What TRT is All About and Its Side Effects
Testosterone hormone therapy, which is abbreviated as TRT, is replacing the male androgens through a series of injections, subcutaneous pellets, skin gels, patches, or creams to combat male hypogonadism.
When most men reach their middle ages, there are changes caused by declining testosterone levels that occur. Some of the noticeable changes include fatigue, fewer erections, accumulation of more fat, thinning of the skin, a decline in muscle strength and mass. These dissatisfying changes are the reason why some men seek ART (Androgen Replacement Therapy). This treatment is also used by men whose ability to generate androgens has been affected by certain diseases or other treatment forms.
You can get Testosterone Hormone Therapy at You + Health clinic in Beverly Hills, CA.
Signs That Show Your Testosterone Levels Are Low
- Facial and body hair loss
- Erectile dysfunction
- Low libido (sex drive)
- Decreased muscles
If your tests show that you have abnormally low testosterone levels, but no symptoms are being exhibited, then it’s likely that your doctor may not suggest hormonal treatment. In as much as this treatment is recommended, it also has its adverse effects, and for this reason, most medical practitioners discourage its use whenever it’s not necessary.
The Various Forms of Androgen Supplements
- Gels – Examples of testosterone gels are Testim and AndroGel. Once you apply the gel, the androgen hormones are absorbed through your skin. You are, however, required to use these types of gels once in a day.
- Skin patch – Androderm skin patches are placed on the upper body or arm, and it’s worn once in every 24 hours.
- Implants and injections – This form involve injecting testosterone directly into muscle tissue or implanting it inside soft tissues as pellets.
- Mouth patch – Mouth patches like Striant are placed to a person’s upper gums just above their incisor teeth. The patch is in the form of a tablet usually applied two times in a day, releasing testosterone to the bloodstream via oral tissues.
If you think why not take a testosterone pill or wonder whether its pill form is in existence, yes, it exists. However, experts believe that when testosterone is taken orally, it negatively affects the liver, hence why this intake method is not encouraged.
Benefits of Androgen Therapy
- It is a remedy for erectile dysfunction.
- It enhances a man’s physical performance.
The Side Effects and Risks of Testosterone Replacement Therapy
TRT’s side effects will often include itching, irritation, or rashes at the body surface where it is applied. However, new evidence suggests that it will possibly increase the user’s risk of stroke or heart attack. According to professionals in the field, the long-term risks and benefits of androgen therapy are still unknown because only a few clinical trials have been done. Below is a list of some few health issues that hormonal experts believe TRT will worsen:
- Blood clots – It is an FDA-requirement for androgen replacement products to display a warning sign stating the risks that come with its use. For instance, it increases the chances of developing pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lungs) or DVT (deep vein thrombosis), which are potentially life-threatening conditions.
- Prostate cancer – According to professionals in this field, it would be best if one first went for a prostate cancer screening before starting the therapy. Prostate cancer patients and persons with elevated PSA (prostate-specific antigen) are advised not to try the treatment.
- Heart failure – Doctors discourage men with heart failure from undertaking this treatment becomes it is known to worsen the condition of heart failure patients.
- Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH) – Naturally, the human prostate grows bigger as men age due to testosterone stimulation. As the prostate glands enlarge, they start to squeeze the urethra, and the result of this is urinating difficulties. Testosterone therapy worsens this condition.
- Sleep apnea – Polysomnography, meaning sleep study, has shown that testosterone replacement worsens sleep apnea patients’ condition.
The therapy’s adverse effects include; increased acne, breast enlargement, fluid retention, aggressive behaviors, and low sperm count.
Since it will take years for clinical trials to give answers on the long-term risks and benefits of TRT, the choice on whether one should use it or not is a decision that they’ll have to make with their medical practitioners.