Men in Boca Raton who need testosterone replacement therapy have many options.
TRT, or testosterone replacement therapy, is an excellent treatment for men who have “low T,” which is often associated with getting older. However, low T can be a serious health condition. Even if you are getting older, testosterone can drop to a level low enough to cause weight gain and low sex drive, as well as depression, muscle loss, and other health issues.
TRT comes in a range of treatment types, with daily gel being the most common. Side effects include acne, higher red blood cell count, smaller testicles, and some other effects, so consult with your doctor before beginning a TRT treatment plan.
You may benefit from taking TRT for the rest of your life, but some men only need TRT for a few months or years, to restore muscle mass, alleviate depression, improve thinking clarity, and achieve other benefits.
What Is TRT?
TRT stands for testosterone replacement therapy, which is a treatment prescribed to men who may not produce enough testosterone to feel energetic, balanced, or healthy. Some men do not produce enough testosterone normally and need some extra help; however, many men produce less testosterone as they get older. Replacing this lowered testosterone can improve mood, reduce fatigue, and generally make you feel healthier.
During puberty, men begin producing testosterone, which makes their facial hair grow and triggers sexual excitement. Low testosterone, or “low T,” can interfere with sexual well-being, metabolism and digestion, and self-image.
TRT treatment comes in a variety of forms, depending on how much testosterone needs to be replaced and your lifestyle.
What Can TRT Help With?
Some reduction in testosterone occurs naturally as you get older, but this natural shift should not significantly change your overall physical or emotional health. If your body stops producing enough testosterone, you might be at risk of other health conditions, and you simply will not feel very good.
Most men experience a slight decrease in testosterone as they reach middle age, but for some men, this is not slight. Most TRT prescriptions are written for men between the ages of 40 and 64 years old in the United States.
Although sexual function is one change many men notice first, it is not the only indicator of low T. There may be other signs of low T that are impacted mental and physical health.
There are a wide range of indicators men may have low T.
- Anemia, or low iron in your blood
- Depression or irritability
- Less physical energy and more fatigue
- Fewer and weaker erections
- Low sex drive
- Reduced muscle mass and strength
- More body fat
- Loss of bone density due to less calcium
- Skeletal muscle mass
- Voluntary muscle strength
- Leg power and endurance
- Self-reported mobility
- Aerobic capacity
- Reduced depression symptoms and increased mental alertness
- Memory and thinking
- Weight loss
If you notice dramatic changes in your physical or emotional health, talk to your doctor about a testosterone level test. They can also help you determine if you are a good candidate for TRT.
Ways to Take TRT
TRT comes in several forms, including these:
- Gel that is absorbed through the skin
- Patches placed on the skin
- Pellets placed under the skin
About 70 percent of men who are diagnosed with low T use topical gels, which absorb into the skin. These are applied once per day, most often after showering. However, men with children, pregnant partners, or others in their household who may come in contact with this gel by touching application areas like the shoulders or back might not be good candidates for this option. An injection or patch may be better.
Gels come in measured packets, so there is less variability in how much testosterone your body consumes and uses every day. Patches or other solutions are only given every two weeks or more, which can spike the levels of testosterone in your system. These are a better solution for men who have lower levels of testosterone or who may not be able to manage TRT as part of a daily routine.
Who Is a Good TRT Candidate?
If you are in good health but low testosterone is leading to some health effects, you are a good candidate for TRT. This typically means you produce less than 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL), which is measured through a blood test, and you report some associated low T symptoms, including depression, weight gain, or lack of energy.
However, some men are not good candidates for TRT, including men who fit these criteria:
- Heart conditions
- Sleep apnea
- Elevated red blood cell counts
- Some types of cancer or a history of cancer
- Those planning to have children
It is also important not to take TRT for nonmedical reasons, including bodybuilding or performance enhancement. Work with medical professionals to get a diagnosis of low testosterone first. There are other ways to improve your testosterone levels and your overall health that do not involve TRT, but many men with low T benefit from low-dose TRT treatments.
How Will I Know TRT Works for Me?
Once you start TRT, it can take between four and six weeks to feel an improvement in symptoms. Physical changes like weight loss and muscle mass increase can take three to six months; however, improvements in mood and sexual desire often occur within a few weeks after beginning therapy.
TRT therapy may be part of your daily routine for the rest of your life, but not in all cases. Sometimes, if there is another reason your testosterone level is low, like sudden weight gain, that can resolve and improve your mood naturally. You can then decide to stop TRT with a consultation from your doctor.
There are some side effects to TRT.
- Swelling or soreness in the breasts
- Swelling in the feet or ankles
- High red blood cell count
- Smaller testicles
- Enlarged prostate
Medical studies on long-term risks and changes suggest there are some correlated issues, including a higher risk of heart problems; however, for some men, increasing testosterone can actually reduce the risk of heart problems, including heart attacks or strokes.
Many men with low T benefit from a boost in this hormone, including on a long-term basis. For example, a 2015 study from American Heart Association Scientific Sessions surveyed 1,472 men, between the ages of 52 and 63, who had been diagnosed with low T and had no history of heart problems. This group benefited from TRT without experiencing an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, or heart-related death.
Another study published that year in the Journal of Urology found no link between TRT and an increased risk of prostate cancer, which had been postulated in previous medical literature.
TRT is a robust therapy that has improved the lives of thousands of men. If you are interested in pursuing this treatment in Boca Raton, Cosmetica has specialists and consultants ready to assist you.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy: Is It Right for You? (Summer 2017). American Urological Association.
“My Energy is Back”: How Testosterone Replacement Therapy Is Changing Men’s Lives. (September 2019). The Guardian.
Testosterone Replacement in Aging Men: An Evidence-Based Patient-Centric Perspective. (February 2021). The Journal of Clinical Investigation.
FDA Drug Safety Communication. (February 2018). United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
A New Look at Testosterone Therapy. (May 2016). Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School.