When the topic of testosterone replacement, optimization or however you want to preface it comes up; it is most likely going to come with criticism. For many aging men struggling with all the symptoms of low testosterone (aka; “low T”) who want to openly express their concerns and interests with a conversation in hopes of improving their well-being and health, they all too often are faced with scorning judgement from those around them and sometimes, even from their family doctor.
You’ve probably heard some of the statements before;
- “You want to do steroids?”
- “Why don’t you just age naturally?”
- “You’re going to get roid rage”
- “Why would you want to shoot yourself up with testosterone, I heard that can kill you”
I have personally heard all these type of statements and more, many times over through the years. Ironically, they typically come from those that have a loved one, close friend or they themselves who are using hormones or drugs.
If we are to be very honest, women get a lot of attention to their needs and desires to look and feel their best. And, society totally accepts much of the different things that women do with their body. Such as, being on birth control; which are synthetic (fake/bio “similar” progesterone & estrogen) hormones being administered. Women are not typically frowned upon either if after menopause, they start hormone replacement therapy (aka; HRT).
Many will scoff at men, saying they only want testosterone to look better. Although this is sometimes one of many reasons men desire their testosterone to be at optimal levels, it is not the only reason. But if we are to look at things from a cosmetic standpoint here; women get breast implants now more days than ever before and it is accepted quite well by society.
Is it fair for women to want to look and feel good about themselves but not men? What about the increasing amounts of other plastic surgeries being done? Or, women who put on makeup everyday and spend loads of money on hair weaves, nails, Botox and more? These things are not part of a woman’s “natural aging” beauty, but enhance what is there, would you not agree?
But wait… What about a woman who had to have breasts removed due to cancer and therefore wants breast implants you may say?
Fair enough because that was an unfortunate consequence of a health challenge someone had to fight through… But, what about the man who has been diagnosed with primary or secondary hypogonadism where his body cannot make enough testosterone and he literally feels like a fat sack of crap because he has no energy, is depressed, feels weak, no libido and feels nothing like the man he deserves to?
How exactly is that fair for a man not to address this? Yes… I feel your pain fellas, hear your frustrations and understand.
“You want to use steroids?”
Well, not necessarily for those unknowing or judgmental minds making such a statement here…. You see, to keep things in simple language; “steroids” are chemically altered versions of testosterone – which is endogenously and naturally, produced in the human body.
Testosterone is both androgenic and anabolic. The androgenic side gives many of the male characteristics we know men for having such as hairy faces and bodies, deeper voices, strong sex drive and more. The anabolic part of testosterone is more on the side of “building”, such as having bigger muscles.
For bodybuilders desiring more muscle with the anabolic side of all this but without the excessive androgenic parts (too much ability to convert to estrogen, oily skin, etc.); some of these altered forms of testosterone which we can call steroids, are advantageous to help build muscle mass much faster than normal. However as with any unnatural substance or drug, these can come with harsh consequences over time if abused and used incorrectly – which often happens when some of the “freakier” looking bodybuilders going to extremes with what they do.
Testosterone in it’s full and natural form however is just that; testosterone. This is a hormone that is made by the body and needed by men to function and live their healthiest lives. Men safely and responsibly engaged in testosterone optimizing programs are using testosterone that mimics the male human body’s own.
This, is essentially “filling up” a man’s testosterone tank to and within, normal and healthy levels to replace what is no longer being produced at an optimal level by the body on it’s own. Kind of similar to a type 1 diabetic with a pancreas that no longer produces insulin and they need to take insulin (a hormone) shots daily to replace what isn’t being made in the body.
I don’t think we would feel fair to scoff at a type 1 diabetic for taking insulin to live a healthy life would we? Makes sense I hope…
“Why don’t you just age naturally?”
Well, we could. But to those asking this who have failed to respect and take care of their bodies and now have to deal with what Wilford Brimley calls the “diabeetus”; we could ask “why don’t you just let your adult onset type 2 diabetes take its natural course on you without doing anything about it?”
“Why would you want to shoot yourself up with testosterone, I heard that can kill you”
Well for some, eating peanuts or taking too many aspirin can kill them too. It doesn’t mean these things are necessarily bad. There are plenty of substances that are killing people every year by the millions, and it surely is not testosterone. If natures made hormone testosterone that makes men, well – men, is bad and dangerous then why is it that young men with sky high testosterone levels in their late teens and early twenties are at the healthiest points in their lives?
We have a mountain of numbers representing those on cholesterol, blood pressure and many more medications. Why? Well, generally speaking people take these drugs in the quest to either stay alive or live a better quality of life day to day. There is also alarming numbers of adverse effects and even deaths associated with many of the prescribed medications that millions of people use everyday.
