How Is Low Testosterone Treated
Low testosterone is treated with testosterone replacement therapy, which can be given in several different ways:
- Intramuscular injections , usually every 10 to 14 days
- Testosterone patches, which are used every day and are applied to different parts of the body, including the buttocks, arms, back, and abdomen
- Testosterone gels that are applied every day to the clean dry skin of the upper back and arms
- Pellets that are implanted under the skin every two months
Checking Your Testosterone Levels At Home
Lets face it, not many men like going to the doctors, and some of us hate needles so the thought of a blood test fills us with dread.
Now although a blood test is probably the most accurate, you can in fact check your testosterone levels at home.
There are companies that offer an at home blood test now these might suit some, but if you really dont like the thought of pricking your finger to get blood, you also have another option.
Saliva tests are available, now although these can be a great and simple way to get your T levels tested. They are however, not considered to be as accurate as blood tests.
Low Testosterone: How Low Can It Go
Most men don’t need to worry about dangerously low testosterone, but you should know the symptoms. Find out about really low T and its warning signs.
As if erectile dysfunction weren’t enough to worry about, low testosterone weighs on the minds of many men. Throughout your life, testosterone plays an important role in regulating sexual, mental, and physical health. That’s why low testosterone, or low T as it’s called, can cause common symptoms like erectile dysfunction , low libido, depression, and low energy. The good news in all of this is that very low testosterone is very unlikely, and certain signs will let you know when testing and possible treatment are needed.
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Symptoms Of Low Testosterone: When Should You Get Checked Out
Medically reviewed by Vicky Davis, FNP
Low testosterone, or “low-T,” is a surprisingly common condition that affects tens of millions of men around the world.
In fact, research has found that 10 to 40 percent of men have clinically low testosterone levels, including 20 percent of adolescent and young men.
Testosterone is an essential hormone for men . At healthy levels, testosterone is responsible for everything from controlling your sex drive and energy levels to helping you gain strength and develop muscle tissue.
It also has a range of effects on your brain, helping to make you feel more confident, assertive and masculine.
Testosterone even affects things like your bone and heart health, making it an essential hormone not just for physical and mental performance, but also for general health.
There are numerous symptoms of low testosterone, ranging from lethargy to a decline in your physical strength.
Below, weve shared the 12 most common signs of low testosterone, all of which can indicate a potential testosterone deficiency.
Weve also explained what you can do to treat your low testosterone, including testing options and common treatments for men with low-T.
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Men Naturally Lose Testosterone As They Age But There Are Low
Testosterone is the hormone that gives men their manliness. Produced by the testicles, it is responsible for male characteristics like a deep voice, muscular build, and facial hair. Testosterone also fosters the production of red blood cells, boosts mood, keeps bones strong, and aids thinking ability. Lack of testosterone, often nicknamed, low-t, can cause unwanted symptoms.
Testosterone levels peak by early adulthood and drop as you ageabout 1% to 2% a year beginning in the 40s. As men reach their 50s and beyond, this may lead to signs and symptoms, such as impotence or changes in sexual desire, depression or anxiety, reduced muscle mass, less energy, weight gain, anemia, and hot flashes. While falling testosterone levels are a normal part of aging, certain conditions can hasten the decline. Low t risk factors include:
- injury or infection
- chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer
- medications, especially hormones used to treat prostate cancer and corticosteroid drugs
- chronic illness
What Does Testosterone Do
Before diving into the primary 11 signs of low testosterone in men, its important to understand what testosterone does. Testosterone affects many different parts of the body, from cognitive functioning to metabolism. It regulates fertility, muscle mass, and how our blood cells replicate.3 When testosterone levels get too low in men, men become infertile.3 In general, testosterone imbalances can have a wide ray of affects on the body depending on the person, so if you suspect that you have an imbalance3, its important to talk to your doctor about treatment options.
There are a number of different reasons that testicular imbalances occur. Injury or infection could be the cause along with hormone disorders, medications, chronic disease, or genetic disease.3 Because of the wide variety of potential causes, talking to your doctor is essential to finding out the underlying problem. To make sure that youre staying healthy and getting enough testosterone, look out for common symptoms and signs of decreased testosterone, especially as you start to get older. Here are 11 of the most common symptoms and signs of low testosterone in men.
If you dont notice any major changes with your sex drive, but notice that your semen output is lower than usual, low testosterone may be to blame. Testosterone plays an integral role in how your body produces semen and a reduction in this hormone will cause your semen volume to decline over time.
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Sex Is A Lot Less Compelling
If you find yourself more interested in sleep or watching TV than engaging in sex as often, you could have low testosterone levels. Diminished sex drive is one of the most common symptoms of low T, and commonly mistaken for a byproduct of aging. And while theres nothing wrong with desiring sex less frequently, these symptoms could lead to relationship difficulties and prevent you from reaping potential benefits of sex, such as reduced stress and stronger immune function.
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How Do You Fix Low Testosterone
Heres our process.
Poor Mood And Depression
In men of all ages, testosterone levels are closely correlated with confidence, mood and general quality of life.
When your testosterone levels fall below the normal level, it can have a negative impact on your mood and mental health.
One study from 2012 shows that treatment naïve hypogonadal men showed more severe symptoms of depression, anxiety, poor quality of life and sexual dysfunction than similar men assigned to testosterone treatment.
