Testosterone is a male sex hormone, produced in the testicles; Low testosterone is a deficiency in your body’s production of the hormone testosterone. Testosterone levels spike during puberty to help males develop traditionally male features such as facial and body hair, muscle strength, and more, those levels decrease as we get older.
Males with lower than normal testosterone levels often have a condition called low testosterone, or Low T – also known as Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome (TD). Essentially, the body is no longer able to produce high levels of testosterone, thus leading to a diminishing of the typically male features associated with high testosterone.
What is considered low testosterone depends greatly on one’s age. A testosterone level of 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) may be considered “normal” (average) in a 65-year-old but would be markedly low for a 40-year-old. And, as with most laboratory blood tests, one needs to consider whether it is best to be in the “normal” lab range for age, or in the “optimal” range. Testosterone is also bound to proteins in the bloodstream, which makes it generally unavailable to the target receptors in the body. Free Testosterone is a measure of the unbound, bio-available testosterone, and is a key factor in determining whether someone suffers from Low T.
Older men are more likely to suffer from Low T; AUA (American Urological Association) research indicates that approximately 2 out of 100 men may have it. It is thought that 1% of younger men suffer from Low T, but around 50% of men over 80 suffer from the affliction. Low T is more common among men who suffer from obesity or diabetes, both of which are risk factors for the condition.
Symptoms of Low Testosterone
When you have Low T, you can experience a number of associated symptoms. These include:
Low sex drive. Men with Low T report lower levels of libido and sexual function, as their desire to engage in sex lessens. This results in a lower frequency of sexual activity.
Fatigue. Low T can often make you more tired than you are normally, as lower levels of testosterone leads to poor energy levels on average compared to men with normal testosterone levels.
Reduced muscle mass. With Low T, the human body is more likely to replace muscle mass with fat, as muscle proteins need testosterone to synthesize and grow. This leads to less muscle mass and a less desirable body composition in men.
Irritability and depression. Low T can lead to poorer mood and quality of life, resulting in irritability and depression in men suffering from the condition.
Erectile dysfunction. Men who experience Low T often have trouble achieving and maintaining erections (though erectile dysfunction could result from a number of contributing factors).
It must be noted that these symptoms do not always correspond to having Low T. Sometimes, these symptoms can come about due to other reasons. As always, it is recommended that you see a doctor or a wellness professional if you have one or more of these symptoms.
What is Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)?
Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) is a spectrum of treatments used to help patients with Low T regain or improve their existing levels of testosterone. This chiefly takes the form of testosterone supplements, which can come in several different forms:
Transdermal skin patch.
Injections/implants. It is also possible (and most effective) to inject testosterone directly into the muscles themselves. Some treatments also involve the implantation of pellets in the soft tissues of the body, which then slowly introduces the hormone into your bloodstream.
Generally, we at Budget Family Clinic believe that testosterone injections are the most effective means of optimizing testosterone levels for people suffering from Low T. Unless patients require an extremely low dose, or are extremely averse to this kind of administration, we recommends you use TRT medications in injectable form. However, gels, creams or other methods of TRT can be prescribed if we deem it necessary.
Benefits of TRT
Studies (such as this one conducted by Saint Louis University) have shown many benefits to Testosterone Replacement Therapy among men with Low T. These include:
Improvement in libido and sexual function. Patients who underwent TRT experienced fewer instances of erectile dysfunction and greater overall sexual function and desire than before starting treatment (Baylor College study).
Improved bone mineral density. Low T tends to correspond with low bone mass, leading to higher rates of osteoporosis and osteopenia. Patients who went through TRT, however, found their bone mineral density (BMD) increasing upon receiving treatment (University of Pennsylvania study).
Increased muscle mass. The aging process is often correlated with a general diminishing of body composition and muscle mass; TRT has been shown to help reverse age-dependent changes in body composition (São Paulo study).
Improved mood, cognition and quality of life. Men who underwent TRT found the treatments had a positive effect on their mood, as well as their overall sense of well-being. Fatigue and irritability were decreased, and men experienced greater cognitive faculties after receiving treatment (University of Colorado study).
Reduction in risk of cardiovascular disease. Through the corresponding reduction in lean body mass and lower fat mass that comes with TRT, men who receive treatment often reduce the risk factors for heart disease and even diabetes (Kaiser Permanente JAMA study).
Do you offer Testosterone Replacement Therapy at Budget Family Clinic?
We do! We welcomes any clients who would like to benefit from Testosterone Replacement Therapy.
If you’d like to schedule a consult with one of our wellness experts today, contact us at email@example.com or call us at (281) 803-9723. Our hours are 8 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday.
Does Testosterone Replacement Therapy improve my body’s ability to produce testosterone?
Unfortunately, it does not – your body is the only real determinant of how much testosterone you can naturally produce. However, TRT optimizes your existing testosterone, acting as a replacement supply of the hormone rather than a means of improving your own production levels.
However, outside of direct TRT, the program we offer also facilitates changes to your lifestyle, diet, and other behaviors to naturally aid in your body’s ability to produce more testosterone. Our program allows you to slow down your body’s decreasing testosterone production due to age, while shoring up your T levels with testosterone therapy supplements.
How is Testosterone Replacement Therapy performed?
In our opinion, the most effective means of testosterone replacement therapy is to administer intramuscular injections of testosterone. Other means of testosterone therapy are available, however, including skin patches or topical gels, which can be easily and painlessly applied.
Regardless of method, we use only bioidentical hormones for our testosterone therapy – which exactly match the testosterone produced by your own body. As far as your body is concerned, they are chemically the same hormones it naturally produces, making for greater absorption and compatibility.
Do I need Testosterone Replacement Therapy?
If you identify with one or more of the symptoms or Low-T mentioned above, you may need Testosterone Replacement Therapy. Generally speaking, if you have:
A distinct lack of energy
Lower strength and endurance
A loss in height
General depression and anxiety
Diminished sexual virility/potency
It would be wise to look into the possibility of getting Testosterone Replacement Therapy.
You can also take our Low-T Quiz to calculate your score, which, along with a physical exam and laboratory testing, can be used to determine if Testosterone Replacement Therapy is right for you.
Does Testosterone Replacement Therapy have any side effects?
Virtually any medical procedure carries with it the possibility of side effects. There are some side effects commonly associated with hormone replacement therapy, such as:
Mild fluid retention
Enlargement of the breasts
Higher risk of blood clot or abnormalities in the prostate
Mood swings and mild aggression
Increased risk of stroke or heart attack
Reduction in testicular volume
However, our team of wellness professionals take every possible step to minimize the likelihood of discomfort, including constant monitoring during your program and the incorporation of TRT with a comprehensive health and wellness program.
How quickly does it work?
TRT is effective, but it takes time for the medication to integrate fully into your system and begin to optimize testosterone levels. Results may vary, but most patients see changes anywhere from three to six weeks after beginning therapy.
Is it expensive to get Testosterone Replacement Therapy?
If you’re wondering “how much do testosterone shots cost?”, we can tell you it depends on the patient’s individual needs. However, at Budget Family Clinic, we charge an affordable amount for an initial consultation.
Once we craft a treatment plan, your payment will depend on the path of treatment, how much testosterone you need, and your treatment schedule. Currently, we do not participate in insurance and will not file claims on your behalf. However, many of our patients make use of Flexible Spending (FSA) accounts to make treatment affordable.