As we get older, Testosterone Replacement Therapy may start to sound like something worth considering. However, there is a lot of false information out there, especially on the internet. Before doing anything drastic, you should make sure that you are clear of any misconceptions as doing the treatment is a big decision. For instance, a lot of people believe that testosterone replacement therapy can be the holy grail of anti-aging. While it is true that the treatment can indeed rejuvenate some of your youth, it should not be treatment like a miracle cure. To summarize, there is still a lot of science to be done in understanding the health benefits and the risks of testosterone replacement therapy. Thus, it is wise to exercise prudence before spending your hard earned money, and put yourself at risk for complications, before doing the treatment. Nonetheless, the treatment is quite promising and a lot of medical doctors are recommending it for their patients with great results.
In this article we are going to talk about Testosterone Replacement Therapy. We will find out what it is, what is known about it, and quite a few that are unknown. We will also look at ways it can affect the normal aging process.
Learning About Testosterone Before Testosterone Replacement Therapy
The testosterone is a hormone produced in the gonads. The gonads are the reproductive glands of the human body. For men, they are the testes, and for women, they are the ovaries. Although mainly known as the male sex hormone, the testosterone is also present in the female body albeit in smaller quantities. Even for women, testosterone also performs essential functions.
Testosterone performs several functions in a man’s body. As a male hormone, it is directly responsible for the manifestation of several male traits. These include the deepening of the voice once a boy hits puberty, the growth of facial hair and body hair, and it also contributes to the development of the reproductive organs as the body matures.
The testosterone aids in maintaining several features that include functions that are not necessarily reproductive or sexual in nature. Variations in a man’s physique is largely due to testosterone sent into the brain which then sends signals into the rest of the body. For instance, the bone density necessary in maintaining the shape of the man’s body is dictated by the hormone. Similarly, fat distribution, muscle mass and strength is also indirectly influenced by the hormone. Finally, production of important chemicals such as the semen can be attributed to signals sent through testosterone as well as the production of red blood cells for circulation and sperm cells for reproduction.
Another aspect about the work that testosterone does that is equally important is its psychological function. Basically, it is the hormone that enables men’s sex drive. This is as important as the physical reproductive features that the hormone provides.
When is Testosterone Replacement Therapy Necessary
The testosterone levels in a man’s body will naturally increase and decrease throughout his lifetime with the peak occurring between his adolescence until his early adulthood. Thus, it is normal for older men to have lower levels of testosterone as its production declines. Majority of males would see their testosterone levels decline by about a hundredth each year starting from when they reach thirty and until they are forty. Because of this, it is important to distinguish between normal decline of testosterone levels and the abnormal decline that is most probably due to a disease such as hypogonadism.
Hypogonadism is a serious condition that requires action. It can affect the ability of the testes to produce the required amount of testosterone. This is either result of a problem in the testes itself or the pituitary gland which controls them. In this case, testosterone replacement therapy can be a viable way to treat the condition.
There are a few ways to administer testosterone replacement therapy. Some forms include direct injection, ingestion of pellets, or applying skin patches. Each one has their own merits and demerits which should be discussed in full with you by your doctor.
Signs that You Need Testosterone Replacement Therapy
One of the questions that you may ask yourself is just how much are the signs of aging the fault of declining testosterone levels. To which the answer is not so much. Albeit a lot of the changes to the body as it ages is similar to the changes in the body brought upon by lower testosterone levels. It is however important to distinguish these two especially when considering to undergo testosterone replacement therapy. The reason for this is that increasing testosterone to increase testosterone beyond what is normal for you at your age can be detrimental. Thus, replacement is emphasized in the therapy instead of a supplement.
Some deterioration is normally expected from the aspects of the male mind and body that testosterone is expected to maintain and regulate. However, some of them may actually not be considered normal or its onset has arrived earlier than expected. Take for instance sexual activity. Although older men would be less sexually active, it would not be considered normal if the drop is too drastic in proportion with how old that man is. Some key signs that testosterone levels are having an effect on your sexual activity can manifest itself physically such as difficulty in producing and/or maintaining an erection. Problems in reproductive functions in particular are commonly associated with the low testosterone levels which include semen volume and the amount of healthy sperm cells in an ejaculate. Other than that, sexual desire can also take a hit when testosterone levels are lower than what they are supposed to.
Physical deterioration is also a symptom of low testosterone levels. Body fat regulation, muscle mass and muscle strength maintenance, are some of the non-reproductive functions that are managed by testosterone. It is important to be vigilant about these changes as they may evolve into much more complex conditions. If you think that you are suffering from any of these symptoms, you should ask your doctor about testosterone replacement therapy.