All You Need To Know About Testosterone & Treatments To Replace Low Testosterone Levels in Men - TRT Treatments at CJA Balance
If you are concerned that you may have low testosterone levels, your first step is to either see your GP or ask us to send you an at-home blood test so we can assess your levels. Before you do this, please check out our Frequently Asked Questions about Testosterone and the treatment options available.
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What Is Testosterone?
Testosterone is a hormone. It is primarily produced via the testicles in men and via ovaries in women (although in much smaller amounts than in men). Testosterone plays a key role in the development of male reproductive tissues such as the testes and the prostate, as well as stimulating the development of male characteristics such as increased bone mass, muscle mass and the growth of body hair. Testosterone helps to regulate your sex drive and is important for sexual and reproductive development, mental health and energy.
What Are The Signs of Low Testosterone in Men?
There are many signs of low testosterone that alone could be mistaken for stress, depression or outside issues. One of the biggest challenges facing men who are experiencing these symptoms is getting to the bottom of the issue. Many of these symptoms can also be present with several other health issues, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and coronary disease. If the symptoms are present together they can create a clearer picture of low testosterone. If you are concerned that you may have low testosterone levels, you should always consult a medical professional.
Some of the more common signs of low testosterone include:
- Low sex drive or libido and/or erectile dysfunction
- Poor memory
- Loss of muscle mass / sports performance.
What Level Should My Testosterone Be?
Knowing the average testosterone level for your age can be extremely useful. Once low levels of testosterone are identified, your odds of a successful treatment are increased. In otherwise healthy, non-obese men aged 20-40, normal testosterone levels range between 8 to 29 nmol/l. Men at the lower end of this range often suffer from significant symptoms. If in doubt, please take our low testosterone quiz here. Please note: nmol/l = nanomoles per litre. Find out more.
How Is Testosterone Regulated?
The hypothalamus and pituitary gland control how much testosterone the testes produce and secrete. The hypothalamus sends a signal to the pituitary gland to release the gonadotrophic-releasing hormone GnRH which stimulates the release of Follicle Stimulating Hormones (FSH) and Luteinizing Hormones (LH). The Luteinizing Hormones stimulate the leydig cells in the testicles to produce testosterone which is converted to oestrogen via the enzyme aromastase. Oestrogen levels are detected by receptors in the brain to regulate the pituitary hormones.
Oestrogen levels will, of course, be carefully monitored and controlled by our CJA Balance doctors who can prescribe medication to block oestrogen production, to ensure your levels are just right to avoid side effects.
What Is Hypogonadism?
What Are The Causes of Hypogonadism?
There are three types of hypogonadism (low testosterone):
Primary Hypogonadism - Underactive testes cause primary hypogonadism, because they don’t manufacture sufficient testosterone levels for optimal growth and health. This underactivity can be caused by accident, illness or can be hereditary.
Secondary Hypogonadism - Damage to the pituitary gland or hypothalamus within the brain can cause secondary hypogonadism. These parts of the brain regulate testosterone levels in the body. This underactivity can be caused by various diseases, drug abuse, prescribed medications, kidney failure, small tumours, HIV/AIDS, ageing, obesity or stress.
Mixed Hypogonadism - Mixed hypogonadism is more common with increased age. It also can affect men undergoing glucocorticoid therapy, those with sickle-cell disease, thalassemia, or suffering from alcoholism.
How Can I Raise My Testosterone Levels?
At CJA Balance we can replace lost testosterone with a synthetic testosterone designed to boost your testosterone levels to a natural and healthy range. The results from Testosterone Replacement Therapy (also known as TRT) vary from person to person. However, many men report positive and life-changing improvements after taking Testosterone Replacement Therapy.
Some men try to increase their testosterone levels naturally by making improvements to their lifestyle, but this is rarely as effective as boosting your testosterone through TRT. By all means try eating healthily, getting more exercise, more sleep and losing weight, as these will all help you improve your lifestyle.
What Is Testosterone Replacement Therapy?
Testosterone Replacement Therapy is a form of hormone replacement therapy for men with low levels of testosterone.
