Testosterone is a steroid hormone that is present in high levels in healthy men. It is often associated with promoting a healthy sex drive, but it actually does a lot more than that. The hormone can affect many other health factors, including body fat, muscle mass, bone density, red blood cell count, and even your mood. Testosterone is an essential hormone for men, and low levels can cause problems.
Normal testosterone levels are between 300 and 1,000 ng/dL, but men will naturally start losing some of their testosterone when they hit their 30s/40s. Losing testosterone at the expected rate can cause small changes in the way you feel and your lifestyle, but they shouldn’t cause too many problems. Not having enough testosterone can cause some bigger issues, however. These issues can include:
- Low sex drive
- Erectile dysfunction
- Chronic fatigue
- Loss of muscle mass
- No motivation
- low/depressed mood
- Night sweats
- Change in size of genitals
- Breast swelling
Having a test is possible if you believe you have low testosterone and this can reveal if your levels are in fact below the norm. If they are, a doctor may suggest testosterone injections, aka, testosterone therapy. When used correctly and in the right patient, they can potentially rejuvenate your life and make you feel years younger, helping to alleviate some of the issues you have been experiencing. There are other types of treatment for low testosterone, such as gels, skin patches, mouth patches, and more. In many cases, however, injections were found to be the most effective form available.
Why Injections Rather Than a Topical Treatment?
Topical treatments such as creams and gels are available for testosterone treatment, but many studies suggest that they are not as effective as injections. This is because via the transdermal route that creams and gels take most of the testosterone ends up bound and less available. Most of what is injected in testosterone therapy circulates as free testosterone and is fully available to treat the symptoms that you may be experiencing.
In short, injections give a much better result and are a preferred method of treating low testosterone.
It’s also worth noting that if you visit a doctor, they may only treat you if you fall into the lowest 2.5% for your age. If you are in the lowest 3%, you may be offered treatments such as Viagra, Cialis or Levitra instead. These treatments are very useful for improving erections but have none of the other benefits that testosterone injections can provide. Plus, other treatments can be expensive and frustrating when they are not addressing all of your concerns.
Put simply, testosterone injections knock other treatments out of the park in terms of results. You will notice an improvement in sexual function, but one of the quickest and next most common improvement is in your energy levels. Other common improvements are in mood, motivation, strength, chronic pain, and mental function.
Changes In Fat And Muscle
In general, men tend to have less body fat than women, and this can lead to a more muscular, lean, and fit appearance. This is partly down to testosterone, which regulates fat distribution and muscle maintenance. With low testosterone, an increase in body fat is often noticed, especially in the stomach area.
Hormones help to regulate muscle growth, so you can feel like you’re losing muscle size and/or strength when you have low testosterone. This may only occur if the absence of testosterone is prolonged and severe, however.
Shots will help to regulate fat distribution, and testosterone therapy can increase muscle mass, too. You will likely notice the best results when combining this therapy with exercise such as strength training.
Keeping Your Heart And Blood Healthy
A healthy heart will pump blood to the rest of the body, and provide muscle and organs with the oxygen that it needs for peak performance. Testosterone helps red blood cell production through the bone marrow. Having low testosterone for too long can be linked to cardiovascular issues.
Some men who had testosterone therapy found that they could increase their walking distance by 33% and therefore improved their cardio fitness. In other studies, men who had normal by testosterone levels after treatment were found to be 24% less likely to have a heart attack and 36% less likely to experience a stroke.
Testosterone plays a huge part in bone mineral density. Bone density decreases as men age and testosterone levels naturally drop. This, in turn, raises the risk of weak bones and osteoporosis. Having strong bones can improve both health and athletic performance. Bone density will increase with testosterone treatment providing the dose is right. Clinical trials found a positive effect on spinal and hip bone density.
Better Memory, Mathematical Reasoning, and Other Skills
Men who have higher testosterone tend to have a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Testosterone has also been widely linked to thinking abilities, such as verbal memory and a faster processing speed. An improvement in spatial memory was found in testosterone therapy performed on men aged 34-70 years old.
A Higher Libido
Testosterone levels tend to naturally rise in response to sexual arousal and activity. Men who have higher levels of testosterone usually have more sexual activity. Older men tend to find that they need some kind of treatment for their erectile function and libido. However, it’s also important to keep in mind that erectile dysfunction is often due to other conditions or medications, and may not always be the result of low testosterone.
If low testosterone is causing issues in your sex life, therapy with injections can benefit your sexual health and performance.
An Improvement In Mood
Low testosterone can be linked with a low quality of life and a low, depressed mood. Some of the symptoms of low testosterone include depression, fatigue, and feeling irritable. The effects of testosterone replacement therapy on mood can differ. Many men showed improved mood and well being, as well as reduced fatigue and irritability. Some research also suggests that the treatment may be used as an effective antidepressant treatment in the right patient.
Are There Any Side Effects Of Testosterone Injections?
A small number of men experience side effects of testosterone therapy. They may experience acne, disturbed breathing while they sleep, breast swelling/tenderness, or swelling in the ankles. Doctors will also want to keep an eye on high red blood cell counts, as they could be at risk of clotting.
That being said, for men who do have low testosterone levels, the benefits of this therapy tend to outweigh any risks. It’s still important to get a professional opinion, especially if you have diagnosed yourself with this treatment and aren’t 100% sure that it is the issue at hand. It can potentially offer men who feel low as a result of very low testosterone feel better.
Steps To Take Before Having Testosterone Injections
Before you decide that testosterone injections are the right choice for you, you will want to make sure you take the correct steps beforehand:
- Get an accurate assessment – getting an accurate assessment from a health professional is a must. They will be able to perform tests and diagnose you more accurately than you will be able to diagnose yourself. If you don’t actually have low testosterone and start testosterone therapy, you will likely notice more issues than benefits and could upset your body in multiple ways.
- Take stock of your health and lifestyle habits – you may have low testosterone as a result of your lifestyle habits and choices. By taking stock of your health and habits, you can make changes and enjoy results naturally and with no side effects. For example, smoking can be a cause of low testosterone, and quitting can mean making improvements without needing to spend any money or have any treatment at all.
- Be mindful of the risks – there are usually risks associated with all medical treatments, so keep them in mind and research them thoroughly before you make your mind up. Providing you are a good candidate for testosterone therapy, you should experience minimal risks.
- Have realistic expectations – while testosterone therapy can be a huge help to those who have low testosterone levels, you should also have realistic expectations in terms of what the therapy can do for you. If you’re 70 years old, you’re probably not going to feel 25 again no matter how much testosterone you have. That being said, it can still make a substantial difference. Talking to a medical professional to assess what it can do for you is key.
Testosterone therapy can be extremely helpful to men who have low levels of testosterone and are experiencing the downsides. If you’re unsure of whether the injections are right for you, you may want to consult a medical professional. If you don’t have low testosterone but you still feel like your hormone levels may be off, you can make lifestyle changes to improve them. For example, practicing healthy eating, regular exercise, and avoiding bad habits like smoking and excess drinking can be a huge help. If those things still don’t help, follow up doctor’s visits are essential.