Testosterone isa very important hormone in the human body, carrying out many vital health and reproductive functions. People are increasingly turning towards testosterone boosters or replacement therapies to revitalize T levels within their bodies.
Boosted T levels can provide some very significant results for men of all ages. Athletes and bodybuilders benefit from enhanced muscle mass and strength, whereas middle to old age men find a drastic increase in libido. Testosterone Replacement can also help those with medical conditions that cause T deficiency. An example of such a condition is Male Hypogonadism, where the testes shrink and other symptoms such as erectile dysfunction manifest themselves.
So, what is testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), and how can it be beneficial? To understand this, we must first look at what testosterone are and what they do in the human body.
Testosterone is a type of androgen – male hormones that are also called anabolic steroids or simply steroids. A majority of testosterone is produced in the testes, but a small fraction is also produced by the adrenal gland. Its primary function is the development of male sex organs before birth, and secondary sexual characteristics such as growth of facial and public hair, genital enlargement and deepening of the voice. Testosterone are often associated with male health and well-bring.
With progressing age, testosterone production in the body decreases. As a result, senior citizens face a lot of symptoms that are typically associated with age but are actually because of lowering testosterone levels. These symptoms include a reduced sex drive (libido), erectile dysfunction, low sperm count, weak bones, loss of muscle mass and so on.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) is available in many forms.
- Skin patch – A patch is worn once a day on the skin. It injects testosterones directly into the bloodstream through seepage from the skin, much like a nicotine patch
- Gels – Testosterone gels are also available that are absorbed by the skin. Depending upon the product, they may be applied on different areas of the body.
- Injections and implants – Testosterones can be directly injected into the bloodstream as well. Implants are small capsules that might be surgically inserted into the body. They slowly dissipate testosterones into the bloodstream.
TRT is sometimes also administered orally, in the form of pills. However, doctors do not typically recommend such testosterone boosters as they can have side effects.
TRT has many advantages to it.
1. Muscle Growth
Muscle growth is a very common reason athletes and fitness junkies get TRT for. During exercise, your muscles get ripped on a microscopic level. When you rest, these rips are automatically healed with new muscle tissue, which causes an increase in muscle mass and strength. Testosterones speed up the recovery of these micro injuries, enabling athletes and performers to train harder much more quickly.
Testosterones are also responsible for regulating fat distribution. A healthy lymphatic system producing normal levels of testosterone will help in the deposit of body fat evenly. When this equilibrium is disturbed, however, such as when testosterones get low, the body starts depositing fat in one or few particular areas of the body, which causes obesity. This is why an endocrinologist will sometimes prescribe TRT to morbidly obese men.
2. Enhanced sex drive
Another extremely common reason middle to old age men, or men with erectile dysfunction/impotence resort to TRT. The primary function of testosterones is to develop male sex organs and maintain them in perfect working order.
TRT is most often the prescribed remedy for a range of sexual problems including impotence and erectile dysfunction. The more the testosterone level, the higher the sex drive and the better the arousal and fertility.
3. Enhanced bone strength
Testosterones help increase bone density, which contributes towards making your bones stronger. Bone density naturally decreases with age (as one of the results of decreasing testosterone levels), causing bones to become weaker and more prone to fractures or osteoporosis. Some doctors prescribe testosterone boosters to help strengthen the bones. Stronger bones also contribute towards better athletic performance. However, most doctors will not prescribe TRT simply for enhancing bone strength.
4. Healthy cardiovascular system
Since testosterone helps increase bone density by increasing bone marrow, it directly results in an increased production of red blood cells. Thinner blood means a healthy cardiovascular system and prevents clotting and pain. It also keeps the heart and other organs healthy.
5. Improved mood and concentration
Studies have shown that people with testosterone deficiency (such as in Hypogonadism), often tend to be irritable, fatigued and show signs of depression. This can degrade the quality of life very easily. To help such situations, doctors will often prescribe natural testosterone boosters as they can help improve your mood and general outlook towards life.
Not only do testosterones contribute to a healthy metabolism, they also assist brain function. People with high levels of testosterones have been observed to display better thinking and spatial recognition abilities. Indeed, research has shown that higher testosterone rations in men are directly corelated to a reduced occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease later on in life.
Once again, TRT is not prescribed if the only reason is to improve mood or concentration.
Side effects of TRT
TRT has quite a few side effects as well, which is why it isn’t often prescribed unless necessary. Some of these side effects include:
- Acne or oily skin
- Increased risk of heart disease
- Mild fluid retention
- Risk of prostate cancer and other abnormalities
- Breast enlargement
- Increased risk of blood clots
Whenever a natural process in the body is disrupted, it causes adverse effects. Testosterones have a lot of advantages, but if misused or abused the consequences can be very serious. Hormonal imbalance causes a host of other problems.
TRT can invaluable, but proceed with caution
TRT has a lot of great benefits. If done right, it can make a significant contribution towards the quality of your life and in a good way. However, keeping the risks in mind, it is extremely important that you consult with your doctor regarding your specific requirements, and they will then suggest a safe course of therapy.