The benefits of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) are widely celebrated and the catalyst for a broader debate. This hormone has the potential to transform your health and give you back that missing 'edge' of your younger days. Bigger, bolder, sharper, faster, and harder are common claims with testosterone replacement therapy, but is TRT that good?
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is known as the 'primary' male sex hormone. While this is true, it is a little misleading. Women also produce it; however, men have roughly ten times as much; this hormone is vital for all the 'traits' that make a man a man.
When a boy becomes a man, hormone levels rise, triggering puberty, facial and bodily hair, a deepening voice, muscle growth, healthy bone growth, and the production of sperm. Testosterone levels peak around age 20-30, but unfortunately, a natural decline begins after this.
However, if testosterone levels dramatically fall, this may be because of an underlying health condition such as hypogonadism, where the testicles stop producing enough hormones. Hypogonadism can also be due to infection, injury, or another genetic disorder that has gone undetected during childhood. There are many reasons why testosterone levels decline, be it either medical or because of lifestyle factors. Testosterone replacement therapy can help maintain optimum levels and benefit you in many ways.
What are the Benefits of Testosterone Replacement Therapy?
Testosterone Replacement Therapy Can Increase Muscle Mass
Everybody knows the link between testosterone and building muscle. Testosterone is one of the many components that promote muscle growth. It indirectly triggers protein synthesis, which, accompanied by exercise, builds muscle. As a man ages, his testosterone production naturally declines; this slows the metabolism and increases the likelihood of fat, especially visceral fat, developing in your body.
One of the most significant benefits of testosterone replacement therapy is increasing muscle mass. This lean body mass helps control fat gain and significantly increases energy levels. Studies show that testosterone replacement therapy can decrease fat and increase muscle and overall strength.
TRT Can Reduce Fat Mass
Testosterone has a highly complex relationship with fat and is partly responsible for maintaining your metabolism. Men with clinically low testosterone are commonly overweight, and a drop in testosterone levels can increase body fat.
Belly fat contains enzymes called aromatase, which convert testosterone into estrogen, slowing testosterone production. Higher aromatase levels also reduce the production of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). Lack of GnRH then leads to lower levels of luteinizing hormone, which lowers testosterone production. All this sounds complex, but in simple terms, belly fat reduces testosterone production, and reduced testosterone often equates to more fat.
The fat versus testosterone battle becomes a vicious cycle. Testosterone levels decrease, more fat develops, and fat reduces testosterone production, slowing the metabolism and making you even more overweight. With testosterone replacement therapy and some grit and determination (which TRT can help), this cycle is fixable, and you can lose the spare tire!
TRT Can Help Your Heart
Plenty of evidence links low testosterone levels and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. There is also evidence that this risk is increased with age, being obese, and having diabetes (type 1 and 2). The risk of atherosclerosis (plaque building in the arteries) associated with these conditions puts immense pressure on the cardiovascular system, increasing the risk of a heart attack.
Another one of the benefits of testosterone replacement therapy is that it can help reduce visceral fat. Visceral fat is stored around your midriff and surrounds some vital organs. The risks associated with this type of fat can devastate your health. Carrying excessive visceral fat is proven to cause insulin resistance, leading to glucose intolerance and type 2 diabetes. Visceral fat also secretes a retinol-binding protein, which increases resistance to insulin. Everybody has a certain amount of visceral fat. Still, those with excessive amounts are far more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer of the colon, and even Alzheimer's disease. Studies have shown that testosterone therapy can significantly benefit those with type 2 diabetes and overweight men.
TRT May Help With Depression
The fact that symptoms of depression and reduced testosterone levels are very similar makes diagnosis a little tricky without a blood test. Depression, memory fog, and anxiety can also be due to just getting older. Both depression and reduced testosterone have shared symptoms, but if you suffer from reduced muscle loss, loss of strength, or swollen breasts, this is a reliable indicator of Low T.
Common symptoms of both depression and testosterone issues include,
- Sleep problems and insomnia
- A general feeling of sadness
- Low libido
- Memory fog
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Lack of concentration
- Lack of motivation
Testosterone patients often report a change in overall well-being quickly after starting the treatment. Because motivation, fat loss, lean muscle, and cognitive processing increase with improved sleep patterns, it's unsurprising that depression is curable with TRT.
If you are feeling down in the dumps, we suggest taking our easy at-home blood spot test so we can assess your hormone levels and check if you have an androgen deficiency.
TRT Can Improve Sleep
The simple fact is that testosterone replacement therapy can help you regain a healthy sleep pattern; the complicated part to explain is how. More sleep will not increase testosterone, but a lack of sleep can reduce it. Testosterone therapy can improve the symptoms of reduced testosterone levels, making you sleep better.
Improved fitness with a leaner body and less fat improves overall health and sleep. A heightened sense of well-being, better ability to focus and reduced symptoms of depression mean you will feel less agitated and more relaxed, all leading to a better night's sleep.
