An Increasingly Popular Term
Though most people were unfamiliar with the phrase only a few years ago, “testosterone replacement therapy” has rapidly become a much-used and often searched for term. A large volume of Google inquiries are dedicated to it and even mild exposure to media that targets the male demographic affords the viewer/reader/listener to hear the phrase mentioned multiple times. This surge in popularity has many adults curious as to its exact meaning. In the next few paragraphs we’ll attempt to clarify the meaning of the phrase and try to explain its relevance.
What is Testosterone Replacement Therapy?
TRT, as it is also known, is a variant of Hormone Replacement Therapy that deals specifically with testosterone and involves elevating the “T” level of an individual by applying testosterone to the individual’s blood stream. Among the candidates for therapy are those who suspect themselves to be testosterone deficient. Though there is not a universally accepted number that indicates abnormally low testosterone, most physicians agree that a “normal” level will range between 300 and 1000 nanograms per deciliter.
Methods of Therapy
There are multiple options available to those who believe themselves to be deficient and in need of therapy. Among these options is oral therapy (pills and/or dissolving strips). However, this method is often discouraged because it is widely believed to be ineffective for increasing “T” levels and because these pills have been linked to complications of the liver. Some choose the topical application route (gels, creams, deodorant-like sticks, etc.). Also available to candidates are testosterone pellets that can be implanted in the body. Perhaps the most common (and believed to be the most effective) method of therapy is injections that introduce testosterone directly into the blood stream.
Is Therapy Important?
The symptoms of Low T can range from mild to severe. On the more severe side… recent studies have discovered a possible association between low testosterone and an increased rate of mortality. With these things in mind, it is important that a person who believes themselves (or a loved one) to be testosterone deficient consult a physician to schedule a blood test. With a simple blood test a doctor can determine whether or not the patient’s hormone levels are a cause for concern and whether or not the patient is a candidate for therapy.
Is Testosterone Replacement Therapy Safe For Everyone?
Testosterone Replacement Therapy is typically a simple and safe process with little or no side effects. However, those who have prostate or breast cancer are not to be considered candidates because use of testosterone with either breast or prostate cancer is contraindicated and has been shown to stimulate the growth of these cancers. For this reason, it is highly recommended that all potential candidates schedule a screening before initiating any form of testosterone replacement therapy.