Does testosterone therapy make you stronger? This can be seen as something of a “trick question” by medical professionals. The quick answer is that testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) does enhance strength and endurance. However, it’s only intended to restore strength and endurance in men who have deficient testosterone levels. TRT is not intended to be used “recreationally” simply for its strength-building benefits. There’s important information that men in Louisville, Superior, Lafayette, Boulder, and Broomfield, Colorado need to know about if they’re looking for testosterone treatments to build strength.
“Testosterone replacement therapy is only approved for men who have low levels of testosterone-related to certain medical conditions,” according to information taken directly from the FDA. TRT should not be seen as a shortcut to becoming stronger and leaner if you’re a person with healthy testosterone levels.
Testosterone therapy is also not intended to be used exclusively to treat:
- Erectile dysfunction.
- Muscle weakness.
- Weight gain.
However, the fact of the matter is that TRT can help to treat these issues if they are happening in response to your body’s low testosterone levels. Unfortunately, low testosterone can create a wide variety of problems that can leave men feeling fatigued, self-conscious, and “less than” in their lives. While we often think of low testosterone as a problem related to men’s sexual health, the truth is that low testosterone is a true health concern that impacts a man’s entire physiology. The body uses testosterone for key functions related to maintaining sexual features, muscle mass, adequate levels of red blood cells, bone density, a sense of well-being, and sexual reproductive function.
Here’s a look at the symptoms that many men living with low testosterone levels experience every single day:
- Diminished sex drive.
- Erectile dysfunction (ED).
- Decreased sense of well-being.
- Memory issues.
- Focus/concentration issues.
- Loss of muscular strength.
- Decreases in hemoglobin.
- Mild anemia.
Loss of body hair.
- Thinning of the bones/osteoporosis.
- Excess body fat.
- The development of breast (gynecomastia).
The most common cause of testosterone deficiency is age. In fact, low testosterone is so prevalent in men above the age of 40 that the condition is often referred to as “male menopause.” Based on data shared by the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, 39% of men over the age of 45 suffer from low testosterone.
According to researchers, the reason why testosterone levels decline with age is not a mystery. An analysis published in 2015 lays out the case for the idea that age-related testosterone decline is due to waning of both testicular and hypothalamic-pituitary function. However, age isn’t the only cause of low testosterone. In fact, men of all ages can experience this issue.
Cleveland Clinic shares that men of all ages can experience low testosterone due to the following underlying conditions and factors:
- Injury or trauma that creates interrupted blood supply to the testes.
- Infection of the testes.
- Metabolic disorders.
- Dysfunction of the pituitary gland.
- Certain medications may include steroids, opioids, and hormones.
- Chronic illness.
- Cirrhosis of the liver.
- Alcohol abuse.
- Inflammatory conditions.
- Dysfunction of the hypothalamus.
- XXY syndrome.
- Elevated prolactin levels.
- Extreme weight loss.
- Uncontrolled type 2 diabetes.
- Congenital defects.
- Obstructive sleep apnea.
- Estrogen excess from an environmental source.
- Previous anabolic steroid abuse.
- Severe hypothyroidism.
- Pubertal delay.
It shouldn’t be assumed that a person has low testosterone just because they have risk factors present. The only way to confirm low testosterone is to measure the amount of testosterone in the blood using a blood test. Here at ThriveMD, we conduct serum testing as part of a complete analysis of a patient’s medical state when investigating the potential for low testosterone.
Why Does TRT Make You Stronger?
TRT can be an integral aspect of restoring strength, endurance, and muscle mass for men who are living with low testosterone. However, testosterone does not technically “increase strength.” That means that a man won’t necessarily wake up ready to compete in a bodybuilding competition for the first time in his life simply because he has started TRT. What the research actually says is that testosterone supplementation can help to increase physical function and performance. This can ultimately help men to become stronger because they have the ability and drive to exercise.
A 2009 study did find that testosterone treatment in intermediate-frail and frail elderly men with low testosterone was beneficial for preventing age-associated loss of lower limb muscle strength. That study also showed that testosterone therapy helped to improve body composition, quality of life, and physical function. While it may seem like we’re splitting hairs to say that testosterone therapy doesn’t technically “make” you stronger, it’s important to focus on the fact that the data supports that testosterone can make it possible to become stronger by restoring physical function and capabilities. In fact, the inactivity caused by fatigue and lost motivation that is piled on top of the other risks for weight gain and muscle loss associated with low testosterone may be to blame for just how quickly a man’s health can begin spiraling downward once testosterone levels dip.
