Testosterone, Low T & TRT 101
When was the last time you thought about Testosterone? Puberty?
When was the last time you had the body and health state you wanted …. High school?
There’s a correlation here, and you’re going to want to keep reading.
Testosterone is the male primary sex hormone, and it’s integral to the optimal health state and function of the male body. Testosterone affects a man’s sexual development, sperm production, and sex drive; as well as building muscle and bone mass, and maintaining necessary levels of red blood cells. At 13 your Testosterone levels gave you that deeper voice, breakouts, hair on your chest, your first mustache, and a raging sex drive your girlfriend loved. Testosterone is great!
It’s the oil to the engine of the male body and even now, years later, controls everything from how you look, to how you feel, how you sleep and even function on a daily basis. At 30 or 40, if you don’t feel good, can’t lose the stubborn ‘dad bod’, suffer from sleep issues and are missing connections in the bedroom – it’s probably time to take a look at your Testosterone levels. It seems like it can’t really be that simple, but lucky for us gents – many times it is. Testosterone activity can make or break your quality of life and health state – and we’re here to make sure that doesn’t happen.
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Low T
- Low Libido
- Immune Health
- Hair Loss
Know the Signs and Symptoms of Low T
Testosterone production in men begins to decline, about 1% a year, around the age of 30. This diminishment of hormone production is called hypogonadism, or low testosterone. It is estimated that 1 in 4 men over the age of 30 suffers from low testosterone. This is more commonly referred to as “Low T”.
You’ll know it’s time to take a look at your own Testosterone levels if you are experiencing any or multiple of the following symptoms:
- Reduced sex drive
- Increased body fat
- Hair Loss, on the head and on the body.
- Low energy or fatigue
- Brain fog
- Loss of muscle and bone mass
- More frequent injuries
- Longer recovery times
- Mood changes
- Difficulty achieving erection
Even though testosterone is one of the most important components in a man’s body, having Low T doesn’t necessarily mean that you will experience any symptoms, at least not right away. It is still important to know what signs to look for, especially as you age.
If you do notice these symptoms, it’s time to talk to your Ways2Well provider, who will usually require blood work to determine if, and how much testosterone you will need for treatment in order to keep your hormones optimized.
Arthritis, bone conditions like osteoporosis, and the injuries that can result from them can be serious and quite painful. Low testosterone can increase the risk for these conditions, but treatment for low testosterone can help with these conditions by stimulating bone growth, muscle health, and helping reduce inflammation. It also helps aid in recovering from injuries that may result from these conditions.
What Causes Low T?
Aging isn’t the only cause of hypogonadism, and many younger men experience the effects of testosterone deficiency.
Obesity is one of the most prevalent non-age related causes, with obese men being twice as likely to have Low T. This occurs because fat cells metabolize testosterone into estrogen, lowering total testosterone levels. Excess estrogen levels can also affect testosterone and cause similar symptoms in your body. Type 2 Diabetes and other metabolic syndromes like high cholesterol are also closely linked to Low T, just as they are with obesity. Since Testosterone levels are higher at night, disorders that disrupt sleep such as obstructive sleep apnea can result in lowered testosterone.
Other Causes of Low Testosterone include:
- Injuries or infections to the testicles
- Certain prescribed medications like opiates and steroids, with a greater risk if they are used in excess.
- Recreational drug use
- Consuming too much alcohol
- Liver and Kidney conditions
- Head injuries
- Acute or Chronic illness
- Genetic defects
- Abuse of anabolic steroids
How do you Treat Low T?
A healthy lifestyle where you get enough sleep, eat well, have low stress, and get plenty of exercise will help your testosterone levels and overall wellness. Unfortunately, those with low testosterone have a harder time with this, from not getting the results they want from exercise to feeling more tired and stressed out. Oftentimes Testosterone Replacement Therapy is the only way to get testosterone levels back on track and start making progress towards your goals.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy itself is a broad umbrella, under which are several different methods of treatment. The most commonly thought of method is through periodic injections, but now TRT is also able to be applied through creams or gels, implanted with a pellet, and in some cases taken orally. There are also TRT options available that help the body to produce more of its own Testosterone instead of replacing what the body is no longer producing.
TRT can have an impact in as little as a few weeks, with improvements to sex drive, energy, mood, and insulin sensitivity. Within months the therapy can improve glycemic control, lipids, and inflammation. Changes to the appearance such as loss of fat, increased lean muscle, and increased muscle strength can appear after a few months as well, and can continue to improve for months and years with proper exercise and strength training. Each area continues to see increased improvements for what can be a few weeks to several months. Bone improvements can take a little longer, about 6 months, and continue to be affected for a few years. After a year, most effects of testosterone therapy have peaked, but treatment usually continues unless a specific cause was determined and corrected.
Want to Learn More?
Check out our blog for more information on TRT and Low Testosterone.
TRT and Diabetes
The link between Low Testosterone and Diabetes has been clear, but researchers have found that Testosterone treatment may be able to reverse the effects of diabetes, to the point of remission.
Low Testosterone can affect every part of your life, but you don’t have to let it.