At CJA Balance we can replace lost testosterone with a synthetic testosterone designed to boost your testosterone levels to a natural and healthy range.
Some men are born with low testosterone, while others may see their levels decrease much faster due to their genetic disposition, unhealthy lifestyle habits, stress and ageing.
The results from TRT vary from person to person with many men reporting positive and life-changing improvements after taking Testosterone Replacement Therapy. Find out more about TRT.
How Quickly Does TRT Work?
As already mentioned, you may be experiencing all sorts of side effects from your low testosterone including a lack of energy, mood swings, erectile dysfunction and a general lack of concentration. You may notice a slight difference immediately after your first TRT treatment, with an improvement in energy usually the first positive sign. How quickly TRT works is different for each individual but most notice improved energy, mood and concentration levels, plus an improvement in morning erections. It's important you tell your CJA Balance doctor how you are feeling so we can adjust your TRT so it is perfect for you.
How Do You Take TRT?
Testosterone Replacement Therapy is available at CJA Balance as a gel or injection. Before we prescribe TRT we need to assess your levels of testosterone which you can do in the comfort of your home using our at-home blood test kit.
Testosterone gel: The gel is applied topically to either the arms, shoulders or abdomen for 2 to 5 hours where the testosterone seeps through the skin. You should not touch another person until the gel is fully absorbed as this can be transferred to them.
Testosterone injections: This is the most common method for the administration of TRT. TRT is injected into the shoulder, leg or glute muscle on average once every fortnight.
Can I Conceive A Baby While Taking TRT?
You do not need to stop your testosterone treatment in order to have a baby. We can adapt your TRT regime to include hCG which can increase the testosterone produced in the testes for adequate production of sperm. Recent studies have shown that when hCG is added to testosterone treatment at 500IU two to three times per week, intra-testicular levels remain high enough to regain or maintain sperm count needed for fertility. Find out more about hCG.
Does TRT Have Any Side Effects?
There is much chatter on the internet suggesting that Testosterone Replacement Therapy is linked to an increased risk of a heart attack or stroke. There is, however, little evidence to suggest this and recent studies suggest that TRT can actually increase life span and general health.
A 2017 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association looked at over 44,000 men suffering with androgen deficiency and showed a 33% lower risk of cardiovascular events in men who used TRT compared to those who did not.
The World Journal of Men’s Health also reported the results of a study into TRT, saying the study found that TRT was not linked with any increased risk for Myocardia Infarction (where the supply of blood to the heart is blocked). It stated: ‘In contrast, men at greater risk of heart problems who underwent TRT actually had a lower rate of heart attacks than similar men who did not receive this treatment.’
Sadly, old and discredited studies continue to influence some doctors and patients so please get in touch with CJA Balance so we can assess whether Testosterone Replacement Therapy is right for you.
However, we should point out that there are some side effects which you may experience. These may include increased acne, male pattern baldness (if susceptible), shrinking testicles, loss of fertility* (although fertility can be protected with combined TRT and HCG), and increased red blood cells which can lead to increased blood thickness (giving blood can help to alleviate this risk). Please also see below for specific questions relating to potential side effects.
What Should I Do If I Think I Have Low Testosterone Levels?
If you’ve reached a point in your life where you lead a healthy lifestyle, are ageing normally and exercise regularly, but you display the symptoms of low testosterone levels, then we would recommend that you have a blood test to assess your testosterone levels.
Will Testosterone Replacement Give Me A Better Body?
If you’re suffering from low testosterone, then you will struggle to “make gains” in the gym, TRT can help with that, but you won’t have a Captain America style transformation using TRT alone.
Concentration problems, tiredness and lack of energy from low testosterone all make sticking to a great diet and exercise regime difficult. Whilst you may find following a healthy lifestyle easier with the therapy, the 6-pack is still going to take some effort on your part.
Will TRT Cure My Erectile Dysfunction?
TRT can certainly help with many forms of erectile dysfunction, as it can also help to boost your sex drive.
