The Definitive Guide to Low Testosterone Levels in Men
As men get older, their testosterone levels begin to decline. Symptoms of low testosterone include weight gain, less energy, and a reduced sex drive. While falling levels are a part of aging, studies show many men are suffering from testosterone levels that are lower than normal. The American Urology Association reports that 2 out of every 100 men have clinically low testosterone (under 300ng/dl). This doesn’t even include symptomatic low testosterone. That number is closer to 1 in 3 men over 40 that experience symptoms related to a hormone deficiency.
What Is Testosterone?
Testosterone is a sex hormone found in men, though women also have small amounts. This hormone is responsible for bone and muscle development, the deepening of the voice, hair growth, and other factors related to appearance, as well as the production of sperm. Testosterone also plays a role in producing red blood cells, mental acuity, bone density, and overall mood. It’s a multifunctional powerhouse in the body and the master regulator of the entire endocrine system.
Men’s testosterone levels peak during adolescence and early adulthood and decline about one percent a year, starting around age 30. This gradual reduction in testosterone is normal and should be expected. However, studies have shown that testosterone levels are decreasing earlier and faster than ever before, and low testosterone is a problem for an increasing number of men, especially those with other chronic health problems related to aging.
One of those health problems is a condition known as hypogonadism, which occurs when the body does not produce normal amounts of testosterone. While it used to be associated with older men, doctors and researchers have noticed that younger men are also affected. The exact reasons aren’t clear, although theories include a lack of sleep, increased levels of stress, the presence of hormones in food, and environmental toxins.
A man’s overall health also impacts his testosterone levels. Obesity, diabetes, thyroid issues, and certain medications can negatively affect testosterone levels.
Signs and Symptoms of Low Testosterone
It’s estimated that about 13 million men in the U.S. are struggling with low testosterone. Many of the signs and symptoms are also associated with aging and men often fail to recognize that their condition may be the result of something else that can be treated.
Symptoms of low testosterone can include:
- Bad mood
- Impaired cognitive function
- Loss of muscle mass
- Low libido
- Memory loss
- Weaker bones
- Weight and fat gain
- Weaker erections
Anyone who experiences one or more of these symptoms should seek medical attention from a specialist that can properly diagnose and treat them effectively.
Diagnosing Low Testosterone Levels
A blood test is needed to diagnose low testosterone. This can take place at a doctor’s office or hormone therapy clinic or with at-home testing. Additional testing, such as a bone density test, can also help with diagnosis. Diminished bone mass is one other symptom of low testosterone.
If no other obvious medical concerns are present, the doctor might suggest natural ways to boost testosterone, including losing weight and increasing the amount of exercise.
Types of Treatment
TRT can be administered in several ways. While it’s not a cure-all, it can help with some symptoms associated with low testosterone. The delivery methods include:
- Pellet Implants
- Naturally boosting testosterone production
Each option may have its own side effects and challenges, though most are minor. It’s best to evaluate each one to determine which method of TRT is the best fit. Most men feel improvement four to six weeks after starting testosterone replacement therapy, although some changes such as increases in muscle mass may take a bit longer. It’s important to monitor progress and adjust dosages as you go.
Learn More About TRT
For men in the Los Angeles area, VitalityRx® offers concierge-style testing for low testosterone at the convenience of your home or office. A nurse practitioner will conduct a physical exam and blood draw, which is then sent to our labs and physicians. A full men’s health blood panel is returned in a few days, accompanied by a telemed consult with a hormone specialist. If you are experiencing symptoms of low testosterone or just want to know what your levels are, VitalityRx® is here to help. Get back to being your best. Schedule a complimentary consultation at your convenience.