Last week in In Part 1 in our series on testosterone replacement therapy, we illustrated the benefits and dangers of going on TRT, and the importance of finding a good endocrinologist, Here’s the important stuff to know when you go and see your doctor and what to expect during treatment.
What to do before seeking treatment
Most men tend to ask for hormone treatment before they even know what is actually wrong. These men go to the doctor and demand medication, without exhausting all possibilities before doing so. As I stated in the last article, hormone therapy isn’t a game. The wrong medication or dosage could seriously mess you up. Low T will seem like heaven if your prostate swells up or you start growing breasts. I can not emphasize the importance of taking this seriously and consulting with a competent doctor. Don’t go on line and buy products that may or may not even be testosterone, and inject them into your body. That would be madness, but many men do this every single day.
Before you even consider TRT do everything possible to raise your testosterone levels naturally. Here are a few things that can get you started on your journey to healthy hormone levels:
- Start with your diet. Cut out all junk food and stick with a basic 16/8 hour meal plan
- Get plenty of sleep. Seven to eight hours is great, and you’ll feel refreshed
- If you don’t lift weights, then you should start. Make sure that you have proper instruction and are consistent with your exercise plan.
- High intensity interval training or HIIT is excellent for raising your T levels naturally. You’ll look and feel like a stud too!
- Get yourself checked out with your primary doctor to rule out any other potential issues other than low T, as a cause for your low sex drive and lack of mental focus.
Assuming that you have done all of the above, with no positive results, then you can go and ask the doctors about hormone therapy.
Why an Endocrinologist?
Your endocrinologist is a doctor who specializes in the endocrine system. These are glands that make up our hormonal system. Testosterone is not the only gland that your specialist will be addressing. There are other glands such as estrogen, that are vital to our health. It’s important to have a specialist who understands these hormones and how to balance them. Your normal medical doctor may not have the level of training to make these distinctions.
Undergo a thorough exam with your healthcare provider that should include the following:
- Write down all your questions before you go to the doctor. Ask questions and speak openly about your symptoms.
- During the exam, your doctor may check your genitals, body hair, breasts and other parts of the body for possible signs of low testosterone. Other tests may be done to rule out alternative causes.
- Have blood testing for testosterone levels if indicated. Your doctor may order other, related blood tests as well. For accuracy and consistency, testosterone blood testing should be done in the morning. Repeat testing should be done at a later date rather than relying on a single blood sample.
- If your testosterone levels are consistently low, and you’re interested in treatment, discuss the risks, benefits and side effects with your doctor.
- Choose the right form of treatment for yourself. They’ve got patches, topical solutions, and injections to choose from. Ask your doctor which is best for you.
Once treatment begins, make sure your doctor regularly monitors your testosterone blood levels and treatment response. Other periodic blood tests might include PSA tests, red blood cell counts and cholesterol and liver function tests.
If you decide to go on hormone replacement therapy, make sure that you drop me a line and let me know how it’s going for you. I’d love to hear about it!