TRT - Testosterone Replacement Therapy

What is Testosterone?

Testosterone is the hormone produced by the testicles. It is responsible for the proper development of male sexual characteristics. It helps promote the circulation of blood, and is responsible for the maintenance of muscle bulk. Without an adequate testosterone level there can be important psychological affects such as loss of libido, reduced brain and intellectual activity and mood changes.

What causes the Andropause?

As all men age there is a gradual decline in the level of testosterone. This natural decline starts after 30 and continues throughout life. By the age of 40, testosterone levels drop by 1% every year. Many men however can experience a lack of testosterone production sufficient to result in significant symptoms. This will apply to approximately 50% of men by age 55.
Damaged testicles or disease will affect testosterone production as will long-term stress, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. In 60% of cases no cause can be identified and hereditary factors are implicated.

Are there any health issues associated with the Andropause?

Low levels of testosterone may result in an increase in tummy and chest fat, a decline in the amount of muscle in the body and decline in strength. Low levels can also lead to Brittle bones, (osteoporosis) which may lead to hip and spinal fractures. In addition the bone marrow is less active and produces less haemoglobin and red blood cells to transport oxygen around the body.

  • Lack of testosterone can be a cause of high cholesterol levels.
  • Depressed mood, anxiety and problems with concentration and memory are associated with low testosterone levels.
  • Low testosterone may aggravate diabetes.
  • Heart disease may also be linked to low testosterone levels.

What can be done for men with the Andropause?

Men suffering from the Andropause who have proven low blood levels of testosterone can be treated with testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).

A consultation is required and blood tests will be necessary. The blood tests include an examination for prostate cancer, as this is a contraindication to testosterone treatment. Any suspicion of prostate cancer may require further investigations.
The aim of therapy is to return the blood testosterone level in the bloodstream to the normal range for the man's age. This is achieved by using bio-identical testosterone cream that is rubbed onto the skin daily.

What can be expected from testosterone replacement therapy (TRT)?

Life is dramatically improved for those men with abnormally low levels of testosterone and symptoms of the Andropause. The change can be noticed from 2 – 10 weeks and changes can be noticed in the following areas:
  • TRT will restore sexual desire, erectile capability, vitality, vigour and drive.
  • TRT reduces the amount of bone loss and therefore the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
  • TRT reduces the amount of body fat and improves muscle strength
  • TRT commonly improves mood and contributes towards a sense of well-being and a calmer, confident and more stable person.
  • TRT may also have beneficial effects upon the cardiovascular system as testosterone can cause a reduction in cholesterol and as it dilates blood vessels, may even reduce blood pressure.

What are the side effects of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT)?

As long as the amount of testosterone given elevates the blood levels to within the normal range, side effects are rare. It is deficiency of testosterone that causes symptoms. Occasionally, men who have had acne in adolescence may develop spots, usually on the back or chest. Haemoglobin levels often rise, but this is as a rule beneficial, as men with low testosterone levels tend to have lower haemoglobin levels with some being actually anaemic. Whilst there is no evidence to suggest that TRT causes prostate cancer, it should never be given to patients who already have prostate cancer, and therefore tests for its presence will always be undertaken prior to treatment.

How is testosterone replacement therapy managed in the long term?

TRT must be viewed as a long-term treatment. We will assess your testosterone levels via a blood test twice a year in order to measure and maintain improvement. Blood tests to check the health of the prostate and the haemoglobin level are done on a yearly basis.

IF YOU THINK YOU MIGHT HAVE LOW TESTOSTERONE, check out our quick online self assessment test.

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