Testosterone (“T”) is a male sex hormone that is produced in the testicles. It gives men identifiable physical characteristics such as deep voices, muscle mass, body hair, and facial hair. Testosterone maintains and regulates many functions in men’s bodies, including fat distribution, bone density, muscle strength and volume, sperm production, red blood cell production, and sex drive. Levels of this important sex hormone are typically highest during a man’s teens and twenties. Starting around age 30 or shortly thereafter, testosterone levels start to drop off, and they decline by about one percent each year. As T levels decline, symptoms like decreased libido, decreased muscle mass, and fatigue develop. This is usually a sign of natural aging in older men. But in some older men and in younger males who present with symptoms of low testosterone levels, decreased T levels – called hypogonadism – are often a sign of an underlying health problem. Whether the problem is due to aging or a health condition, hormone replacement therapy, which is administered in the form of patches, gels, or injections, can help restore T levels and produce a variety of benefits.
Improved Heart Health with TRT
One significant advantage of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is that it can have a positive impact on heart health. One of testosterone’s main functions is to regulate red blood cell production. Red blood cells are essential for circulating oxygen through the body, which starts with the heart. According to Healthline, a study of 83,000 males found that people whose hormone levels were restored to normal levels had a 24 percent lower chance of having a heart attack.
Increased Lean Muscle Mass with Testosterone Therapy
Testosterone also increases lean muscle mass. This, in turn, acts as a method of weight control. It also boosts energy levels. TRT has the potential to decrease fat mass in males while also increasing muscle tone and muscle strength.
Stronger, Healthier Bones with HRT
HRT also has the potential to improve bone health. Testosterone is a primary catalyst for creating and sustaining adequate levels of bone mineral density. Males naturally lose some bone mineral density as they age, which increases the likelihood of osteoporosis and weak bones. Since bones form the body’s skeleton, they must be healthy to support proper muscle growth and protect internal organs.
Potential Decreased Risk of Alzheimer’s after HRT
Along with supporting heart and bone health, HRT also has cognitive benefits. Through therapy, it’s possible for males to actually improve their spatial ability and mathematical reasoning. Research has also shown that TRT can help delay or avoid the onset of certain cognitive diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Higher ratios of the hormone have been linked with a lower rate of Alzheimer’s in studies of men involved in HRT.
Improved Libido with TRT
Normal hormone levels are responsible for creating a healthy sex drive. Your testosterone levels generally rise during times of sexual arousal and sexual activities. For that reason, individuals with higher hormone levels, either naturally or from TRT, are more sexually active. In older men, hormone replacement is really the only effective way to restore sex drive. In males with lower hormone levels from a health problem, hormone replacement can boost sex drive levels up to a normal level, which ranges from anywhere between 300 and 900 nanograms per deciliter. Males whose T levels are within that range already are unlikely to see any additional benefit from TRT.
Patients on Testosterone Therapy Plans Report Improved Mood
Another reason for individuals with lower than normal T levels to restore their hormones is to have an overall better mood. Low T levels can produce emotional changes, such as lower levels of motivation and self-confidence. T levels below the normal range can also trigger depression or persistent sadness. It can also make it difficult to focus and concentrate. Lastly, low T levels can also make it hard to remember things. However, some of these emotional problems can also be caused by other health issues like thyroid problems, diabetes, sleep apnea, and depression. Some medications can also produce unwanted side effects that affect your emotional state. Therefore, if you notice any changes in emotions, it’s best to visit a doctor to accurately determine the underlying problem.
Patients on Testosterone Therapy Plans Report Increase Energy Levels
Fatigue can be a side effect of low T levels, which in turn causes your energy levels to drop. Low energy levels can affect all areas of your life, including bedroom performance, social activities, and your productivity at work. One advantage of boosting T levels is that it restores your energy levels to what they were before. If you’ve always had a problem with lower-than-average T levels, you may find a newfound level of energy that suddenly makes it possible to do more things without feeling tired and drained.
There’s Potential for Improved Hair Growth with TRT
A characteristic that sets men apart from women is their higher levels of body hair production. Men who have less facial and hair body growth may feel self-conscious and less masculine. Reduced hair production is a consequence of low T levels. Therefore, if you notice that you lack the ability to grow facial or body hair, or if your hair growth seems to be slower than that of other men, lower T levels might be to blame. Your levels can be checked through a blood test, which will determine if your low hair growth is a result of low T levels, or if the problem is due to another issue, such as inadequate vitamin levels, poor nutrition, or another health problem.
Patients Report an Improved Sense of Well-Being
All in all, normal T levels give individuals a greater sense of happiness and well-being. Since T regulates a variety of functions in the body, it’s easy to feel off or not quite your usual self if levels are low. Research also shows that individuals who have normal T levels tend to be happier and even live longer than males who have lower T levels. A holistic satisfaction also comes from more complex benefits like restoring sex drive to normal and looking more masculine with better muscle tone, muscle mass, and adequate hair growth.
From physical effects to emotional troubles, having lower T levels than average can have a large impact on your health. If you are experiencing symptoms of low sex hormones, it’s important to visit a doctor for a proper diagnosis. He or she can identify the underlying cause, including medical conditions, and prescribe a course of treatment accordingly to help you get back on track.