While you may not realize it, many males suffer from low levels of testosterone. This hormone is important for male sexual function and is commonly known as the “male hormone.” It aids in the formation of an erection by telling receptors in the brain to produce nitric oxide, a chemical that triggers the process that leads to an erection. Unfortunately, testosterone levels decrease as we age. Fortunately, treatment for low testosterone is available.
While there are several treatments for low testosterone, some men may not need treatment. Low-T can result from trauma, cancer, radiation or chemotherapy. Males are born with one X chromosome and one Y chromosome, which determines gender. But men can also have abnormal testicle development due to a medical condition called Klinefelter syndrome. The testicles are supposed to move from the abdomen to the scrotum before birth, but if this does not occur, testosterone levels may be affected.
Treatment for low testosterone can improve sex drive, erectile dysfunction, and mood. Hormone replacement therapy can be administered in different forms. The most common form is a gel that is applied to the skin. A testosterone patch or gel is applied on the skin to increase the levels. It is important to note that hormone replacement therapy is long-term, and can require multiple applications daily. You should consult a doctor if symptoms do not improve or persist.
If your doctor identifies the common signs of low testosterone or low T, a blood test will likely confirm the diagnosis. If your blood testosterone level is less than 300 ng/dL, it may indicate a problem with your pituitary gland. A physician will order a second blood test to see if you are actually suffering from a lower level of this hormone. A high level of LH may also signal a problem with your pituitary gland. In some cases, low levels of T may be due to red blood cells.
Men should discuss their medical history with their doctors to determine if they are suffering from a hormone deficiency. While talking about sex and a man’s health is uncomfortable for some, it is essential for every man to understand and discuss these issues with their doctors. A doctor who specializes in urology and men’s health, Arnold Bullock, MD, encourages men to ask questions and get answers to any questions they may have.
Although testosterone is normally low in newborns, the body gradually increases its production as a boy ages. During puberty, this level spikes and causes the development of underarm hair, sex drive, and physical appearance. A healthy level of testosterone should be between 270 and 1000 nanograms per deciliter in adult men. The problem is more common among older men. According to the American Urological Association, nearly two out of every five men over the age of 45 are affected by low testosterone. And in men aged 70 and older, the rate jumps to 49 percent.
As a result of low testosterone, a person may notice a reduction in muscle mass. However, this is not necessarily indicative of a decrease in strength or function. Low levels of testosterone can also cause a decrease in bone volume, making bones more susceptible to fractures. Men with low testosterone may experience diminished sex drive, reduced energy, and decreased interest in physical activity. The symptoms of low testosterone may be attributed to other issues, such as an infection or a weakened immune system.
The symptoms of low testosterone can range from mild to severe and can be accompanied by other health problems. Men should be tested for low testosterone regularly to avoid serious complications, including osteoporosis, prostate nodule and cardiovascular disease. Men who take testosterone replacement therapy should note any changes in their symptoms as they may be a sign of underlying conditions. In recent years, the general public has become more aware of the symptoms of low testosterone. Thanks to media coverage, men have become more educated about this condition.
Symptoms of low testosterone may include poor concentration, lack of energy, sleep problems, and mood swings. It may also affect fertility and prevent men from fathering a child. If your primary care physician suspects you are suffering from low testosterone, he or she may refer you to an endocrinologist or urologist for testing. Your doctor may prescribe a prescription for a testosterone supplement if you feel your levels are too low.
In addition to assessing your symptoms, a doctor can recommend the best testosterone replacement therapy for your condition. The therapy may come in the form of an injection, a patch or gel that you place between your cheek and gum. These treatments may help restore your sexual drive and increase muscle mass. Low T can also lead to erectile dysfunction. Testosterone replacement therapy may be a temporary fix – however, it won’t cure the underlying cause.
Men suffering from low testosterone may be overweight or obese. A study conducted in men with diabetes showed a greater reduction of testosterone compared to men with a normal BMI. But even among men with normal BMIs, the decrease was only three percent – still not enough to qualify as low-T. Moreover, men who exercise regularly have a lower risk of developing low-t. So, a treatment for low testosterone can be beneficial to the overall health of men.
Treatments for Low Testosterone may include a diet, exercise, and/or treatment of certain congenital or underlying conditions. If you’ve had any of these conditions, you may have low-T or need testosterone therapy. The American Urological Association (AUA) and FDA both recommend a testosterone treatment for Low-T. If you are a man suffering from low-T, talk to your doctor about it.
Symptoms of low testosterone range from fatigue and reduced energy to decreased sex drive. Low levels can affect your mood, energy, and even your fertility. Fortunately, the symptoms of low testosterone are subtle, and can be mistaken for other health issues. Your doctor can help you determine the best course of treatment. You may be able to begin a treatment plan right away. And you can continue to improve the health of your body by taking testosterone supplements.
Testing your testosterone level is a critical step in treatment. A blood test can help determine whether you have low testosterone or not. The level of testosterone in your body is between 300 and 1,000 nanograms per deciliter, and a doctor may suggest a treatment plan for you. However, not every case requires testosterone replacement therapy, and not everyone will need a treatment. For this reason, it’s important to find a doctor who can diagnose you. A urologist or endocrinologist may be more appropriate for you.