The difference is, testosterone is a hormone NATURALLY produced in the male human body and is essential to a man’s well-being and, life! There legitimately is a thing called testosterone deficiency and is also known as low T.
Last time I checked there was no such thing as a deficiency of Zanex, Lipitor, Metformin or lisinopril in the human body, am I wrong?
How Much Does TRT Cost?
I have worked in this industry for many years, have worked with a few doctors and different HRT clinics. I can be really up front with what I feel are some very honest numbers here. I always tell guys that most testosterone replacement therapy programs average about $300 a month, once everything is said and done.
Now, some programs are less than this and others that may have a lot of add-ons addressing other hormones or areas of interest will be more. But, I consider saying $300 a month is a bit on of “estimating up” if you will, so not to be misleading at all. Many pricing structures are set up to look attractive at first, but then nickel and dime clients and at the end of the day, ends up in the same price ball part. As a consumer myself, I do not like to be told half truths but rather prefer some raw and upfront numbers with something I am interested in before deciding to invest my time and money.
An estimated figure such as this would be out of pocket assuming you’re going through a clinic or doctor that specializes in helping men and TRT programs. This, is hands down the easiest, most effective and smartest way to get proper care in my personal opinion.
Is TRT Covered Under Insurance?
The short answer is, probably not. If your insurance does cover anything, it is probably only a sliver of your total bill and you will probably have to do somersaults and back flips for the insurance company before squeezing any coverage or reimbursement out of them.
Plan on going to your primary care physician who doesn’t have any background or has little to zero knowledge on TRT to help you (in efforts to utilize insurance and save money)?
I would say you have about a 5-10% chance of them (1) even willing to help you here and (2) if they do, knowing what they are doing to give you safe and appropriate care. Ask the right questions. Talk to other men who have successfully received good treatment and where they went.
In my experience with men trying to save a buck going this route, it unfortunately costs them a ton of frustration, misery and their valuable time – how valuable is yours?
If you had an eye injury or problem, would you go to a dentist or your PCP? Or, would it be faster and smarter to just go right to an eye doctor?
Where Can I Find a Good TRT Doctor?
If you are lucky enough to know someone who is being treated appropriately on a doctor supervised program, look into any of their suggested referrals. A simple Google search such as “testosterone replacement therapy near me” should start pointing you in a direction or two as well.
You can also seek out a local compounding pharmacy and ask them if there are any doctors they work with that specialize in and provide testosterone replacement therapy. I mention this because TRT clinics typically use compounding pharmacies to make hormones at doctor’s requests and, at specific doses for the needs of a doctor’s patients on TRT & HRT programs.
And last; many of you may already know that I have assisted and consulted with several different doctors in the TRT industry through the years and also currently to this day as well. I’ve never been driven by money but rather a sincere desire to help as many men as I can look and feel their best with the resources I have. I believe in the company I have consulted with for the last 3+ years and also, the programs they offer that help men optimize their hormones. This company is YOUTH-Rx.
If you want to explore a bit more on YOUTH-Rx, take a moment to visit their website. And, check out the blog section if you want to see more of my articles as well.
Is Optimizing Your Testosterone “Worth It”?
The short answer is; Hell yes it is.
For $75 a week or less than $11 a day, my health, wellness and feeling like an optimized man are worth that to me. I personally know of too many guys who spend more than this on fast food, cigarettes, booze or some side hobby that is doing them no justice or in some cases, hurting their health.
This does not mean that TRT is for everyone however. You should legitimately have unhealthy, low testosterone that has been clarified and diagnosed by your doctor with symptoms and mostly, through proper blood work if you are embarking on a TRT program.
You and your chosen doctor should be ruling out anything that could be exacerbated by TRT and addressing anything relevant here first and foremost. Examples here could be; highly elevated PSA or estrogen, signs of polycethemia or very low HDL and a bad cholesterol profile. Your long term health is and should be considered, most important. Sometimes, this requires taking some ownership of the health concerns one may have going on.
If you are a younger man, on a limited income and well within normal ranges of testosterone but just not up in the most optimal zones; it may not be the right time for you to go down the TRT road, or ever. Everyone is different with their own set of circumstances to make a smart decision as it is suitable for them.
To each their own and I often respect everyone’s right to do as they choose given it doesn’t hurt anyone else. But for me personally, I put a high price tag on my health and wellness. I believe that we are given one body to live in and we should respect and appreciate that gift.
Living life in a broken body I can only assume from observations, really sucks and takes much of the joy out of living life. Having a healthy, well functioning body that enables us to go places and do things really adds the happy and awesome part to living. Just my two cents 🙂
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