It is part of human nature to grow old as the days go by. Even though most people want to live in the world for as long as possible. A lot of people still afraid of the idea of growing old. This is due to the conditions that old people often experience. Prominent among such experiences gets weaker, wrinkle the skin, looking less attractive, losing body functionality, losing the teeth, weaker bones, and memory loss among many others. As a result, a lot of efforts are constantly being put into place towards. Making it possible for people to cope with old age. While there are a lot of other researches towards finding out how to reverse the effects of aging.
In line with treating the effects of aging in men, a major treatment that they use. This procedure is testosterone replacement therapy. However, many people are skeptical about the therapy and have reservations about the treatment. This article will attempt to discuss what the benefits and risks of the therapy are. In line with this, the article will discuss:
TRT effects on different diseases
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Cardiac Health
- Fragility and Muscle Mass
- Bone Health
- Prostate Cancer and PSA
- Benign Prostatic Conditions
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is the major sex hormone in males and also serves as an anabolic steroid. It is a naturally occurring hormone, majorly in male. Responsible for reproductive tissues development in males including the prostate and the testes. It is also responsible for a number of secondary characteristics related to sex observed in males. Such as body hair growth, increased bone mass, and increased muscle. Furthermore, testosterone is also important in the well-being and health of males as well as preventing osteoporosis. Inadequate testosterone levels in men could result in abnormalities such as bone loss and frailty.
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The secretion of testosterone takes place majorly in the male testicles. Also, at a significantly lesser degree in the female ovaries. The testosterone level in adult males is averagely between 7 and 8 times greater than that available in adult females. Considering that testosterone metabolism is more prominent in males. Its production is around 20 times more in men on a daily basis. Females are generally more sensitive to testosterone.
What is Testosterone Replacement Therapy?
Apart from the fact that Testosterone is a hormone that occurs naturally in the body. It also serves as a form of medication. For example, when men suffer from low levels of testosterone. They treat it through a procedure known as testosterone replacement therapy. The therapy also applies to transgender men as well as in treating women who are suffering from breast cancer. The longer men leave on earth, the lesser the level of testosterone in their system. This often results in erectile dysfunction and other complications. Thus, the therapy also used to treat older men to countering their testosterone deficiency. There are also cases where athletes and some other people request for the therapy. Towards illicitly boosting their performance and physique.
Related Article: Maintaining the Proper Testosterone Levels in Men
Effects of Testosterone Replacement Therapy on Erectile Dysfunction
As men continue to age, they start to notice a case of erectile dysfunction. Several studies have linked the dysfunction to the decreasing level of testosterone in the body. The major mechanism for the dysfunction seems to be endothelial dysfunction. However, studies on rats and use on humans have shown that the introduction of testosterone is important. For smooth muscle maintenance in the erectile tissue as well as tissue remodeling. These effects subsequently improve erection in males. Thus, the use of testosterone replacement therapy in treating erectile dysfunction in older men is very effective and fast. This proves that several studies that observed within 3 to 6 months. After a testosterone replacement therapy, erectile function as well as other sexual indices such as ejaculatory function and libido improved quickly and continued to increase for about 12 months.
The use of the therapy will go a long way to save patients that are suffering from aging effects including erectile dysfunction from having to go through more invasive erectile dysfunction management that could include penile prosthesis placement and intracavernosal injections. It is worthy of note that the therapy is most effective for those that are suffering from erectile dysfunction because they are hypo-gonadal, implying the dysfunction is due to a decrease in the level of testosterone due to aging or other factors. This is considering some research did not find any improvement in patients that were not considerably hypo-gonadal.
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Effects of Testosterone Replacement Therapy on Metabolic Syndrome
Another problem that comes up with aging due to an inhibition in the production of hormones. Especially testosterone includes a number of metabolic ailments as a result of increased adiposity. These ailments include dyslipidemia, diabetes, visceral and visceral fats. There is a very strong connection between hypogonadism, diabetes and erectile dysfunction. Thus, when most people diagnosed or complain of diabetes and erectile dysfunction, a test is often carried out to check their testosterone level and to find out if there has been any significant reduction in its production or its level in the body. Apart from old age, it believes that another factor that can result in secondary hypogonadism is obesity as well as continuing to feed when a bad metabolic syndrome has been observed. Fortunately, there is also some proof that testosterone replacement therapy can come in handy in the treatment of the metabolic syndrome.
All the symptoms of metabolic syndrome discuss above links with hypogonadism with testosterone replacement therapy being encouraged towards treating the symptoms. Studies show that testosterone replacement therapy improves total cholesterol, waist circumference, Hgalc, and fasting glucose. Furthermore, there are studies that have successfully shown a decrease in the subcutaneous fat mass in the body when treated with testosterone replacement therapy.
