“Being a male is a matter of birth”…being a man is a game of testosterone!
Testosterone is familiar as “the male hormone” produced in males’ testicles. However, it also grows in a female’s body – though at a tiny portion – in her ovaries.
Puberty, fertility, and sexual drive – testosterone plays a remarkable role in overseeing these. It transforms a boy into a man by developing his male features during puberty – facial hair, muscle strength, deeper voice, sex drive, and ability to make sperm.
However, testosterone levels decrease with age, causing testosterone deficiency that affects your life tremendously. Other underlying causes also can affect your testosterone levels. But, there are treatments to uphold the man in you.
How about a run in the road, “testosterone deficiencies: how and when to treat” to explore more?
What Is Testosterone?
Before we enter the den of testosterone deficiencies, let’s understand testosterone.
Testosterone is a crucial hormone that produces in your body naturally. However, another name is male hormones; it is also present in a female’s body.
In a male, testosterone produces in testicles; in a female, in her ovaries. However, it’s present in a male at a greater level than a female, influencing the development of many male traits.
A healthy testosterone level is essential in males and females to run various functions perfectly and keep your mental and physical well-being.
So what does the testosterone hormone do?
They help manage the following-
- Muscle mass
- Healthy bone density
- Fat distribution
- Facial and body hair growth
- Strength and energy
- Red blood cell production
- Sex drive
- Sounder sexual function
- Sperm production in males
- Healthy and moist vagina in females
What Is Testosterone Deficiency?
Testosterone deficiency stands for low testosterone levels in your body.
When your body can’t produce sufficient testosterone necessary for your body’s requirement, you suffer from testosterone deficiency. This condition is also called hypogonadism.
Testosterone is the essential hormone in a man’s life that controls a man’s sexual drive, function, and action. Sperm production also depends on it. Moreover, it helps develop the dominant features of a man.
During puberty, it starts to produce that gradually starts decreasing with age – from about 30 years. Several other reasons can also be the reason for your testosterone deficiencies.
Testosterone deficiency or low testosterone levels affect the quality of life immensely. It affects your health, sexual function and increases the risk of getting several diseases. It also raises the risk of early death.
What is the Cause of Testosterone Deficiency?
Aging is the primary reason for low testosterone levels. However, several other different causes lead to testosterone deficiency. Some are born with testosterone deficiency, which can be inherited. These genetic diseases include-
- Klinefelter syndrome
- Kallmann syndrome
- myotonic dystrophy
Often people encounter temporary testosterone deficiency that usually resolves when the underlying problem is solved. Temporary testosterone deficiency can arise from several reasons that include-
- Physical illness
- Emotional stress
However, some may suffer low testosterone levels for several health issues-
- Testicular damage
- Removal of testicles
- Hypothalamic disease
- Pituitary disease
- Non Cancerous pituitary tumor
- Delayed puberty
- Chemotherapy or radiation
- Autoimmune disease
Study shows that certain aspects of your life trigger the chances of low testosterone production in your body. These factors are-
- Metabolic syndrome
- Unhealthy cholesterol level
- Particular medication like antidepressants or narcotic pain killers
Testosterone Deficiencies: How and When to Treat?
Your body needs a sufficient amount of testosterone levels to function fittingly. However, with age, it declines. But, these levels can also decrease too low in some men due to several other reasons and cause life-affecting symptoms.
You may face several symptoms if you have a low testosterone level. Some common and noticeable symptoms include erectile dysfunction, reduced bone mass, low sex drive, extreme tiredness, etc.
If you experience one or more symptoms, seek medical attention. Your doctor will perform tests and physical examinations to determine if you have testosterone deficiency and its causes.
However, low testosterone does not always show any noticeable symptoms. Some men even learn about their testosterone deficiencies while doing a routine physical examination and blood tests.
Testosterone hormone levels usually start to decrease from age 30. So it’s wise to stay under regular check-up with your testosterone – even if you don’t experience any noticeable symptoms.
You may ask, what is the low testosterone level? To check the testosterone level, you need to perform a blood test, serum testosterone test. The standard range of testosterone in a male is typically 300 to 1,000 ng/dL.
If your blood test shows a testosterone level below 300 nanograms per deciliter, you have low testosterone. Now is the time to seek a professional to start your medication to revive your testosterone level.
Most cases of testosterone deficiencies have treatment. The doctors usually do a physical evaluation, review your symptoms, and perform tests for additional signs before selecting the medication method.
Testosterone replacement therapy is the primary method to treat testosterone deficiency. Even to treat inborn testosterone issues, such as Klinefelter syndrome, the FDA and the AUA recommend testosterone therapy.
The expert doctors at Hormone Replacement Therapy, LA, will evaluate your symptoms and blood work first if you go there. Then they create a proper treatment plan that is right for you with the correct amount of testosterone you need.
What Are The Symptoms of Testosterone Deficiency?
The symptoms of testosterone deficiency depend on the time your condition develops.
