What is Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)?
Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) in Portland is a series of treatments intended to improve the testosterone levels in a patient. Normally, this is administered to men who suffer lower than usual levels of testosterone, a condition known as Low T. In a TRT regimen, our Physician will guide you through a process of testosterone supplements over a period of time with the intention of improving your existing testosterone levels.
There are a number of different ways in which TRT can be administered:
- Topical gels are one common method, in which patients apply a clear gel containing testosterone to their skin once per day. The hormone then absorbs into the body through the skin.
- Patches. TRT can also come in the form of a patch. These treatments operate under a similar principle: testosterone is delivered to the bloodstream via skin patches patients wear on their arm or upper body, or mouth patches worn on the gums. These operate on similar principles to a nicotine patch, slowly administering its medication through the skin over a longer period of time.
- Injections. The most effective method, however, is direct injections of testosterone into the patient’s muscle. This allows for the fastest and most effective absorption of testosterone into the bloodstream, and is the most controllable method for wellness practitioners.
- Implants. It is also possible to administer testosterone via the implantation of small pellets into the soft tissues of the body, slowly introducing it into your bloodstream.
At Cascade Medical Spa, we strongly recommend the use of injections for your TRT regimen; it is the fastest and most effective way of optimizing testosterone levels, and it also allows our wellness practitioners to have the most control over how the hormone treatment is administered. However, if patients require extremely low doses, or are otherwise averse to injections as a form of treatment, Dr. Muncrief is open to prescribing gels, creams and other methods of TRT as needed.
Do I Need TRT?
Testosterone Replacement Therapy has yielded significant results in many men who have undergone the procedure. According to numerous studies (such as this one conducted by Saint Louis University), TRT can have a number of advantages for men with lower levels of testosterone.
- Higher sexual function and libido. Patients participating in TRT have been shown to experience erectile dysfunction at lower rates. Sexual function and desire also improved for these patients, resulting in greater satisfaction in their sex lives overall compared to before they began treatment.
- Greater body composition and muscle mass. TRT also corresponds to greater muscle mass and body composition in men suffering from Low T. This is especially pronounced in older men who experienced deficits in body composition as a result of the aging process.
- Better mood and cognition. Those who go through TRT are more likely to see marked improvements in mood and attitude, in addition to a greater sense of well-being and self-regard. TRT also shores up deficits in cognition, allowing for better memory retention and recall. Irritability and fatigue also goes down for patients following testosterone treatments.
- Better bone mineral density. In addition to overall body composition, patients who experienced TRT found their bone mineral density (BMD) increase as a result. Low T is often linked to lower bone mass, resulting in osteopenia or osteoporosis – TRT compensates for these deficits, leading to stronger bones.
- Lower risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. As TRT often results in lower fat mass and higher muscle mass, men who have undergone treatments see their risk factors for heart disease and other corresponding cardiovascular conditions go down.
Do I Have Low T?
There are a number of symptoms associated with Low T; if you exhibit more than one of these symptoms, it may be worth contacting us for a physical exam and lab test to see if you have Low T.
- Fatigue. Sufferers of Low T often find themselves feeling tired, worn out, and more easily exhausted than the average person. This is due to your lower testosterone levels, which also correspond to a subsequent decrease in energy.
- Irritability. With Low T often comes increases in irritability and poor mood, partially due to the lower testosterone levels and some as a result of the lower quality of life experienced by sufferers. Men with Low T also tend to experience higher rates of depression than men with average levels of testosterone.
- Loss in body composition and muscle mass. Low T prevents men from gaining and maintaining muscle mass at the same rates as men with average testosterone; instead, the body replaces muscle mass with fat mass. Testosterone is necessary for muscle proteins to form and grow; without it, body composition suffers in men.
- Lower sex drive. In men with Low T, lower libidos and levels of sexual function have been reported, as lower testosterone diminishes their desire to engage in sexual intercourse. As such, these men have sex at a lesser frequency.
- Erectile dysfunction. Commensurate with lower sex drive in men with Low T is a lower rate of achieving and maintaining erections. (However, keep in mind that this particular symptom is especially dependent on a few other contributing factors, including mood, overall health and the influence of other medical conditions.)
As you read this list of symptoms, bear in mind that other factors can contribute to these conditions – their presence is not always an indicator of Low T. Use of opioids, diabetes, obesity, testicular damage and congenital conditions can also result in similar symptoms. We recommend that you consult your doctor or other wellness professional before determining that you have Low T.
Do You Only Treat People That Have Low T?
As noted by the American Urology Association (AUA), normal testosterone levels typically range from 300 to 800 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). If a patient’s testosterone levels drop below 300 ng/dL, they are classified as Low T, and would highly benefit from one of our professionally-administered Testosterone Replacement Therapy programs. As men get older, they are more likely to suffer from Low T; approximately 50% of men over the age of 80 suffer from the condition, while estimates for younger men hover around 1%. Risk factors for Low T also include diabetes and obesity, as lower testosterone is more common for them.
However, there may be some whose testosterone levels are simply on the low side of normal – someone whose levels hover around 300-500 ng/dL, but do not technically qualify as Low T. These individuals may experience some mild symptoms of Low T – marginally low energy, a slight decrease in sex drive – and simply wish to optimize their testosterone levels. Some men simply wish to stave off the corresponding decrease in testosterone levels that naturally comes with age; with the right TRT regimen, it is possible to maintain normal testosterone levels even as maturity diminishes the body’s natural production ability.
At Cascade Medical Spa, we welcome anyone who wishes to improve their testosterone levels, whether they have Low T or want to improve the testosterone they already have. With our help, we are more than happy to work out a treatment program that works for patients whose T levels are just lower than they’d like them to be. Combined with a wellness program that includes diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes, TRT can help men of virtually any state of health improve their testosterone levels. This results in greater quality of life, improvements in sexual performance, and a healthier body overall.
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