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However, not every study has supported the effectiveness of testosterone replacement therapy in metabolic syndrome. However, it remains clear that there is a strong relationship between hypogonadism and metabolic syndrome with testosterone replacement therapy holding a great prospect in treating the syndrome.
Effects of Testosterone Replacement Therapy on Cardiac Health
Decrease in cardiovascular health surrogate markers and Increase in the development of cardiovascular diseases links to low testosterone. Studies have shown that men with a low level of testosterone are two times more likely to have a cardiovascular-related death. On the other hand, a higher level of testosterone links with a favorable risk profile for cardiovascular health. Based on these earlier results and further researches, testosterone replacement therapy has proven to be beneficial to cardiovascular health. Though not every study have recorded such improvement, there are a lot of studies that have shown that cardiovascular events increased with testosterone replacement therapy.
Furthermore, the study showed significantly higher rates of antihypertensive, statin and hyperlipidemia use as a result of the therapy. Even though one of such studies was terminated at an early stage due to the increased cardiac activities, it is not right to draw a wide conclusion from the study. This is especially as some providers have referenced the study as a good reason why testosterone replacement therapy should be avoided.
Effects of Testosterone Replacement Therapy on Fragility and Muscle Mass
As men age, their muscle strength continues to decrease significantly as they start to get frail. The acceleration in the changes links to testosterone metabolism. Studies have shown that the presence of adequate testosterone in the body resulted in reduced risk of having limited mobility and increased physical performance. Furthermore, for people who are already suffering the loss of muscle mass strength and fragility, testosterone replacement therapy links with reversing the effect to some extent. The therapy resulted in improved skeletal muscle strength and mass.
Even though there have been questions about the medical relevance of the increase in strength. The patients are satisfied with the results as it enhances their daily lives. This is especially for those suffering from limited mobility, who have not been able to carry out most of their daily activities anymore due to muscle mass loss and fragility. A lot of older males have complained about strength loss and frailty as they can no longer comfortable move around or do the things they normally do at an earlier age without the risk of falling or feeling pains.
This has resulted in a lot of older males and even females being confined to wheelchairs once they begin to cross the 70 to 80 age limits. With some few experiencing such conditions a bit earlier. Fortunately, testosterone replacement therapy has not only been shown to be able to briefly halt to process but even to reverse the process. The implication is that those already suffering from muscle mass loss or frailty could get some form of relieve and even recover some of their lost strength through testosterone replacement therapy. As a result, they could spend some more years stronger and more active.
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Effects of Testosterone Replacement Therapy on Bone Health
Apart from frailty and loss of muscle, another problem that occurs while aging is the loss of bone health. This is the major factor responsible for fractures and falls when aging. A lot of studies have shown that bone loss related to age is linked to the decrease in circulating sex hormones serum levels. Some of the studies further pointed to a low level of testosterone and bioavailable estradiol as the reason for loss of bone mass, low bone mass density as well as a higher osteoporotic fractures risk amongst women and men. The effect of testosterone on the density of bone mineral is sort of controversial due to a study that proved there was no change in bone mass density after six month.
However, the study was for men who had a very little case of inhibition of testosterone production and the treatment was also for a short period. Despite the negative results from the research, the same research still showed some level of bone resorption suppression. Furthermore, studies that conduct for a longer period, they show better results with improved health of the bone. The effects on the bone density also improve the bone density of the spine as well.
Thus, individuals who are suffering from bone loss, especially those caused by a decrease in the level of testosterone in the body could opt for testosterone replacement therapy. The therapy expects to significantly improve the density of bone all over the body, including the spine and legs. This is especially when therapy continues for a long time. As benefits on bone health will also be significant for a long time.
Effects of Testosterone Replacement Therapy on Depression
In aging men, there is a significant relationship between low testosterone levels and depression. About 40 percent of men that are suffering from depression. This is resistant to treatment are suffering from low testosterone level. A study showed that men who are suffering from a deficiency of testosterone have higher depression-related symptoms including anxiety.
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The discovery that inhibition of testosterone production as a result of aging leads to depression. Is vital as it brings up a new line of treatment. A lot of studies have proven that the replacement of testosterone in hypogonadal men led to an improvement in their depression symptoms.
Some of the studies showed that by the third month of carrying out testosterone replacement therapy on the patients who were suffering from depression and hypo-gonadal, there was a significant improvement in their symptoms. The treatment continues until the twelfth month, further improvements will be noticed among the patients. Thus, it is safe to say that testosterone replacement works alongside other treatments in treating men who were suffering from depression including the type of depression that is resistant to treatment.