Symptoms in a Baby Boy
Do you know many male babies born with testosterone issues? During pregnancy, often male unborn babies don’t produce enough testosterone. For this reason, the testicles won’t form appropriately. They are born with-
- Ambiguous genitals – neither male nor female
- Underdeveloped male genitals
- Female genitals
Symptoms in a Boy Before or During Puberty
Testosterone hormones usually start producing in your puberty. But, if you have a low testosterone level before or during puberty, you will show symptoms like-
- Delayed puberty
- Excessive expansion of the arms and legs compared with your body’s trunk
- Deficient growth of your penis and testicles
- Lack of deeper voice
Symptoms in an Adult Male
Testosterone levels usually start to decrease from age 30. Age is a factor; however, several underlying reasons can be behind your TD. If you have a low testosterone level, the common symptoms you will show are-
- Erectile dysfunction
- Low libido
- Decreased beard growth
- Hair loss
- Decreased muscle mass
- Development of breast tissue
- Low bone density
Symptoms in an Older Male
Aging is the common reason for a low testosterone level in your body. The common symptoms of testosterone deficiency at an older age are-
- Reduced sex drive
- Exhaustion or fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating
- Poor memory
- A lower level of energy and physical strength
Symptoms in a Female
Testosterone is present in a female body at a tiny amount. One interesting fact is if a woman has a Low-T, it’s not that problematic. It’s a higher level of testosterone that is more alarming for a woman.
However, due to low testosterone levels, females show some symptoms that include-
- Low libido
- Vaginal dryness
- Hot flashes
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Hair loss
- Poor focus and memory
- Irregular menstrual cycle
How Common is Testosterone Deficiency?
Testosterone deficiency is common among men when they get older. However, if you are overweight, have poor health, or have a long-term health issue, you are prone to suffer testosterone deficiency.
The study suggests that about 2 in 100 men aged 40 to 79 years and about 5 in 100 men aged 70 to 79 years suffer from testosterone deficiency. As for younger men, approximately 1% of men have testosterone deficiency.
Are you a skinny person and wondering about ectomorph low testosterone? Once, there was a belief that ectomorphs and thin people usually have lower testosterone levels. For this, it’s difficult for these people to build and maintain muscle mass.
However, it’s not true. Ectomorphs have normal testosterone levels like average people. But one point you need to remember is that normal doesn’t mean optimal; they don’t have a favorable hormonal balance to help them build lean muscle mass and strength.
Tests for Testosterone Deficiencies
Many men never consider seeing a doctor diagnose testosterone deficiencies. The reason is simple; they feel the symptoms- tiredness, low sex drive, hair loss, erectile dysfunction, etc., as a normal aging process.
So, how do they learn about the Low-T? Usually, when they see a doctor for life-affecting symptoms like erectile dysfunction, low libido, or breast growth, the diagnosis often results in testosterone deficiency.
Doctors usually request a blood testosterone levels test with other tests. If your test reports confirm your testosterone deficiency, doctors request additional tests to determine the cause- the problem with testicles or a pituitary gland abnormality.
These further tests include-
- Hormone level
- Semes analysis
- Genetic test
- Pituitary scan – CT scan or MRI
- Testicular biopsy
- Bone density
After the tests, doctors evaluate your condition, cause, history, and symptoms to select a treatment plan for you.
Treatments for Testosterone Deficiencies
Treatment is essential to cure testosterone deficiency, to give your life a healthy way ahead.
In boys, early detection of low testosterone can solve the problem of delayed puberty and help develop male-sex characteristics.
In adults, early detection and treatment can provide proper protection against several unwanted symptoms and diseases like osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, etc.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Testosterone replacement therapy or TRT is the usual treatment for testosterone deficiencies.
To ensure the medication is working, you need to stay under regular check-ups with testosterone replacement therapy. If the medication absorption doesn’t show a good result or cause any problems, the doctor adjusts or changes your treatment method.
Remember, if you start TRT, you can not stop your medication abruptly without informing your doctor. It may lead to several adverse effects.
There are several ways to apply TRT that doctors select depending on your condition, history, and preference.
You take medicine in pill form in this method, where the doctor selects a suitable dosage for you depending on your condition.
This method requires you to wear transdermal patches on your arm or upper body once a day.
The tropical gel is the most common and convenient method doctors typically suggest for testosterone deficiencies. You have to rub the gel either on your chest or shoulder every day.
Nasal gels are also available that save you from exposure to others.
You need to stick patches to your upper gum twice a day with this medication that provides a constant release of testosterone in your bloodstream.
Testosterone shots are an inexpensive method to treat a low-T. However, what is the best time to inject testosterone propionate? Usually, you have to take the shot once every two to ten weeks.
The new-in-the-town pellet therapy requires a minor in-office surgery where the doctor inserts grain-sized pellets under your skin. You usually need to insert the pellets every 3 to 6 months.
Other Treatment Option
If pituitary gland abnormality is the cause of your testosterone deficiency, your doctor will suggest treatment of pituitary hormones. Often doctors recommend hormone replacement therapy to maintain the hormonal level.
What if the reason for your testosterone deficiency is the pituitary tumor? In that case, you require specific treatment – surgical removal, chemotherapy, or radiotherapy. Doctors also recommend replacement therapy with other hormones with your current treatment.
Testosterone hormone is a crucial hormone in human life, especially for men. The primary male sex hormone helps develop male characteristics like facial and body hair, deeper voice, muscle mass, strength, sexual drive, sperm production, etc. Therefore, undoubtedly, a low testosterone level is not welcome in life.
However, due to age or numerous underlying causes, you may face testosterone deficiency. And the best way to fight it is to know everything about testosterone Deficiencies: how and when to treat them.
Dr. David Nazarian at Hormone Replacement Therapy, LA, ensures treatment achieves the objectives of optimal health and well-being, evaluating your condition and medical history. He will assess your overall health and customize the perfect treatment plan for you. So why delay; call today?