Are you a male in your late 30’s – early 40’s? Are you experiencing fatigue, balding, low energy/motivation, muscle weakness, erectile dysfunction? Well, you are not alone. These symptoms may be due to declining levels of testosterone. Let’s explore….
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is a sex hormone produced primarily in the testicles in men. It is responsible for the regulation of:
· Bone density
· Fat distribution
· Muscle strength and mass
· Facial and body hair
· Red blood cell production
· Sex drive/Libido
· Sperm production
Testosterone levels generally peak during adolescence and early adulthood. As you age, your testosterone level gradually declines — typically about 1% a year after age 30 or 40 (https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/sexual-health/in-depth/testosterone-therapy/art-20045728). Assessment is important to determine if a low testosterone level is due to normal aging or if it is due to a disease (hypogonadism). Hypogonadism hampers the ability to produce normal amounts of testosterone due to a problem with the testicles or with the pituitary gland that controls the testicles.
Low testosterone levels can lead to:
· Changes in sexual function. This might include reduced sexual desire, fewer spontaneous erections — such as during sleep — and infertility.
· Physical changes. Various physical changes are possible, including increased body fat, reduced muscle bulk and strength, and decreased bone density. Swollen or tender breasts (gynecomastia) and body hair loss are possible. You might have less energy than you used to.
· Emotional changes. Low testosterone can contribute to a decrease in motivation or self-confidence. You might feel sad or depressed or have trouble concentrating or remembering things.
Benefits of Testosterone replacement Therapy
Many men report improvement in energy level, mood, sex drive, quality of erection, increase in bone density, muscle mass, and insulin sensitivity in some men. Treatment is customized and response to therapy differs from individual to individual. Hormone Replacement Therapy
requires an assessment of hormonal levels prior to initiating treatment as well as reviewing presenting symptoms. Testosterone replacement therapy is available in several forms such as skin patches, gels, mouth patch, and injections. Hormone therapy is safe if done under the supervision of a medical practitioner. However, it should be avoided if you have symptoms such as Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), Prostate cancer, sleep apnea, blood clots, and Congestive Heart Failure (CHF). Common side effects include rash, itching or irritation of injection site of patch application.