fortunately, public interest in hormones has continued to grow in recent years. Hormones are beginning to be seen as an overlooked and under-appreciated factor in overall physical and mental wellbeing.
Many myths and misconceptions about testosterone replacement therapy have been debunked over the years as new studies continue to be published showing the effectiveness and safety of HRT or TRT.
We’re here to set the record straight and combat some of the stereotypes typically associated with HRT for men.
Why do men need testosterone?
Testosterone is a hormone that plays multiple roles in the body for both men and women. It is primarily known for its vital role in the development of male characteristics during puberty, such as the growth of body hair, deepening of the voice, and increased muscle mass.
However, testosterone also plays a crucial role in the maintenance of bone density, muscle strength, and overall physical and mental health in both men and women.
Additionally, testosterone plays a key role in reproduction, specifically in the development and maintenance of the male reproductive system. Testosterone also affects mood, cognition, and libido.
In short, testosterone is an important hormone that helps men feel energetic, confident, and strong.
What is considered low testosterone?
Let’s start by discussing what exactly we mean when we talk about low testosterone, or “Low-T” as it is commonly referred to.
While the level of testosterone can vary from person to person, a level of less than 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) is generally considered below normal. Keep in mind, though, that each body is different and some men with lower than average levels may feel fine without testosterone therapy.
A diagnosis of low-T is typically made through a blood test and may require treatment, such as hormone replacement therapy, to address imbalances and alleviate symptoms.
What are the symptoms of low T?
Symptoms of low testosterone can vary widely from person to person and may also be influenced by other factors such as age, lifestyle and medical history.
That said, there are a few common symptoms of low testosterone that most people experience, which include:
- Decreased sex drive
- Difficulty concentrating
- Loss of muscle mass and strength
- Weight Gain
- Erectile dysfunction
Because sex hormones—testosterone especially—play such an important role in the body, the symptoms of low-T are numerous and often overlap with each other. A hormone specialist will be able to help you parse out which symptoms could be due to Low-T.
It’s also difficult for some men to admit they have depression, low libido, or losing strength quickly as a the result of low-T. For some men, getting help may be seen as a sign of weakness or “being less of a man”.
Learning more about hormones and testosterone is the first step towards breaking the stereotypes that surround HRT for men.
Why do some men need hormone therapy?
Low testosterone is an inevitable part of the aging process. However, some key studies have shown that average testosterone levels in males have been steadily decreasing for decades. This phenomenon can be partly attributed to several different factors.
A more sedentary way of life can lower testosterone
How much of your day do you spend sitting?
- Sitting more means lack of physical movement. Regular physical exercise has been shown to increase testosterone production.
- Sitting causes weight gain and obesity which is associated with reduced testosterone levels.
- Sitting for extended periods can cause poor circulation which can affect the testicles, leading to lower testosterone production.
- Sitting for long periods can lead to increased levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that can lower testosterone levels.
More and more of our daily lives involve sitting at a desk all day or driving cars instead of walking. It is important to incorporate regular physical activity and to take frequent breaks if sitting for extended periods of time.
Lifestyle Choices can Affect Testosterone Production
Other lifestyle choices can affect testosterone production in males. The following
- Excessive Drinking
- Poor sleep quality
- Poor diet
- Lack of exercise
- Chronic stress
- Drug Use
Long story short: the best way to preserve testosterone levels is by leading a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet, regular exercise, managing stress levels, getting enough sleep, limiting alcohol consumption, and avoiding drug use.
Environmental Toxins and Chemicals May Decrease T-Levels
More and more evidence is currently being uncovered about how plastics and other environmental toxins can decrease testosterone in men.
One such recent study indicates that chronic exposure to microplastics creates reductions in testosterone. This revelation is quite troubling, considering the average American consumes and/or breathes a minimum of anywhere from 39,000 to 121,000 microplastic particles annually.
What happens when a man takes Hormone Replacement Therapy?
There are many misconceptions about what happens when men begin TRT—some people think of testosterone replacement therapy as if it were the same as taking steroids.
Optimizing testosterone levels are shown to have profound effects since testosterone is such an important hormone in male bodies.
