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Brief Guide To TRT With The Functional Medicine Toronto Approach


Our functional medicine Toronto clinic has a goal: to address the root cause of your health concerns. In some cases, unstable hormones in men can trigger a wide variety of symptoms, including chronic pain, poor energy levels, low libido, and more. 

If you were to visit our clinic for hormone issues, a complete diagnostic session would take place with a functional medicine practitioner. We may recommend lab tests to possibly rule out underlying issues, and also determine if “low T” or low testosterone is present. 

Low T is when the testicles cannot produce enough testosterone, which may hinder several aspects of health in men. When it comes to addressing this with the functional medicine model, a personalized approach is taken. This is because every patient has exceptional qualities, and therapies are tailored for individual needs only. 

Depending on biological needs and the severity of the health condition, some patients may be prescribed testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), along with other custom therapies. Here, the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre (TFMC) highlights some key points for this article: a list of low T symptoms and the purpose of testosterone treatments; the types of male hormone therapies available; and the different forms of testosterone replacement therapy from our clinic. 

Low T symptoms and what treatments do

Testosterone is a major sex hormone in the male body. It contributes to developing sexual health, bone health, red blood cells, and muscle mass, while maintaining the health of male organs. 

As explained in “6 Lifestyle Modifications for Managing Low Testosterone,” blood tests and clinical symptoms are analyzed by health care providers for identifying low T. As per Canadian laboratories, the average range of 8.5-29.5 nmol/L is considered normal from the submission of early-morning blood samples. 

Some of the clinical symptoms of low T include:

    • Diminished libido
    • Erectile dysfunction
    • Body temperature issues (i.e. hot flashes)
    • Low sperm count/male infertility
    • Reduction in pubic hair
    • Additional growth of male breast tissue
    • Reduce muscle mass and function

Depending on your current health status, hormone replacement therapy may be prescribed to alleviate low T and symptoms. The purpose of addressing these shortcomings is to promote a hormonal balance, which – when administered with healthy lifestyle modifications and treatments from hormone optimization programs – could contribute to optimal wellness in affected men. Improvements may be noticed with energy levels, sexual health, muscle function, and more. 

Recommended Reading: Addressing The Root Of Acid Reflux With Functional Medicine From Toronto

The types of testosterone replacement therapy available

If testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is prescribed by our functional medicine 

practitioners, expect a conversation about the different types available. 

One thing you should know is that testosterone can metabolize in the body within hours. TRT is generally administered as an injection or cream in the form of an ester (i.e. castor oil, olive oil). This is to encourage the chemical to slowly absorb into the body. The compounds used for TRT injections include: 

    • Cypionate: many patients opt for this, as it may be administered interchangeably with another compound called enanthate. It contains a comparable chemical structure to testosterone and has a lengthy shelf life.  
    • Enanthate: unlike cypionate, enanthate does not have an elongated shelf life, but it works similarly to cypionate in the body. It tends to have a quick release time, unlike cypionate.  
    • Propionate: this may be prescribed for unique cases, as this compound requires frequent injections; this is because its metabolization is fast-acting. It may come with side effects, as estrogen levels may increase when using this compound. 

Custom blends of testosterone topicals may be prescribed as TRT. But this can be contingent based on the patient’s response to it. When applied to the skin, it can encourage the absorption of testosterone to promote a hormonal balance. 

Choosing an appropriate TRT 

So which form of TRT should you use? This is a personal choice that requires cautious deliberations with your functional medicine health provider. Other aspects of health should be well-thought-out, too, and how TRT can affect other health conditions. For instance, if you’re at risk of forming prostate cancer, the treatment may not be advised.

The decision process should also take your current lifestyle into consideration. If you’re raising a young family, a topical may not be advised as the hormone treatment could rub off onto the people you come in contact with. If your partner or kids come in contact with the treated skin, they may form unwanted effects.  

At the TFMC, TRT is available as an intramuscular injection, cream or nasal gel. We can help navigate your hormonal health with a personalized medicine approach to revitalizing the mind and body. Reach out to us for your tailored functional medicine treatments. 

Understanding our approach to wellness

Personalized integrative medicine services are designed to help tackle your health concerns – and nobody else’s! At the TFMC, we customize treatment plans after getting a “whole picture” of your entire medical history, environmental and lifestyle factors, results from core tests, and health goals. After collecting these components, we adapt your care with a range of modalities, such as stress management tactics (i.e. acupuncture), Western medicine, naturopathic medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture, and more. 

Custom dosages of some supplements (i.e. adjunctive IV drips) are tailored using the integrative functional medicine model. When IV therapy is administered with healthy living practices, complementary treatments and medical intervention, they can contribute to optimal health and functioning.

Aside from hormone imbalances, we can adapt functional medicine therapies for other men’s health concerns, such as digestive issues, body aches, heart disease, brain fog, autoimmune disease, and more. A customized, proactive, long-term health plan can contribute to healthy longevity. Let’s guide you in applying lifestyle modifications and disease prevention to improve your quality of life. 

Our hormone optimization programs could foster beneficial effects! Contact us now to book your functional medicine Toronto session with one of our health practitioners. 

Disclaimer: The information in this article is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. This information should not be used to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting a doctor. Consult with a health care practitioner before relying on any information in this article or on this website.



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Bhasin, S. (2021). Testosterone replacement in aging men: An evidence-based patient-centric perspective. The Journal of Clinical Investigation, 131(4).

García García E, Jiménez Varo I. Posibles consecuencias en los niños del uso de gel de testosterona por sus padres. Endocrinol Diabetes Nutr. 2017;64:278–280.

Is testosterone therapy safe? Take a breath before you take the plunge”, from Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School, posted on August 29, 2020, viewed on November 10, 2023. 

Michos ED, Budoff MJ. Testosterone: therapeutic or toxic for the cardiovascular health of men? Lancet Healthy Longev. 2022 Jun;3(6):e368-e369. doi: 10.1016/S2666-7568(22)00115-5. Epub 2022 Jun 9. Erratum in: Lancet Healthy Longev. 2022 Jul;3(7):e460. PMID: 36098311.

Saad, F., Doros, G., Haider, K. S., & Haider, A. (2020). Differential effects of 11 years of long-term injectable testosterone undecanoate therapy on anthropometric and metabolic parameters in hypogonadal men with normal weight, overweight and obesity in comparison with untreated controls: Real-world data from a controlled registry study. International Journal of Obesity, 44(6), 1264-1278.


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