There are actually lots of good news regarding testosterone therapy and strength packed into a review of the benefits and risks of testosterone replacement therapy that was published in 2009. According to this review, testosterone treatments can decrease fat mass while increasing muscle size and strength. However, some men only report a change in lean body mass without any changes in strength. The takeaway from this very positive study is that using exercise and strength training alongside TRT may help to create an entourage effect that allows hormonal benefits and effort to work together to create the best result. Of course, being stronger isn’t the only benefit to look forward to when using TRT.
Here’s a rundown of some of the common benefits experienced by men who go through TRT:
- Improved Heart Health: Testosterone helps to promote the production of red blood cells. There’s also a large study involving 83,000 men that found that men were 24% less likely to have a heart attack after getting their testosterone levels returned to normal. Men were also found to be 36% less likely to experience a stroke after getting their testosterone levels restored.
- Stronger Bones: It’s not uncommon for men with low testosterone to experience unexpected breakages of bones. This is because low testosterone levels can severely reduce bone strength. Low testosterone can even put men at risk for osteoporosis. Research shows that bone density increases with TRT.
- Increased Libido: Testosterone therapy can help to restore libido. If you’re experiencing erectile dysfunction that is caused by low testosterone, the issue may be corrected with TRT. However, it’s important to recognize that other factors could be behind erectile dysfunction. It may still be necessary to seek treatment for erectile dysfunction apart from TRT even if you see improvements in all other aspects of health if your erectile dysfunction is caused by something other than low testosterone.
- Better Mood and Quality of Life: It’s not uncommon for men to feel younger, smarter, and more like who they used to be after starting TRT. Studies have found that men experience better moods, clearer thinking, better memory, and general increases in well-being when using testosterone treatments.
It’s really impossible to cover all of the ways that a man’s life can improve once a low testosterone issue is identified. Of course, you never want to assume that your symptoms are caused by low testosterone before meeting with a doctor to get the full picture on what your testosterone levels look like. There are many health conditions that can actually mimic the symptoms of low testosterone.
Should You Take Testosterone Replacement Hormones to Become Stronger?
The answer is no if you’re simply looking for a “life hack” to get stronger using testosterone. This is simply not what TRT is intended for. In fact, no reputable doctor who has your health and best interest in mind is going to prescribe testosterone replacement for you if you’re simply looking for a way to get stronger. However, TRT certainly can help you to become stronger if you’ve been experiencing muscle wasting, fatigue, decreased motivation, and the other common symptoms of low testosterone that zap men of their strength.
It’s also very important to state that the benefits of TRT will stop when you stop treatment. Most men who begin TRT continue treatment for life. While it’s possible to safely wean off of TRT using a tapering plan under the guidance of a doctor, the truth remains that TRT benefits will go away when treatment stops. That means that men who are considering using testosterone simply for the benefit of gaining strength cannot look forward to long-term, sustainable results unless they continue to take testosterone supplements indefinitely. The second important thing to state is that TRT does pose risks for potential side effects. These side effects will be discussed during your consultation if you decide that TRT is the right choice for you. While not every man who begins TRT will experience adverse symptoms, it’s still important to know that TRT can potentially cause acne, oily skin, low sperm count, infertility, increased risk for blood clots, testicular shrinkage, and the development of breast tissue. When you work with a qualified doctor, medications can sometimes be used to help reduce some of the more serious side effects for the sake of preserving infertility.
Who Can I Talk to About Low Testosterone Near Boulder?
Thrive MD in Louisville, Colorado is a premiere men’s health office specializing in TRT. In addition to offering hormone therapy for men, our office provides integrated health services for platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections, B12 injections, IV nutrition, thyroid treatment, medical weight loss, and erectile dysfunction. As leaders in regenerative medicine, the ThriveMD team is focused on helping to replace and repair human cells, tissues, and organs to reestablish normal function within your body. We’re excited to help you finally get to the bottom of the symptoms that have led you to believe you may be suffering from low testosterone. Our team is here to help you evaluate TRT as a treatment option for restoring the healthy, normal function of your body. Simply book a consultation with us to get started. Book your appointment with ThriveMD in Louisville by calling (720) 534-2333 or contacting us online.