However, erectile dysfunction can be a complicated issue, with many possible causes. You should discuss your particular case with your GP or your CJA Balance doctor to find out whether TRT could be right for you. Our CJA Balance doctors can also prescribe medication such as Viagra or Cailis, if required. Find out more about erectile dysfunction and TRT.
Will Taking TRT Make Me Aggressive?
The idea that boosting low levels of testosterone will make your more aggressive appears to come from the confusion between steroid abuse and TRT. TRT, when managed properly by the medical team at CJA Balance, can have a positive impact on mood, libido and energy.
Are My Testicles Going To Shrink When I Take TRT?
Does Taking TRT Increase My Likelihood Of Getting Prostate Cancer?
A 15 year study by the Institute of Urology at University College Hospital, London, observed 1,500 patients and came to the conclusion that higher testosterone levels may reduce the risk of prostate cancer, while low testosterone levels may increase your risk of prostate cancer.
Can TRT Help My Depression?
In this 2004 study by Dr Shores, 278 men aged 45+ with low testosterone were three to four times more likely to be diagnosed with depression, indicating a strong link between low testosterone and depression. Having a balanced level of testosterone and other hormones like oestrogen and thyroid hormones can help improve depression.
This 2018 study investigated the effect of testosterone replacement therapy on depressive symptoms in patients with late-onset testosterone deficiency. It concluded that TRT improves depressive symptoms in most trials, except in patients with major depressive disorder.
Will I Grow More Facial Hair When I Take TRT?
Some of our clients have noticed increased hair growth while taking Testosterone Replacement Therapy. Your success in growing more hair is down to your genetic predisposition so it is impossible to say for sure whether this will happen to you.
Does Taking TRT Cause Man Boobs?
The level of oestrogen will rise when you take TRT and too much oestrogen in the body can cause various side effects. These will, of course, be carefully monitored and controlled by the CJA Balance doctors who can prescribe medication to block oestrogen production, to ensure your levels are just right to avoid side effects. Side effects - if TRT is poorly managed - could include 'man boobs', swelling, moodiness, water retention, poor libido, poor erection, anxiety.
Will I Be Less Tired When I Have Testosterone Replacement?
Low testosterone can cause fatigue (among other symptoms) and taking TRT can help reduce your tiredness. It may be, however, that there are other underlying issues causing your fatigue, and these should be addressed by your GP.
Which Tests Do I Need To Take To See If I Have Low Testosterone?
If you are concerned about your testosterone levels, please consider having a simple blood test. The Testosterone Blood Test at CJA Balance checks for levels of:
- Total testosterone
- Free testosterone
- LH (Luteinizing Hormone)
- FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone)
- SHBG (Sex Binding Hormone Globulin)
- Lipid screen including cholesterol and triglycerides
- Full Blood Count and haematocrit
- Thyroid function tests.
Can I Get Testosterone Replacement Therapy From My GP?
Some GPs will prescribe TRT through the NHS but it can be difficult to find a doctor who really understands Testosterone Replacement Therapy and can give you the support you need. Going through the NHS can also be a lengthy process as you wait for your GP appointment, blood test and endocrinologist appointment. If your TRT treatment is poorly managed you may decide to stop taking it - whereas the issue may simply be that the treatment isn't being provided correctly.
I Am Already On TRT With Another Provider. Can I Switch To CJA Balance?
Yes you can. Please call us on 01962 454788 and we can you make the switch. We will also arrange a consultation with one of our doctors to ensure your TRT and any other related medication is not disrupted.
Will I Have To Take TRT For Life?
It is, of course, up to you whether you wish to continue taking testosterone replacements for life. Many patients continue successfully taking TRT for many years. Balanced TRT with HCG is the safest way to protect your own testosterone production should you need to stop testosterone replacement for any reason in the future. It is also important to be financially stable before undertaking TRT as this is likely to be a long-term commitment.
If you want to stop TRT please consult with your CJA Balance doctor so we can safely cease testosterone replacement. If you have any concerns about taking TRT, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the medical experts at CJA Balance.
By all means try eating healthily, getting more exercise, more sleep and losing weight. These will help you to improve your lifestyle and naturally increase testosterone levels.