As a man, it is important to recognize signs that your testosterone levels may be low. Testosterone is a hormone, primarily in men, that is responsible for different functions, including sex drive and bone mass. Although not all men who have low testosterone need to be treated, they should surely seek advice of a doctor if they are experiencing any accompanying symptoms.
The Role of Testosterone
Testosterone is important for many of the bodily functions in men. Most people think of it as just for muscle mass and the ability to gain it. However, there are other functions it is vital for, including sex drive, sperm production, muscle strength, bone density, fat distribution, red cell production, and emotional health. Having too much or not enough can throw off the whole body, so it is important to address changes is its production.
Common Low Testosterone Symptoms
There are many different symptoms that can be a sign of low-t or low testosterone. Some symptoms can be general, so it is important to tell the doctor all of your symptoms, so they can determine what testing is needed to rule out other health issues and confirm low-t. These symptoms include:
Erections problems – If the levels are low, it can result in difficulty getting or maintaining an erection.
Hair loss – Even though hair loss might be a result of aging, it could be managed by the amount of testosterone that is in your body. You may not be able to grow back all the hair you have lost, but you might be able to prevent losing any more.
Bone mass – Since testosterone aids in the production of bone tissue and maintenance of bone volume, when it is low, it can leave you more vulnerable to fractures. So, a simple fall that would normally just result in you being sore, might result in a broken leg or hip.
Difficulty sleeping – Not only can low levels make it hard to fall or stay asleep, it can cause sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a serious condition that disrupts sleep and impedes breathing while sleeping.
Semen – Testosterone stimulates the production of semen. So, if it is low, it can reduce the amount produced and lead to other problems, like infertility.
Sex drive – Even though sex drive diminishes with age, low-t amplifies the disinterest. This can lead to problems with relationships and emotional ramifications.
Muscle mass – A significant loss of muscle mass can be a sign of low-t because it is integral in the development of muscle mass. If you lose a lot of muscle, it will change your appearance and make you look older.
Mood swings – Many men with low-t experience mental shifts, including depression, irritability, and lack of focus. The low-t and all the other symptoms can wreak havoc on your emotional state, so it is important to recognize that these symptoms are also a result of it.
Low Testosterone Treatments
There is an age-related component to lower testosterone. So, just because you have a low level does not mean that you should be given testosterone replacement. Blood tests need to be done and other tests, like bone density, need to be performed. In fact, the blood tests may need to be done more than once and are susceptible to various factors, like the time of day the blood is taken. The doctor needs to consider all the symptoms together with the testing to determine if a patient is a good candidate for testosterone replacement therapy. TRT or testosterone replacement therapy is used to treat low testosterone.
As you age, you naturally produce less testosterone – this is normal and does not usually cause symptoms. However, if you experience a significant reduction, symptoms will present themselves. TRT is only prescribed if you take a testosterone level test and find out your levels. If it is determined that you have low-t and you need treatment or therapy, it can be done is several ways, including oral medication, topical creams, transdermal patches, and intramuscular injections.
It is important to understand symptoms, safety and risks, and know when to get treatment so you fully understand the safety and risks associated with TRT. Understanding the way testosterone is used by the body and how it can affect various parts and functions of the body is critical when deciding whether to get testosterone replacement therapy. Furthermore, even if the TRT works, it will not treat any underlying condition. So, if that condition cannot be fixed or managed, you may need TRT for the rest of your life. You may need to use creams or get injections for a long time.
So, make sure you ask your doctor all the questions you have about low-t. And you may even consider getting a second opinion. You need to find out all the benefits and risks of getting TRT. Do your research, have your questions ready, and make an informed decision about your health and what you would be putting in your body.