Testosterone replacement therapy
This is the practice of giving testosterone to treat cases where the testes are not producing enough testosterone, which may result from a disease or an injury. The testicles produce testosterone, and its major function is the development of the sexual characteristics of Men.
Testosterone replacement therapy is majorly used to treat men with symptomatic hypogonadism. The benefits that can be seen from the treatment are
- Increased libido
- Increased energy levels
Men having prostate cancer should avoid the therapy at all costs. Men who suffer from Urinary tract problems, heart failure, or severe sleep apnea should also avoid the treatment. Before starting the treatment, all the men considering it should go through thorough prostate cancer screening.
Causes of Low Testosterone
The amount of testosterone in a man declines as one age. The decline usually starts and continues as one hits 30 years. Some of the causes of low testosterone areas are listed below
- Genetic abnormalities like the Klinefelter syndrome
- Infection, loss, or injury of the testicles
- Inflammatory diseases, i.e., sarcoidosis
- Too much iron in the bodies
- Hypothalamus or dysfunction of the pituitary glands
Symptoms of low Testosterone
A man may lose his sexual urge due to inadequate testosterone, suffer from erectile dysfunction, be fatigued, have concentration difficulties, and be depressed.
The changes that may occur due to low Testosterone
Having low levels of testosterone in the body can lead to some changes in the body, and some of the changes are
- Decreased hairs in the body
- Mild anemia and a decrease in hemoglobin production
- Osteoporosis, having fragile bones
- Changes in the levels of cholesterol
- A reduction in the muscle mass
- Changes in the levels of lipids in the body
It is vital to note that the only way for one to ascertain if he has low levels of Testosterone is by having his doctor measure the testosterone in his blood. The testosterone levels in the body keep on changing throughout the day; hence a couple of tests have to be carried out to detect any deficiencies. In most cases, the doctors do the tests early in the morning when the levels are at their highest.
Treatment of low testosterone
Low testosterone deficiencies may be treated by:
- Applying a Mucoadhesive material twice a day above the teeth
- Applying testosterone gel inside the nose or to the skin
- Intramuscular injections that are given two to ten weeks apart
- Testosterone stick that should be applied like an underarm deodorant
- Long-acting Subcutaneous pallets
All of the options named above provide one with adequate hormone replacement levels; however, it’s vital to note that they all come with advantages and drawbacks; hence one should talk to his doctor to be advised on the right approach.
Side effects of Testosterone replacement therapy
As safe as it might be, testosterone therapy is, associated with several side effects that include
- Mild fluid retention
- Decreased testicular size
- Increased mood swings and aggression
- An oily skin
- An increased risk of having blood clots
Some laboratory abnormalities may result from hormone replacement, and they are
- Increased red blood cell count
- Changed lipid and cholesterol levels
- A decreased sperm count can lead to infertility, more so in the younger men
Directions that doctors give should be followed to the letter, and in a case you are not sure or curious about the therapy, you should seek out your doctor.
It is a medication that accommodates women’s hormones. The treatment starts when the body does not make estrogen during menopause. HRT Is usually used in treating menopause conditions such as discomforts of the vagina and hot flashes.
The therapy also prevents the loss of bones and reduces fractures in postmenopausal women; however, it is associated with some risks that depend on the type of therapy, the medication’s time, and the dose.
Types of hormone therapy
1. Low dose products
They reduce the amount of estrogen involved hence are used to treat urinary and vaginal menopause symptoms
2. Systemic hormone therapy
It comes in pill, gel, or spray forms. It contains higher doses of estrogen and can treat any common symptom of menopause.
Risks of the therapy
It comes with some risks that include
- Breast cancer
- Blood clots
- Heart diseases
Its key to note that the risks vary depending on the age, the health history, and the type of therapy; thus, you should consider with your doctor all these risks when deciding the therapy option you will take.
The benefits may outweigh the risks if you:
- Have to prevent fractures and bone loss
- Have other symptoms of menopause
- Are you experiencing early menopause
Testosterone replacement in the telemedicine era
What is telemedicine?
It uses electronic communication to offer patients medical services without physical presence. Due to the events of COVID 19, telemedicine will remain to be an important aspect of patient care. As the technologies evolve, the physician practice should too. In the telemedicine era, there are limited data on therapy management. There are limitations to telemedicine to manage TRT:
- Technological barriers.
- The inability to perform physical exams.
- The failure to administer some medications.
Before pursuing the approach, a provider and the patient should discuss to understand and acknowledge the hazards of telemedicine in the management of TRT.