Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for men is a medical treatment that involves supplementing or replacing hormones in men who have low hormone levels. The primary hormones involved in HRT for men are testosterone, DHEA and thyroid (T3). Testosterone is usually the first hormone thought about when thinking about men and HRT. Testosterone is a crucial hormone responsible for various functions in the male body, including the maintenance of muscle mass and bone density, regulation of mood, and overall well-being.
Historically, HRT for men was prescribed for individuals with clinically low testosterone levels, a condition known as hypogonadism. It aimed to restore testosterone levels to a “normal” range and alleviate symptoms associated with low testosterone, such as fatigue, low libido, erectile dysfunction, decreased muscle mass, mood changes, and decreased bone density. However, currently men are noticing when their levels are not optimal by more mild symptoms and by starting testosterone therapy they can optimize their mood, muscle tone and energy levels.
Hormone replacement therapy can be administered using various methods, including topical gels or creams, injections, or subcutaneous implants. The choice of delivery method depends on factors such as patient preference, convenience, and individual circumstances. HRT for men should always be prescribed and monitored by qualified healthcare professionals to ensure appropriate hormone levels, minimize potential side effects, and optimize overall health and well-being.
What Types of Hormone Replacement Therapy Exist for Men Today?
Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)
TRT is the most common form of HRT for men. It involves the administration of testosterone to restore testosterone levels in individuals with low testosterone and possibly the severe cases called primary hypogonadism. Testosterone can be delivered through various methods, including injections, creams, or pellets.
Thyroid (T3) Replacement Therapy
Thyroid support or replacement for men is often overlooked because so much emphasis is put on Testosterone. We feel that both hormones need to be optimized to result in a truly happy and energetic person. Thyroid is replaced in different prescription options but it is usually in pill form. In the past, medical providers would solely prescribe Synthroid/Levothyroxine (T4) but more functional practitioners look at helping to replace both the inactive T4 and the active T3 form of thyroid for a more desired result for the patient. Thyroid dysfunction is less common in men but optimizing this hormone properly can be life changing for both men and women.
DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) Therapy
DHEA is a precursor hormone that can be converted into testosterone and other hormones in the body including stress hormones. DHEA supplementation may be used to boost testosterone levels and improve overall hormone balance in men with low levels.
The specific type and dosage of hormone therapy will depend on individual needs, medical history, and hormone-level testing results. Even though its found in supplement form, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare provider experienced in hormone therapy to determine the most appropriate treatment plan.
What Are The Different Methods for Administering this Treatment?
There are various methods of delivering HRT for men. The choice of method depends on factors such as personal preference, convenience, effectiveness, and the specific hormone being administered. Here are some common delivery methods for hormone replacement therapy for men:
- Topical Gels and Creams: Gels and creams containing hormones, such as testosterone, are applied to the skin and absorbed into the bloodstream. They are usually applied to clean, dry skin on the shoulders, upper arms, or abdomen. Gels and creams offer flexibility in dosing, as they can be adjusted to meet individual needs. They are typically applied daily and allow for easy self-administration.
- Injections: Testosterone injections are administered intramuscularly by a healthcare professional. Injections provide a long-lasting dose of testosterone and are usually given every 1-2 weeks, although the exact frequency may vary depending on the individual. Injections offer the convenience of less frequent administration but may require visits to a healthcare facility for administration.
- Subcutaneous Implants: Small pellets containing testosterone are inserted under the skin, typically in the hip area, during a minor surgical procedure. These pellets slowly release testosterone over several months, providing a continuous hormone supply. Implants eliminate the need for frequent dosing but require a minor surgical procedure for insertion and removal.
How To Decide If Hormone Replacement Therapy is The Right Option for You
It’s important to consult with an HRT healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate delivery method based on individual needs, preferences, and the specific hormone being administered. They can provide guidance and monitor hormone levels to ensure optimal results and minimize potential side effects.
Here are some factors to consider and steps to take when evaluating the need for HRT:
- Recognize the symptoms: Take note of any symptoms that may indicate low testosterone levels, such as fatigue, decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, loss of muscle mass, or mood changes. However, these symptoms can have various causes, so it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis.
- Consult with a healthcare professional: Schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider, such as a primary care physician or local wellness center, who specializes in hormone health. They can evaluate your symptoms, review your medical history, and conduct necessary tests, such as blood work, to assess your hormone levels accurately.
- Review test results: After receiving the results of your hormone level tests, your healthcare provider can determine whether your hormone levels fall within the normal range. They will consider your symptoms, medical history, and overall health when interpreting the results.
- Discuss treatment options: If your hormone levels are found to be low, your healthcare provider can discuss the potential benefits and risks of hormone replacement therapy. They will consider your individual circumstances and work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that aligns with your specific needs and preferences.
- Consider lifestyle changes: In some cases, lifestyle modifications, such as improving diet, increasing physical activity, managing stress, and ensuring sufficient sleep, may help optimize hormone levels naturally. Your healthcare provider may recommend these changes as a first-line approach or in conjunction with hormone replacement therapy.
Contact Infinite Wellness Center For Expert Hormone Replacement Therapy Options for Men
Remember, hormone replacement therapy is not appropriate for everyone, and the decision to pursue HRT should be made in collaboration with a healthcare professional who can provide guidance based on your unique situation. The team at Infinite Wellness takes a holistic approach to healing that considers the whole person, not just their symptoms. They can help you weigh the potential benefits, risks, and alternatives to make an informed decision about hormone replacement therapy for men. Call today at (618) 747-3200 or visit their website to request an appointment.