A male patient typically begins feeling a noticeable improvement in cognitive function, mood, and sex drive within three weeks of beginning HRT or TRT.
By 3-4 months most men experience a noticeable increase in muscle mass and strength. Six months into TRT or HRT, bone density improves.
How does TRT have a positive impact on men’s health?
Abnormal levels of testosterone can lead to a variety of health issues, including infertility, decreased libido, mood disorders, and reduced muscle and bone mass.
All of these symptoms can have a devastating impact on our overall physical and mental wellbeing, which in turn affects our personal lives, our relationships, and our work life.
While testosterone replacement therapy may not work for everyone, studies show that HRT (testosterone replacement therapy in particular) is largely effective at improving patients’ lives.
One recent study puts the overall patient satisfaction with TRT at 70%. At Blue Sky MD, we often recommend bioidentical hormone pellet therapy for its 96% patient satisfaction rate. Additionally, these hormone pellets are created from bioidentical plant hormones, meaning they’re natural and safe. These pellets provide are painlessly inserted under the skin to ensure steady, controlled delivery of optimal hormones without the need for weekly injections, daily creams, or pills.
When should a man start hormone replacement therapy?
Men should start looking into getting hormone replacement therapy as soon as they start experiencing negative symptoms that impact their daily lives. These symptoms may include decreased sex drive, erectile dysfunction, depression, decreased muscle mass and strength, and fatigue.
Your first step will be to undergo a thorough medical evaluation to determine if your testosterone is indeed low enough to necessitate testosterone therapy. This evaluation also helps us rule out any other potential underlying medical conditions and assess any risk to each patient before beginning a TRT program.
Get started with TRT in a safe, supportive medical setting with Blue Sky MD.
If you suffer from any of the symptoms of Low-T, it’s important to know that you’re not alone and that there is a way to get back to a more energetic and confident version of yourself.
We’ve been helping men increase their testosterone levels through hormone replacement therapy and improve their lives since 2008 with thousands of success stories.
Take the first step towards feeling better by scheduling a lab panel with Blue Sky MD. We’ll take a small sample of blood to analyze current hormone levels and scan for any anomalies. Once we’ve captured a baseline we can begin with a treatment plan that’s customized for your unique hormone profile and that fits your lifestyle.
Contact us today to get started.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Yes, there is hormone therapy available for men. Testosterone replacement therapy is a common form of hormone therapy for men who have low levels of testosterone, which can occur naturally with age or due to certain medical conditions. This therapy can come in various forms such as injections, patches, gels or pellets. The goal of testosterone replacement therapy is to alleviate symptoms such as fatigue, low sex drive, and muscle weakness. However, it is important for men to understand the risks and benefits of hormone therapy and consult with their healthcare provider before initiating any treatment. Hormone therapy should be carefully monitored and adjusted as needed to ensure its effectiveness and safety.
You should consider getting your testosterone checked if you experience symptoms such as decreased sex drive, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, muscle weakness or loss, depression, and trouble concentrating. These symptoms may indicate low testosterone (low T) levels. Additionally, testosterone levels naturally decrease with age, so men over 50 may also consider getting their levels checked.
If you have a medical condition that may affect testosterone production, such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, or obesity, you may want to check your levels regularly to monitor any changes.
It’s best to speak with your healthcare provider to determine whether you should get your testosterone checked, how often, and what the results may mean for your health.
There is no defined age limit for when one can begin testosterone therapy, although many men don’t begin experiencing a decline in testosterone production until their 30s. However, it’s important to understand the risks and benefits of testosterone replacement therapy and consult a doctor to determine if it’s right for you.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) is generally safe when administered under medical supervision. TRT can be beneficial for men with low testosterone levels to improve energy levels, sex drive, and muscle mass.
However, TRT may also have potential side effects, such as acne, increased risk of blood clots, and enlarged prostate. Long-term use of TRT may also increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and prostate cancer in some patients.
It is important for men considering TRT to discuss the potential risks and benefits with their healthcare provider and have regular check-ups to monitor for any adverse effects. Factors such as age, overall health, and existing medical conditions may also be taken into account when determining the safety and efficacy of TRT.