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Hormone Therapy for Men: Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) Basics

30 March 2020 by Omniya Clinic

If you are considering Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) then you will obviously want to know the ins and outs of what exactly it involves. In this blog, we give you some of the TRT Basics.

TRT is a treatment which has increased in popularity over the past decade in particular, it has given many men back their energy and sex drive (a lack of both being the most common symptoms of low testosterone).

In this quick guide we have attempted to answer any queries you might have over what is, after all, a subject which isn’t widely discussed. We cover the area of possible side-effects and look at whether TRT is the only option for low testosterone. We will also answer questions such as “is TRT safe?” as well as “does TRT increase blood pressure?” and “can TRT cause panic attacks?”

If you would like to know more our consultants are happy to discuss the therapy in detail so that you know exactly what to expect when booking an appointment. To do so you call us on 020 7584 4777, or book online here. For an instant answer to any questions concerning TRT just click on the links below:

TRT Basics: Question 1

How to take TRT (Testosterone Replacement Therapy) on my own

TRT can be administered via a daily gel application or by injection. In the case of a gel, this is rubbed into the upper arms, shoulders or thighs. Injections are taken less frequently – once a fortnight – and directed into the buttocks area.

TRT gel provides a more ‘stable’ form of testosterone ie there are no ‘spikes’ of testosterone as there is in the first hours and days of an injection. However, with the gel it’s necessary to have no contact with other humans for a couple of hours until the gel has dissolved into the blood stream.

An improvement is usually noticeable between four to six weeks.

TRT Basics: Question 2

Is going on TRT the only option for low testosterone?

Once low testosterone levels are confirmed via a blood test, it’s not necessarily a case of undergoing immediate TRT treatment. That’s because there could be an underlying reason for low testosterone levels such as

undiagnosed diabetes, being overweight or taking certain medications. Correcting this could result in the testosterone levels returning to normal.

Meanwhile, Hormone Replacement Therapy can also help with low testosterone levels in men, especially when linked to the andropause.

TRT Basics: Question 3

When can I stop TRT? I have low testosterone and I’m on TRT?

If your testosterone levels return to normal without treatment then there is no need to continue it. This could be if an underlying condition is diagnosed and treated.

TRT Basics: Question 4

Is TRT safe?

Some experts believe testosterone can lead to higher rates of heart disease and heart blood pressure in young men. However, a lack of testosterone has been linked to obesity, diabetes and insulin resistance. All of these three conditions can themselves be a trigger for heart disease and atherosclerosis.

It’s also worth noting that in another study of 2,100 men over age 45 the likelihood of low testosterone was:

  • 2.4 times greater for obese men
  • 2.1 times higher for men with diabetes
  • 1.8 times more for men with high blood pressure

Nor is there a link between TRT and prostate cancer according to a 2015 study published in the Journal of Urology. Researchers based their results on a group of group of men taking TRT over a period of five years.

TRT Basics: Question 5

Who has a personal experience with testosterone therapy?

Singer Robbie Williams had a well-documented case of low testosterone leading to depression and excessive fatigue in his early 30s. It was only when he received TRT that his enthusiasm for life returned and his energy levels went through the roof compared to what they had been before (like an 80-year-old man’s, according to doctors).

TRT Basics: Question 6

Does testosterone increase blood pressure?

On the contrary, many doctors believe blood pressure can lead to low testosterone. A 2015 study revealed by the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions showed that of 1,472 men aged 52 to 63 who received TRT, none had an increased risk of heart attack or stroke (both the result of high blood pressure. Another 2015 study, this time at the renowned Mayo Clinic, showed no link between blood clots and TRT in 30,000 men.

TRT Basics: Question 7

Is low testosterone permanent?

Testosterone levels for men peak in their late twenties and early thirties. It then gradually declines with age, roughly around two per cent annually from the age of 40. The symptoms associated with low testosterone include impotence, depression, low energy levels, a low red blood count and reduced muscle mass.

TRT Basics: Question 7

Can testosterone affect a B12 deficiency?

Actually, the opposite is believed to be true ie B12 has an effect on testosterone levels. When a male body lacks enough B12, testosterone levels pretty much plummet. B12 levels can also affect sperm quality and number as well as general health of the testicles.

TRT Basics: Question 8

Can testosterone replacement therapy cause panic attacks?

Too little testosterone has actually been linked to anxiety and panic attacks.

TRT Basics: Question 9

How dangerous is TRT?

No studies have been published to show that TRT is dangerous. On the contrary, an investigation in 2016 ago in South Korea, found that TRT can reduce the symptoms of anemia in hypogonadal men. Published in The Journal of Urology, the study on 58 men aged 18 to 80 years was based on testosterone injections over a period of just over a year.

Further reading

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