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If you are thinking about or looking into testosterone replacement therapy I recommend you first understand what is meant by “do I need testosterone” Is your need based on symptoms, lab numbers or both. What symptoms raise the most clinical suspicion that you have low testosterone and therefore create a stronger “need”?
Here we will explore these and other questions that will help you understand this question. “Do I need testosterone replacement therapy?” This information is not geared toward men or women as both may need more testosterone replacement. However it is more common for this to occur in postmenopausal women and men older than 35.
So to answer this question I suggest you try to answer “what makes you interested in looking at this in the first place”?
Sometimes it is your symptoms, searching on the internet, or friends talking about how it helped them. All this is good and it’s great to be well informed about what is going on with your body. First though we want to take a step back and look at other explanations for your symptoms.
Symptoms That Suggest Low Testosterone?
Fatigue and low motivation
Decreased mood and/or anxiety
Low libido and erectile dysfunction
Decreased exercise tolerance
Increased weight and specifically abdominal fat
Foggy memory and slow recall
Decreased executive decision making
So what else can explain these symptoms?
Vitamin deficiencies like b12 and folate and iron
Other hormone deficiencies like thyroid and cortisol
High stress and poor sleep
Digestive issues and poor absorption of vitamins
Just about any chronic health issues like autoimmune diseases, heart disease, etc
Evaluation for Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Before starting testosterone therapy you should be evaluated on wether you have the above symptoms first. Then wether or not you have the conditions that suggest you may have something else going on in addition to or instead of low testosterone.
Looking at all the possible things that could be causing your symptoms will help us understand wether or not it is going to help, be safe, and ultimately be the most effective. Here are a few things you should know about the evaluation process.
1. It’s not just about labs: TRT evaluation does not start and end with laboratory results. We also want to know your age, your symptoms, what medications or substance you consume regularly, any head trauma, and any nutritional deficiencies and some of the things mentioned above.
2. Your symptoms and testosterone. If you have low testosterone levels but don't have any symptoms it probably is not worth taking it. I say probably because sometimes you don't know how poorly you feel until you feel better. In fact according to The Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, 1 in 4 men have Low-T, and of that, only a small percentage actually displayed the symptoms of it.
However, in the case that there is little to know improvement in your symptoms, after starting it, then it may not be appropriate for you to continue.
Why, because testosterone replacement therapy does have side effects (very small and typically not appreciated) and if are not getting any noticeable benefits but potentially adding more health risk why do it?
Now with all that being said there are also some metabolic effects for blood sugar control, some blood pressure benefits, and overall weight loss. So all in all, there should be some measurable improvement in symptoms or labs to justify continuing testosterone therapy.
I hope this information was useful in helping you think about and understanding the evaluation of testosterone replacement.
Keep in mind there are many other topics surrounding testosterone replacement therapy like dosing, side effect, causes of low testosterone, injections verse creams, etc that we did not get into here. You can find more information about this by clicking on the hormone imbalance or hormone therapy tag above.
I am curious to here what your expense has been getting evaluated and treated for testosterone therapy. Was it similar to the above? Let me know in the comments below.
If you want to get a detailed evaluation for testosterone replacement therapy, click on the link below.