How to Manage Symptoms of Low T

nutrition
Written by: 
Date:
Raquel Gay
May 21, 2022

According to the American Urology Association, approximately 2 in every 100 adult men suffer low testosterone. This proportion skyrockets to almost 40% of males over 45.   In total, as many as 5 million American men have Low T.

Muscular man

Alarmingly, Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome (TD) can have severe effects on a man’s short and long-term health, and symptoms can seriously impact the quality of life.

This article briefly overviews Low T, including its causes and symptoms. It then provides practical, science-based advice for how men can deal with these symptoms, especially medical interventions offered through testosterone therapy.

What is Low Testosterone (Male Hypogonadism)?

Testosterone is the male sex hormone produced by the testicles. The Urology Care Foundation defines Low T as having testosterone levels lower than 300 nanograms per deciliter(ng/dl).

Testosterone is an essential hormone in male bodies. It not only controls their libido and sperm production but also plays a role in bone health, the production of red blood cells, muscle mass, and fat distribution. That’s why it is so vital to treat TD medically.

What Causes Low Testosterone?

There are several causes of decreased levels of testosterone. However, one of the most common causes is simply aging. According to a study by the American Urological Association, TD rates steadily increase as men get older.

In addition, chromosomal conditions (including Klinefelter syndrome), physical injury to the testicles, chemotherapy, radiation, autoimmune disorders, obesity, anabolic steroids or opioids, and even stress can lead to TD.

What Happens When a Man’s Testosterone Levels are Too Low?

Low testosterone may cause several adverse conditions, in part or whole. One of the more severe conditions is osteoporosis, the irreversible loss of bone density. Osteoporosis can cause brittle bones that break easily.

In addition, because Low T is associated with obesity, the condition can lead to many more serious ones, including Type 2Diabetes. Doctors and scientists have also established correlations between TD, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.

Finally, Low T can also cause or exacerbate symptoms of depression in men. It also makes it harder to fight depressive symptoms due to increased fatigue.

What are the Main Symptoms of Low Testosterone?

A man feels tired

Low testosterone's two most obvious symptoms are decreased sex drive and erectile dysfunction. When one of these conditions occurs, men and their doctors know to look for issues related to the reproductive system.

However, these problems sometimes increase gradually, making them hard to recognize. There are additional signs and symptoms of which it is crucial to be aware:

  • Fatigue, especially when sleep deprivation and other activity aren't to blame
  • Hair loss, especially body hair and facial hair
  • Inability to build muscle mass or loss of lean muscle mass
  • Obesity, especially combined with the loss of lean muscle mass
  • Depression
  • Infertility

How is Low Testosterone Diagnosed?

If you suspect that you or a loved one is suffering from Low T, there is good news ahead: diagnosis is simple and relatively non-invasive. A visit to a specialist isn’t even needed since a primary care physician can diagnose TD with a routine blood test.

If an initial test shows low testosterone levels, your doctor may order a repeat test, as testosterone levels can vary daily.

Once you and your doctor have established that you most likely have TD and a Low T diagnosis, it’s time to see a specialist.

How Is Low Testosterone Treated?

Low testosterone can seriously affect a man’s overall physical and mental well-being.  Low T may also adversely affect relationships, job performance, and more. That’s why it is so important to treat it using the most comprehensive methods, many of which you will find below.

Hormone Replacement Therapy

Injections

Hormone replacement therapy is one of the most important and effective treatment methods for Low T.

Treatment is an exact science that varies for every patient, which is why a specialist is needed. They can help determine the best means of hormone replacement, correct dosage, and the type of long-term plan required.

Treatments are delivered through injections, pellets, patches, or gels.

  • Injections: Injections are typically given in a clinic or doctor’s office. Injections are given into muscle so testosterone can be absorbed into the bloodstream slowly.
  • Pellets: Pellets are placed subcutaneously. As with injections into muscle tissue, this allows your bloodstream to absorb the hormone slowly, which more closely mimics your body’s natural production.
  • Patches: If you’ve ever used or seen a nicotine patch, you already understand the basic principles behind a testosterone patch. Patches are applied once daily, usually on the arm. Testosterone absorbs slowly through the skin. Mouth patches are also available, which are placed on the upper gums twice daily. The benefit of oral patches is that the gums in your mouth are more porous than the skin and absorb the hormone more readily.
  • Topical Gels: Gels are applied topically once daily, allowing the testosterone in them to absorb through the skin. They can also be administered nasally through a gel injection. If a man chooses to use gel, he must use extreme caution to ensure his partner and others do not contact it.

Natural Therapies

‍Competent clinicians and doctors should also recommend natural therapies to treat Low T. Especially in combination with hormone therapy; these can be very effective. They vary from person to person but can include an improved diet and exercise regimen (which sometimes results in weight loss) and weight lifting.

Other helpful hormone therapies include bio-identical hormones. You should also control stress, get enough Vitamin D and other minerals, and ensure quality sleep.

How Do You Fix Low Testosterone?

Weight lifting

Many medical professionals will tell you that low testosterone cannot be “cured.” Unfortunately, in many ways, they are correct. That said, with a combination of hormonal and natural therapies, males suffering from TD can see vast improvements in their physical health, mood, and overall quality of life.

In addition, designing a treatment plan that addresses the whole person may alleviate some of the causes of low testosterone. These include making positive changes in eating, movement, and mental health.

While Low T due to aging cannot be permanently remedied, dozens of men restore some of their bodies’ natural testosterone production, especially when made with regenerative injections.

What are the Benefits of Testosterone Replacement Therapy?

The benefits of testosterone replacement therapy vary from man to man. For some, energy levels are restored. For others, their athletic performance improves, or they can conceive a child.

Whatever the immediate payoff, the dangers of TD over time are real. So perhaps the most significant benefit of testosterone replacement therapy is avoiding these life-threatening consequences.

What Happens if Low Testosterone Goes Untreated?

As we discussed above, there are many possible consequences to untreated Low T. Many of them are pretty severe.

It is imperative to treat TD holistically and effectively to protect your overall health and quality of life. Our team of doctors and experts at iThriveMD can design a treatment plan tailored to your medical history and lifestyle.

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