The common symptoms associated with diminishing testosterone levels can leave any man feeling like a shadow of his former self. Increased fatigue and reduced libido can take the spark out of your life, while increased body fat, risk of osteoporosis and cardiovascular problems are certainly causes for concern.
The good news is that hormone replacement therapy can dramatically offset these health effects. Restoring testosterone levels to normal can restore a man’s interest in sex and overall sexual function. Additionally, treatment can vastly improve a man’s mood and energy level while lessening anger and irritability.
Hormone replacement therapy can also help mitigate health risks associated with reduced bone density and osteoporosis. There is also evidence to suggest that treatment can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels- an integral part of preventing and controlling diabetes.
Higher risks of cardiovascular problems have also been linked to low testosterone levels. Raising testosterone back to proper levels may actually reduce a man’s risk of heart problems.
Ways to Treat Andropause
There are numerous ways you can treat testosterone deficiency – or andropause. Medically, numerous patches and gels can be applied to the skin to boost testosterone. Some of these include:
Your doctor may choose an injectable form of testosterone replacement that is given every one to two weeks. There are also a few tablets that can be prescribed and taken every 12 hours.
Clinical studies have indicated overwhelmingly positive results of testosterone replacement. After treatment, otherwise healthy men who previously suffered from low testosterone may expect the following:
- An overall improved sense of well-being
- Increased mental sharpness
- More restful sleep
- An increase in muscle strength
- Increased bone density
- An increase in lean muscle mass and reduction in body fat
- Decreased risk of bone degradation and heart disease
Most men experience a revitalized sense of self-esteem and increased confidence. They feel generally more vigorous and report a boost in their performance at work, as well as greater energy levels to enjoy their personal lives. Many men also report increased libido and overall satisfaction in the bedroom. It is important to keep in mind, however, that the benefits of testosterone replacement therapy do not occur overnight. In general, the benefits of testosterone replacement begin to manifest themselves approximately four to six weeks after beginning treatment – and should continue as long as you are undergoing treatment.
As with any form of treatment, there are some risks associated with testosterone replacement therapy.
Men undergoing hormone replacement therapy should be cautioned of an increased risk of blood clots and stroke. This risk can be minimized by occasionally donating blood.
Perhaps the greatest risk associated with testosterone replacement therapy is an increased chance of developing prostate cancer. While little scientific evidence exists to support this idea, the issue has not been laid to rest entirely. Once or twice yearly PSA testing can help detect any possible reasons for concern.
Some less common side effects can include acne, sleep apnea, and enlarged breasts. These symptoms subside quickly with cessation of treatment.
However, the majority of patients who undergo testosterone replacement therapy will find that the benefits far outweigh any risks for otherwise healthy men. Returning testosterone levels to their proper balance will restore a quality of life that most men previously thought was unattainable. It is important to remember, however, that low testosterone is a diagnosis that should only be made under medical supervision. Be sure to keep regular doctor appointments and be seen in a qualified medical facility during your hormone replacement therapy.