Did you know that men who are on testosterone replacement therapy must have their blood drawn regularly to avoid a serious health complication?
Testosterone replacement therapy is a safe and effective way to treat men with low testosterone. However, there is one potential complication of testosterone injections. Because testosterone is known to boost the production of red blood cells, men on testosterone therapy could experience a condition called polycythemia, which is an increase in red blood cells, making the blood thicker and more viscous.
This thicker blood can make it harder for the heart to pump. It can put testosterone replacement patients at a higher risk for high blood pressure, strokes, and heart attacks. This is why the blood of patients on Testosterone is carefully monitored for the development of polycythemia.
Doctors also recommend that men on testosterone can avoid the condition by having a “therapeutic blood draw” about every 120 days.
You Cannot Have Your Required Testosterone Blood Draw Done At A Blood Bank
If you are taking testosterone, now you understand why it so important that you have your blood drawn. So, you think, “OK, I’ll just go donate some blood every month or so, blood banks always need blood – problem solved!”
But think again. Blood mobiles and blood banks normally do not want the blood of testosterone patients for the very reason it needs to be drawn – the thickness due to over-abundant red blood cells. Some will accept donations from testosterone patients, but only if they have applied for and obtained a special variance to do so.
That is where the NuLife Institute comes in. As a licensed medical practice, we can safely do your necessary therapeutic blood draws (therapeutic phlebotomy) even if you are not getting your testosterone therapy from us.
To determine if you have polycythemia as a result of your testosterone therapy, we use a measurement called “hematocrit.” Your hematocrit level reflects the proportion of red cells to total blood volume. A hematocrit of over 52 percent could indicate that therapeutic phlebotomy is necessary.
The procedure takes less than an hour. It is remarkably similar to what happens when donating blood, but this procedure is done specifically as a way to bring down red blood cells and reduce viscosity. Phlebotomy of one pint of blood will generally lower hematocrit by about 3 percent.
How often men on testosterone need to have a therapeutic blood draw will vary from patient to patient, but we recommend at least once every 120 days.
What Every Man Should Know About Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)
Despite the possible complication of polycythemia, testosterone therapy is still the safest and most effective way to treat men with low testosterone.
Prescription testosterone replacement therapy for men is available via injection, topical creams or gels, skin patches, subdermal pellets, or oral medication. Most doctors agree that testosterone injections are the safest and most effective form of testosterone therapy.
Testosterone replacement therapy is only available with a doctor’s prescription. You cannot buy testosterone online or anywhere without a doctor’s prescription. While any doctor can write you a prescription for testosterone replacement therapy, you should work with a clinic like the NuLife Institute that specializes in age-related hormone decline.
At NuLife, we realize that not all men with low testosterone have the same set of symptoms or the same health and wellness goals. We will tailor your program of testosterone therapy to your unique needs and lifestyle to maximize your benefits and optimize your results.
If you are on testosterone therapy and would like to schedule an appointment for a therapeutic blood draw or would just like to learn a little bit more about the many benefits of testosterone replacement, please contact us today at (305) 4000-0005 for more info.