Other studies show similar results — that testosterone improves mood by a significant amount in men, with measurable decreases in negative emotional responses such as anger, irritability, and nervousness.
As always, dealing with frequent poor moods or other symptoms of depression isnt necessarily a sign that you have low testosterone.
However, if you frequently feel tired, irritated, anxious or depressed and also have some of the other symptoms of low testosterone, it could be worth getting your testosterone levels checked.
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Who Shouldn’t Take Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Testosterone replacement therapy may cause the prostate to grow. If a man has early prostate cancer, there is concern that testosterone may stimulate the cancer’s growth. Therefore, men who have prostate cancer should not take testosterone replacement therapy. It is important for all men considering testosterone replacement therapy to undergo prostate screening before starting this therapy.
Other men who should not take testosterone replacement therapy include those who have:
- An enlarged prostate resulting in urinary symptoms
- A lump on their prostate that has not been evaluated
- A PSA measurement above 4
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How Does Low Testosterone Differ From A Hormonal Deficiency
Testosteronea hormone produced primarily in testicles but also to a lesser extent by the ovaries and adrenal cortexis essential for a variety of physical, cognitive, sexual, and metabolic functions in men. This sex hormone usually peaks in adolescence and early adulthood. As men age, the ability to produce testosterone begins to decline such that testosterone levels begin to drop about 1 to 3 percent a year beginning around age 40 years.
This natural decline, however, does not imply that a man is testosterone deficient or a candidate for testosterone therapy.1,2 A deficiency in this hormone only occurs in cases where there is a low level of testosterone along with specific symptoms or signs.
Testosterone deficiency is a very specific clinical condition that is defined by the presence of a set of specific signs and symptoms that occur as a result of decreased production of testosterone by the testes in men, says Dr. Bhasin. Its extremely important that testosterone is used only as Food and Drug Administration-approved treatment for this condition.
Whats been happening over the past couple of years is that there has been a rise in off-label use of testosterone to treat a variety of age-related conditions and symptoms that dont qualify as a testosterone deficiency, he says.
Testosterone Gels Or Patches
These are placed directly on your skin. The hormone seeps through the skin, and is slowly released into the blood. Because gels and patches are applied every day, they keep a steady level of testosterone. However, they can cause itching, irritation, and blisters at the spot where they’re applied. Women and children should not touch skin treated with a gel or patch.
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Causes Of Low Testosterone
Low testosterone is separated into two different types: primary and secondary. Primary low testosterone happens when you are born with a condition that prevents you from making enough testosterone or your testicles are damaged by accident so they cant make testosterone. Examples of primary low T include Klinefelter syndrome, undescended testicles, chemotherapy treatment, and physical injury to the testicles. Primary low T is generally difficult to treat, and men with this issue may need to seek medical help if they are trying to conceive children.
Secondary low testosterone is when your testicles are able to work normally, but other health problems stop you from making testosterone. Its normal to make less testosterone as you age, but things like pituitary gland problems, autoimmune diseases, HIV, obesity, diabetestypes 1 and 2, and everyday use of opioid pain medications can all cause secondary low testosterone. Your doctor will regularly screen you for low T if you have one of these risk factors. This type of low T is usually easier to treat than primary low T.
What Are The Symptoms Of Low T
- erectile dysfunction, or problems developing or maintaining an erection
- other changes in your erections, such as fewer spontaneous erections
- taking certain prescription medications such as steroids and opiates, especially in excess
Some cases of low T may be linked to other medical conditions, such as:
- hypothalamic or pituitary disease or tumors
- injuries, tumors, or other conditions affecting your testicles including inflammation related to childhood mumps
- inherited diseases, such as Kallmans syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, Klinefelter syndrome, or Down syndrome
- diabetes, liver disease, or AIDS
- cancer treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy
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No : Erectile Dysfunction
Testosterone is involved in triggering the release of nitric oxide, a simple, yet important molecule that increases blood flow and expands blood vessels. When testosterone levels are low, you may experience problems getting or maintaining an erection. Testosterone replacement therapy can help reduce erectile dysfunction. Men who receive TRT generally report an overall improvement in sexual function and satisfaction.
You Feel Less Strong And More Fatigued
Testosterone helps your body build muscles during puberty and maintain them through adulthood, so as levels decline, so might your muscle mass. As a result, you could feel weaker physically and have a more difficult time engaging in weight-bearing activities such as weight training or lifting heavy objects. After exerting yourself even moderately, low T can lead to a sense of fatigue and weakness two other common symptoms that bring patients in for testing.
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What Are The Most Common Signs Of Low Testosterone
Low testosterone can cause numerous symptoms, from changes in your muscle mass and bone health, to issues that affect mood, energy and sexual function.
If you have low testosterone, you may notice one or more symptoms.
Weve listed several of the most common signs of low testosterone in men below, along with information on how each issue may affect your health and wellbeing.
Strange Warning Signs Of Low Testosterone
Low T affects your whole body. Memory changes, dry skin, and heart attack could all be signs of low testosterone levels.
Depression, fatigue, and low libido are some of the better-known symptoms of low testosterone, but did you know that low levels of this male hormone can also affect your bones, heart, brain, and body fat in less noticeable ways?
To get a diagnosis of low testosterone, you need a blood test to confirm low levels. Some symptoms are more obvious, but others may be gradual and silent. Here are some of the lesser-known warning signs of low testosterone.
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