Testosterone deficiency will not cause a bad night's sleep or disrupt your general sleep patterns, but the associated symptoms of decreasing testosterone can. Depression, being overweight, lack of focus, and stress due to these symptoms can all lead to your body producing cortisol and adrenaline.
These hormones activate your fight-or-flight emotions, making you feel anxious and even less able to relax. If you are always in a state of heightened alertness because of cortisol and adrenalin, this slows down testosterone production, making things even harder. With Male Excel testosterone replacement therapy, we can treat the symptoms causing broken sleep patterns. Depression, stress, anxiety, and lack of focus could all be a thing of the past, along with those long, lonely broken nights.
Testosterone Can Improve Focus, Mental Ability, and Memory
Testosterone replacement therapy significantly improves mental focus, mental ability, and memory. It is no coincidence that when a man's testosterone levels start to fall, his mental awareness can dwindle from middle age onwards. A few studies show how and why this happens, but many men undertaking testosterone replacement therapy describe it as a 'fog lifting.' Cognitive ability becomes much sharper; they have improved memory and a better ability to work out problems. Ultimately testosterone plays a significant role in mental agility, affecting your ability to perform daily tasks to the best of your ability.
Improved 'cognitive' ability is one benefit connected to all the others, helping alleviate negative symptoms. For example, a better night's sleep will give your brain more time to process and recover.
TRT Can Improve Energy Levels
Unsurprisingly, testosterone replacement therapy can significantly improve energy levels. This list of benefits is closely related.
- A better night's sleep means you will wake up more rested.
- More muscle, less fat, and a healthier body will improve energy levels.
- Improved drive and motivation and reduced symptoms of depression. All will give you an energy boost.
- Improved red blood cell count, some studies show testosterone treatment can increase red blood cell production, so oxygen is delivered more efficiently from your lungs to your organs.
- Better cardiovascular health and a healthy heart and lungs are central to being fit and healthy. If your engine runs smoothly, so will you!
TRT Can Improve Sexual Function and Desire
Sexual dysfunction is one of the more well-known symptoms of decreased testosterone levels. A lack of libido and sexual function can be symptomatic of hypogonadism directly or psychological responses to other symptoms of reducing levels.
If you look at the causes of Erectile dysfunction in men, obesity, lack of confidence, depression, and poor heart health are all common causes. Unsurprisingly these are all common symptoms of those with reduced testosterone levels as well. So, a patient undergoing testosterone replacement therapy will likely lose weight and gain muscle, have improved cardiovascular function, have more confidence, and generally feel much happierâall remedies for erectile dysfunction.
Testosterone levels naturally temporarily increase during sex and masturbation, and there is a link between sperm and testosterone. Testosterone replacement therapy will not aid sperm production; it can completely stop (you will still produce semen). Your brain produces gonadotropin-releasing hormones (GnRH) that send messages to the testicles to produce testosterone.
When on testosterone therapy, you have more testosterone in your bloodstream. Your brain reads this and tells the testicles to stop producing testosterone. When you stop producing natural testosterone in the testicles, your sperm production decreases.
This lack of sperm production is no big deal if you don't want kids, and it won't affect your orgasms. Many men report more satisfying orgasms, enlarged erections, and a significant increase in desire. However, if you still want to maintain fertility during testosterone replacement therapy, we can prescribe certain drugs to help preserve fertility.
Can Testosterone Help My Diabetes?
One of the significant benefits of testosterone replacement therapy is how it can drastically improve life for pre-diabetics and those with diabetes. Often after only a couple of days, insulin sensitivity can improve. It is important to note that complete control over blood sugar levels can take months if not years. It is also vital to continue your diabetes medication and regularly consult your doctor to check levels and ensure your prescription is the correct dose.
Over ten years, one German study looked at 311 men with Low-T and type two diabetes. Half undertook TRT, and the other half was a control group. The group had regular testing to check blood sugar levels, with their weight recorded for reference. By the end of the study, fasting blood sugar levels had fallen dramatically in the TRT group and had risen in the control group.
Sixty-one patients in the TRT group who took insulin saw their dose reduced from, on average, 34 units a day to 19.9, whereas the control group who received no testosterone saw an increase from 30.7 to 42.2 units daily. There was also significant weight loss in the TRT group, with an average weight loss of 22.7kg, compared to no change in the control group.
Could You Benefit From TRT?
Low T and the associated symptoms are more common than you would think. To find out if you could benefit from TRT, why not put yourself to the test?
The Male Excel at-home blood test comes with a free consultation with one of our expert medical providers, who will review your symptoms and advise you of your recommended treatment plan. This simple at-home finger-prick test unlocks valuable information about your hormone health. With a detailed analysis at our CLIA-certified diagnostic labs, we're here to help you stay healthy and active now and in the years ahead.