The benefits of testosterone therapy are widely celebrated, and also the catalyst for a broader debate. This hormone has the potential to transform your health and give you back that missing ‘edge’ of younger days. Bigger, bolder, sharper, faster, and harder, these are common claims with testosterone replacement therapy, but is this stuff that good?What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is known as the ‘primary’ male sex hormone. While this is true, it is a little misleading. Women do produce it as well; however, men produce ten times as much as women; this hormone is vital when it comes to 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, after this, a natural decline begins.
However, if testosterone levels dramatically fall, this may be because of an underlying health condition such as hypogonadism, where the testicles stop producing enough hormone. 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 can fall, be it either medical or because of lifestyle factors, testosterone replacement therapy can help maintain optimum levels, and you can benefit in a whole host of 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.
Testosterone is responsible for increasing muscle mass. This lean body mass helps control fat gain and significantly increases energy levels. For men looking to optimize testosterone levels, studies show that testosterone replacement therapy can decrease fat mass and increase muscle size and strength.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy Can Reduce Fat Mass
Testosterone has a very complicated relationship with fat and is partly responsible for maintaining your metabolism. Men with clinically low testosterone are commonly overweight, and a drop in testosterone level can increase body fat.
Belly fat is full of enzymes called aromatase, which convert testosterone into estrogen, this slows the production of testosterone. Higher aromatase levels also reduce the production of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). Lack of GnRH then leads to lower levels of luteinizing hormone, which in turn reduces the production of testosterone. All very complex, but in simple terms, belly fat, reduces testosterone production, and reduced testosterone can mean more fat.
The fat versus testosterone battle becomes a vicious cycle. Testosterone levels decrease, more fat develops, fat reduces testosterone production, slowing the metabolism, making you even fatter. With testosterone replacement therapy and some grit and determination (which TRT can help with too!), this cycle is fixable, and you can lose the spare tire!
Testosterone Replacement Therapy Can Help Your Heart
There is plenty of evidence linking low testosterone levels and 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 (plaques building in the arteries) associated with these conditions puts immense pressure on the cardiovascular system, increasing the risk of a heart attack.
Testosterone replacement therapy can help reduce visceral fat. Visceral fat is stored around your midriff and surrounds some of your most vital organs. The risks associated with this type of fat can be devastating to your health. Carrying excessive visceral fat is proven to cause insulin resistance, which often leads to glucose intolerance and type 2 diabetes. Visceral fat also secretes a protein called 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. In studies, it has shown that testosterone therapy can have significant benefits to those with type 2 diabetes and overweight men.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy Can 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 do have symptoms that are shared, but if you are suffering 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,
- Poor sleep
- A general feeling of sadness
- Low libido
- Memory fog
- Lack of concentration
- Lack of motivation
Testosterone patients often report a change in overall ‘well-being’ reasonably quickly after starting the treatment. Because motivation, fat loss, lean muscle, and cognitive processing all increase along with improved sleep patterns, it's not surprising 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.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy Can Improve Sleep
The simple fact is, 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, which in turn can make you sleep better.
Improved fitness with a leaner body and less fat leads to an improvement in overall health and a better night's sleep. A heightened sense of wellbeing, better ability to focus, reduced symptoms of depression means 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, 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 the stress hormones Cortisol and Adrenalin.
These hormones activate your fight or flight emotions, also 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 testosterone replacement therapy, we can treat the symptoms which are 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 offers significant improvements for many men in terms of focus, mental ability, and memory. It is no coincidence that from middle age onwards when a man's testosterone levels start to fall, his mental awareness can begin to dwindle. There are a few studies into how and why this happens, but many men undertaking testosterone replacement therapy describe it like 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.
This improvement in '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.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy 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 all will improve energy levels.
- Improved drive, 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, a healthy heart, and lungs are central to you being fit and healthy. If your engine runs smoothly, so will you!
Testosterone Replacement Therapy 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 who have reduced levels of Testosterone as well. So, a patient undergoing testosterone replacement therapy is likely to lose weight and gain muscle, have improved cardiovascular function, have more confidence, and generally feel much happier—all 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; in fact, it can completely stop (you will still produce semen). Your brain produces hormones called gonadotropin-releasing hormones (GnRH) these particular hormones send messages to the testicles to produce testosterone.
When you are taking testosterone therapy, you have more testosterone in your bloodstream, your brain reads this and sends a message to the testicles to stop producing testosterone. When you stop producing natural testosterone in the testicles, your sperm production goes down.
This lack of sperm production is no big deal if you are not wanting kids and will not affect your orgasms at all. 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 that will help preserve fertility.
Can Testosterone Help My Diabetes?
One significant benefit of testosterone replacement therapy is how it can drastically improve life for pre-diabetics and those who have diabetes. Often after only a couple of days, insulin sensitivity can improve. It is important to note that full 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 keep levels in check and make sure your prescription is the correct dose.
One particular German study over ten years looked at 311 men with Low-T and type two diabetes. Half undertook TRT, and the other half were a control group. The group had regular testing to check blood sugar levels, and 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 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.