Alarmingly, Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome(TD) can have severe effects on a man’s short and long-term health, and the symptoms can seriously impact the quality of life.
This article provides a brief overview of Low T, including its causes and the symptoms of low testosterone. 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 (MaleHypogonadism)?
Testosterone is the male sex hormone produced by the testicles. According to the Urology Care Foundation, Low T levels are defined as low levels of testosterone less 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 their 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.One of the most common causes is simply aging. According to a study conducted 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 and radiation, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases and disorders, obesity, the use of 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 and 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?
The two most obvious symptoms of low testosterone are a decreased sex drive and erectile dysfunction. When one of these conditions occurs, men and their doctors know to look into an issue with the reproductive system. However, these problems sometimes increase gradually over time, 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 in relation to the loss of lean muscle mass, as well as an increase in body fat
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 day-to-day.
Once you and your doctor have established that you most likely have TD and you have a Low T diagnosis, it’s time to see a specialist.
How Is LowTestosterone Treated?
As you can see, the symptoms of low testosterone are severe.They can take a serious toll on a man’s overall physical and mental wellbeing.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
Hormone replacement therapy is one of the most important and effective treatment methods for Low T. However, there are many misconceptions about this treatment.
For example, testosterone cannot simply be replaced in the same way diabetes is treated with insulin. It is a much more precise science that varies from every single patient, which is why a specialist is needed. They can help determine the best means of hormone replacement, correct dosage, and what type of long-term plan is required.
Hormone replacement therapy can be 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 that the testosterone can be absorbed into the bloodstream slowly.
- Pellets: Pellets are placed subcutaneously. As with injections into muscle tissue, this allows your blood stream 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, then 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. There are also mouth patches 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 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.
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?
Many medical professionals will tell you that low testosterone cannot be “cured.” 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, as well as their 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 the impact of aging on Low T cannot be permanently remedied, dozens of men restore some of their bodies’ natural testosterone production, especially when made in conjunction with regenerative injections.
What are the Benefits ofTestosterone 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. Perhaps the most significant benefit of testosterone replacement therapy is avoiding these life-threatening consequences.
What Happens if LowTestosterone Goes Untreated?
As we have seen, 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.