When in ABQ: The Do's and Don'ts of TRT
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Why TRT? Are you an adult male aged 30 years or more with weight problems? A study shows testosterone levels wane as you age.
Moreover, it’s associated with obesity-related chronic problems. Examples are arthritis, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Scientific studies reveal testosterone replacement therapy works for men with low testosterone. However, it doesn’t mean you just sit back and let the therapy do the entire job.
- Things you should DO during the therapy
- Reminders on what you DON’T do
5 Do’s of TRT
People take medications and undergo medical procedures. You need to know what to do to make it effective. Testosterone replacement therapy is not an exception. Here are some things to help you get through the therapy.
1. Choose the Right Method
TRT comes in various forms, like tablets, gels, patches, injections, and pellets. Select the method which is most convenient for you.
For example, don’t get the shot if you are afraid of needles. At the same time, quit the transdermal patch or cream if you’re the sporty type. Chances are, your sweat interferes with the efficacy.
Choose the proper application based on your lifestyle and personality. Study each delivery method that suits you before deciding which one to choose. You also have to note which method works best since they all have pros and cons.
2. Follow Instructions During TRT
The therapy is customized for every person. This means that what works for your friend may not work for you, especially regarding dosage. So, follow the correct dosage and frequency once it has been given to you.
It takes more than one tablet, gel, patch, injection, or pellet. So you have to stay committed to the regimen you have chosen. It can cause more than an extended therapy if you miss a dose.
Your testosterone levels may fluctuate if you’re not consistent in taking your therapy. As a result, you may experience mood swings, low energy, or loss of libido.
3. Watch Out for Potential Side Effects
Potential side effects of TRT can be mild or moderate. Here are some common examples and how to deal with them:
- Acne is caused by the effect of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) on the skin’s oil production. Other than soap or shampoo, medical practitioners may also prescribe antibiotics.
- DHT on the hair follicles also causes hair loss. There are hair care products available OTC or prescription.
- Insomnia is often caused by taking high doses of testosterone. Herbal supplements like chamomile, or medicines like melatonin help with sleep problems.
- Mood swings, irritability, or assertive behavior can happen. Breathing exercises, mindfulness, and talking to someone help ease the side effects.
Other cases may include prostate enlargement or the growth of existing prostate cancer. Immediately seek medical help if these cases occur.
4. Eat Healthy Foods and Drinks
Specific foods may help boost your testosterone levels during TRT.
- Egg yolks are rich in good fats, minerals, and protein that acts as antioxidants. Yolks may also increase testosterone levels with their high selenium content.
- Fatty fish, like salmon, contain omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. Studies show men with low levels of fatty acid, and low vitamin D also have low levels of testosterone.
- Leafy vegetables are packed with micronutrients like magnesium. Magnesium works as an antioxidant that may aid in healthy testosterone levels.
- Shellfish, like oysters, contain omega-3 fatty acids such as selenium, and zinc which are suitable for testosterone production.
At the same time, you can incorporate beverages into your diet during TRT.
- Ginger tea, hot or cold, can increase testosterone and boosts fertility. A study shows a 7% increase in the hormone after three months.
- Pomegranate juice is loaded with antioxidants. According to the National Cancer Institute, it may help prevent prostate cancer, too.
- Avocado shakes have vitamin E, which aids the prostate glands in producing testosterone. At the same time, it enhances sperm production and sexual organ function.
- Tomato drinks contain the antioxidant lycopene, which boosts testosterone levels. At the same time, it lowers the risk of prostate cancer.
5. If Not Artificial, Opt To Go Natural
I’m sorry to burst your bubble. But according to a study, not all hormone supplements are appropriate for all men with low T. Notably, it applies to people who have had a recent heart attack or stroke.
A systematic review reveals the benefits of herbs. Researchers identified herbs in 32 studies from 2001 to 2019. Some of these herbs increased testosterone concentrations.
- Fenugreek seed extracts contain furostanolic saponins known to boost testosterone levels.
- Ashwagandha root/leaf extracts increase testosterone production, sperm motility, and fertility.
- Asian red ginseng aids in testosterone production and helps men with erectile dysfunction.
- Forskohlii root extract contains compounds that activate the cyclic adenosine monophosphate, which can trigger testosterone production. Plus, it helps protect you against cancer.
However, these herbs may have adverse effects or be contraindicated with your medications. Thus, it’s best to seek professional help. Additionally, these herbs may also be hard to find.
5 Don’ts of TRT
There are some things you have to avoid during TRT. These healthy habits or lifestyle modifications help boost your testosterone levels. What you eat and your lifestyle habits contribute to your therapy.
1. Overeat or Gain Weight
Science says low testosterone contributes to fat deposits in your belly. Additionally, a study shows men with excess body fat have less testosterone by 30% compared to healthy weighing men.
Belly fat contains aromatase which is harmful to testosterone production. So it’s best to trim your belly fat by eating healthy foods to manage your weight.
2. Drink Excess Alcohol
Science claims that heavy alcohol consumption causes a drop in testosterone production in men. It equates to about 16 or more drinks in a week.
The effect of alcohol on testosterone levels takes 30 minutes after drinking alcohol. Thus, continued heavy drinking can interfere with the efficacy of the therapy.
3. Sleep Less Than 6 Hours
Chronic lack of sleep lowers testosterone levels based on a study of young, healthy males. Their daytime testosterone levels dropped by 10% to 15% after sleeping less than five hours in one week.
If you suffer from low T, it’s only proper for you to get enough sleep. The Sleep Doctor, Dr. Micahel Breus, said that testosterone levels increase while you’re sleeping. Moreover, you achieve the highest level of testosterone production during deep or REM sleep.
4. Stay Sedentary
Physical activity stimulates testosterone production. Exercising short and long-term can benefit your testosterone levels based on many studies. So, staying sedentary won’t help you when you have low T.
To enhance your TRT, regularly work out in the morning. Then, when you’re at the office, find time to get up and walk during breaks. Hitting the gym after office hours would raise your testosterone levels, too.
5. Dream It’s Over
This therapy isn’t a permanent solution. It depends on the underlying cause of your low T. But, most often, it can be a lifelong therapy. Besides increasing testosterone levels, it improves your quality of life.
Abrupt withdrawal from it can have dire consequences. You may undergo tests and regular bloodwork to determine your continued need for it. But, again, accepting the responsibility of managing your therapy and lifestyle contributes to its efficacy.
TRT for low T can be a lifelong regimen for some men. It’s best to consult us if you haven’t started on the therapy since it’s not for everyone. When you’re in therapy, there are things you can do and should try to avoid for a better outcome.