As men age, there is a natural decline in the production of the primary male sex hormone, testosterone. Testosterone is produced primarily by special cells in the testicles. Insufficient levels are often referred to as Low T. It’s also known as andropause. It typically occurs around mid-life and can manifest itself in some or all of the following:
- Low sex drive
- Diminished sexual function
- Decrease in muscle strength and tone
- Hair loss
- Increased fat deposits
- Mood changes
- Weakened bones
This male hormone is anabolic. This means that it causes the body to build tissue. It’s the main reason why most men are much stronger than most women, even if the man doesn’t work out. It’s involved with sperm production. Of course, it’s responsible for producing the male characteristics of a deep voice, facial hair and body hair. These bodily changes typically occur at puberty.
Correcting Low Hormonal Levels with Testosterone Therapy
For those men who may be experiencing the effects of Low T, there is help available. There is testosterone therapy that uses injections, skin patches and gels applied to the skin to replace the deficiency, helping blood levels to rise to normal. Injections are usually given on a regular schedule several weeks apart. A simple blood test will reveal whether or not your levels fall within normal limits. If they don’t, your physician can prescribe a treatment regimen for you. Low T therapy can only be administered under the supervision of a physician, who will decide on the correct dose for you.
Possible Benefits of Testosterone Therapy
If your hormonal blood levels are low, replacement therapies may result in the following improvements:
- More muscle, increased energy and less fat
- Better muscle tone and strength
- More powerful libido
- Improved mood
- Better memory
- More energy
- More bone strength
There is even scientific evidence that maintaining normal testosterone levels may help to combat Alzheimer’s disease later in life. The study involved 10 males with Alzheimer’s disease who also had low hormone levels in their bodies.
Possible Side Effects of Testosterone Therapy
As with any medical treatment, there are some risks. These risks are the reason why hormonal treatment can only legally be administered by a licensed doctor. Your doctor will be able to determine a safe dosage for you. He or she will also watch you closely for any signs of side effects. Under proper medical supervision, serious side effects are rare. Some of these possible side effects are:
- Acne or oilier skin
- Increased urination
- Possible increase in prostate cancer risk
- More aggressive behavior
- Breast enlargement
As with any medical treatment, benefits must be weighed against possible risks. It’s your doctor’s job to help you with this decision. Hormonal treatment must be continued indefinitely to maintain the benefits.
If you’re a man experiencing some possible symptoms of male hormonal insufficiency, there is no need to just live with it. Normal hormonal levels are critical to your body in order for you to feel your best. A simple hormone replacement therapy can make a big difference in your body and your mind.