mens healthWhat is Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)?

Testosterone replacement therapy, or TRT as it's commonly known, has been shown to improve the quality of life for many men in and after middle age. Many men suffer from a condition often calledmale menopause but is properly known as andropause by many in the medical community. Thisis a result of a decline in hormone production, largely testosterone, which causes men to have verysimilar symptoms as that of female menopause. Just as hormone replacement therapy has improvedthe symptoms for many women, testosterone replacement therapy is helping many men who areexperiencing symptoms of andropause.

The idea of male menopause, or andropause, is still a controversial one. There are some who say thatthis is just a normal part of aging and therefore no treatment should be necessary. However, many doctors and researchers are finding that middle-aged men often experience symptoms very like those ofwomen in menopause including hot flashes, loss of sexual interest and/or ability, lack of concentration,memory loss, depression, fatigue and more. Many of these men find relief when giving testosteronereplacement therapy to return their levels of the hormone to normal.

The diagnosis of andropause is reached by a combination of lab tests and the doctor reviewing any symptoms you may be having. The tests will show whether you actually have a low testosterone levelor not because the symptoms could be caused by other issues. Often, the doctor will also do other testsin order to rule out any of the other health issues that could be causing the same symptoms. If all other problems are ruled out and your testosterone levels are low, then the doctor will reach the diagnosis of andropause and discuss your treatment options.

If you only experience mild symptoms, quite often the doctor may recommend trying other measures before turning to TRT. For instance, if you're only tired and a bit depressed, sometimes a new diet andexercise regimen could make you feel better without any medication. Often the doctor will tell you tostart taking a calcium supplement, as well, as low testosterone levels can decrease bone density leadingto osteopenia or osteoporosis.

Since testosterone levels naturally fluctuate throughout the day with most men having the highestlevels in the morning and then tapering off, most doctors will prescribe a transdermal patch for TRT.The patch operates in the closest manner to nature as it will release the largest amount of the hormonewhen first put on and then smaller amounts steadily through the rest of the day. There are also oraland injectable methods for TRT if there is a reason that the patch cannot be used, such as with a latexallergy.
You should only consider testosterone replacement therapy if the symptoms are severe enough tohinder your quality of life as there can be side effects and possible dangers from its use. One of themost common side effects is fluid retention. Not only can this be annoying due to weight gain andpuffiness, for some it can be dangerous as it can contribute to high blood pressure. If you have ahistory of testicular or prostate cancer, TRT can increase the cancer's growth rate.

Whether some medical professionals may not believe in andropause, there has been too much researchthat shows it can be a very real problem for some men later in life. When symptoms mentioned abovecannot be explained by any other means, testosterone replacement therapy could make the difference.It is a good idea to discuss the treatment possibilities with your regular doctor once you have adiagnosis of andropause.