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In line with this, aging men who are suffering from depression after being treated normally for some time without much progress. Testosterone replacement therapy could introduce with a great chance that there will be an instant significant improvement. With time, one of the first tests for men suffering from depression will be to check their level of testosterone. Once a significant decrease, testosterone replacement therapy along with other treatments for depression could immediately introduce for quicker and better results.
Effects of Testosterone Replacement Therapy on Cognition
Another major issue that bothers individuals who are aging is memory loss or a reduction in how effective their memory was. It shows that testosterone and other sex hormones feature protectively in brain function and cognition. Research carried out on elder men has shown that there is a positive relationship between the level of testosterone in the bod and a number of tests for cognition including working, visual and verbal memory. Level of endogenous testosterone positively links with visuospatial function based on the results from a minimum of 3 studies that utilize three different scores for assessment. In one of the studies that involved 907 men, discovered that higher levels of testosterone contributed to better processing speed, visual memory, and verbal memory.
Furthermore, studies show that as a result of a decrease in androgen deprivation therapy in visuospatial abilities and executive functions, there are some inconsistencies in findings majorly due to small samples and lack of adequate controls. However, the relationship that has been discovered between elder men who are hypo-gonadal and lesser memory capability implies. The introduction of testosterone into their system could improve their memory. Thus, even though the benefits of testosterone replacement therapy on memory are not fully elucidated yet. It stands to reason and remains a viable option.
Effects of Testosterone Replacement Therapy on Prostate Cancer and PSA
The effect of testosterone replacement therapy on prostate cancer is not yet very clear and is currently a controversial topic. This is because some of the current studies show a contraindication for testosterone use and testosterone replacement therapy in patients suffering from prostate cancer. Some of the studies have shown that symptoms worsened among those suffering from prostate cancer. Who were treated with testosterone replacement therapy, with the growth of prostate cancer increases significantly?
However, what seemed to be a major issue with the study is that the studies were majorly carried out on men who had been castrated as a result of their castrate cancer and those who were hypo-gonadal. Even though a linear prototype might not depict a major difference between the two. The saturation prototype shows how vital the difference between the two scenarios is. A study shows that when cancer cells in the prostate reach a particular saturation point, testosterone no longer has any additional effect on it.
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Thus, based on current studies that are available, testosterone replacement therapy is shown to increase the rates at which prostate cancer occurs in those suffering from cancer. However, as a matter of reason, it is expected that testosterone replacement therapy should be effective in reducing prostate cancer in men who are suffering from cancer due to aging and because they are hypo-gonadal.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy
There are a number of studies that are ongoing that are checking the effects of testosterone replacement therapy in men suffering from castrating cancer who are yet to be castrated or treated with any other type of curative therapy. It is hoped that when the results to the studies are currently published, it will become clear if testosterone replacement therapy will be effective for treating prostate cancer in hypogonadal men or not. Until then, it is not yet really clear and most people would rather stay away from the therapy, for now, to avoid complicating their prostate cancer.
The effects of Testosterone Replacement Therapy on Benign Prostatic Conditions
Even though practitioners are still concerned about how testosterone replacement therapy affects prostate cancer. With studies showing that it seems to increase the growth of cancer. The effects of the therapy on benign prostatic conditions are also not very clear yet. In men that are not taking testosterone exogenously. Their higher levels of serum testosterone notice that with a lower occurrence of symptoms. The lower urinary tract development based on a follow-up of more than 20 years. The therapy has not been observed to cause an increase in prostate growth.
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A lot of studies have shown that therapy improves LUTS, mostly after considering the comorbidities effect. The initial studies did not observe a relationship between LUTS and TRT. There were also fears that testosterone replacement therapy will tamper with 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. However, more recent studies discovered that the therapy does not interfere with the functioning of these inhibitors. Continuously researches encourage towards giving clear information on how testosterone replacement therapy affects Benign Prostatic Conditions.
There are several studies that have shown how important testosterone is. The maintenance of our bodily functions and homeostasis as we grow older. Considering the many adverse effects aging has on our body and the various ailments that come with it. The reduction of testosterone and the hormone level in our body contribute significantly to aging symptoms. As a result of this contribution. The school of thoughts arose that the introduction of testosterone into the system of these elderly men. Especially those who are hypo-gonadal will contribute significantly to their treatment.
For a number of ailments including erectile dysfunction, bone health, muscle mass loss, cardiac health, depression, and cognition. Studies have shown that testosterone replacement therapy contributes significantly to the treatment of those ailments. However, this has not been the case with prostate-related diseases including prostate studies. Available studies seem to show that testosterone replacement therapies worsen prostate cancer. However, the effects of the therapy on prostate cancer in hypogonadal men are not yet clear. Thus, it is best to stay away from the therapy for prostate cancer and prostate-related cases.