Symptoms and Treatment of Low Testosterone

The level of testosterone hormone in the body naturally declines as a man grows older. In fact, up to 40% of all men aged 45 years and older experience the effects of low testosterone. The symptoms of low testosterone may appear even earlier in some men.

Also called hypogonadism or low-T, low testosterone is characterized by a variety of symptoms such as:

  • Low libido (decreased sex drive)
  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Erectile dysfunction (impotence)
  • Reduced testicle size
  • Breast growth in men (gynecomastia)
  • Loss of body and facial hair
  • Muscle weakness
  • Thinning of bones (osteoporosis)
  • Moodiness, irritability and depression
  • Decreased sense of well-being
  • Increased body fat or reduced muscle mass
  • Difficulties in concentration
  • Memory loss and sleep disturbances
  • Decreased hemoglobin level and mild anemia
  • Skin changes such as fine wrinkles
  • Diagnosis of low testosterone

Dr. Amar Raval of Palm Harbor, FLLow-T is diagnosed by measuring the quantity of testosterone in the blood. To clearly assess the level of testosterone, a urologist will request blood tests for both total testosterone and free testosterone. Often, it takes several measurements to confirm that a man has low-T because the levels tend to change throughout the day, with the highest levels occurring in the morning. Testosterone levels are also affected by body mass index (BMI), alcohol consumption, nutrition, age, illness and certain medications. Additional tests for sex hormones such as follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) may also be requested by the urologist for a better picture.

Treatment of Low Testosterone

If low-T is diagnosed, the missing hormones may be replaced through hormone replacement therapy, restoring the body’s testosterone levels to normal. In some cases, however, particularly when low-T is diagnosed but no troublesome symptoms are noted, the urologist may not administer any treatment.

For men with bothersome symptoms, the therapy is administered to remove the symptoms and associated sexual problems. Testosterone replacement therapy can be given in different forms and the urologist will discuss options with the patient before deciding on the most appropriate method. After the treatment begins, testosterone levels are monitored to ensure the most effective dose is given.

The different ways of administering testosterone include:

  1. Injections – The urologist gives regular injections deep into a muscle (intramuscular injection) every 2-3 weeks to 3 months depending on the type of injection chosen. When appropriate, the urologist may delegate the task of injecting testosterone to a nurse or teach the patient how to self-inject. When done correctly, the injections are not painful.
  2. Testosterone Implants – Cylindrical pellets are inserted into the abdomen, thigh or buttock by the urologist under local anesthetic, once every 3-6 months.
  3. Testosterone Patches – Used every day and applied on different areas of the body, including arms, back, buttocks and abdomen, the patches work similarly to nicotine patches used by people trying to quit smoking. They deliver testosterone hormone gradually through the skin.
  4. Testosterone Gel – These gels are applied to clean dry skin, usually on the arm, shoulder, back or abdomen. They should be applied after showering to prevent the gel from washing off too quickly.

There are several benefits that can be derived from testosterone replacement therapy. They include:

  • Improved sexual function
  • Enhanced mental sharpness
  • Increased bone density and protection against osteoporosis
  • Increased muscle mass and loss of body fat
  • Greater strength and improved physical performance
  • Enhanced mood and better sense of well-being

Are you experiencing any bothersome symptoms and suspect you could be having low testosterone? Speak with your doctor as soon as possible about the problem. You do not have to live with these symptoms when effective treatment is available. For more information about testosterone replacement therapy, visit the Advanced Urology Institute website.

Symptoms and Treatment of Low Testosterone

Produced in the testicles (testes), testosterone is the hormone responsible for masculinity and muscular development. It is the hormone that fuels sex drive, creates a deep voice, boosts muscle mass, regulates mood, controls body and facial hair patterns, and regulates bone strength. Testosterone levels usually decrease as men age, with studies showing that a man loses roughly 10 percent of testosterone each decade after reaching the age of 30.

Symptoms of low testosterone levels

Since the reduction in the level of testosterone is typically gradual, the symptoms take longer to occur. Generally, however, about 30 percent of all men will experience symptoms of low testosterone after the age of 50. Andropause is the term used to describe a decrease in the level of testosterone hormone in men. Men experiencing andropause can suffer various symptoms associated with the condition and may be at risk of having other serious health problems like osteoporosis if proper treatment is not administered.

The symptoms of low testosterone include:

  1. Diminished sexual desire (low libido)
  2. Problems getting erections or weak erections
  3. Fatigue and weakness
  4. Hot flashes
  5. Irritable moods
  6. Depression
  7. Increased body fat
  8. Loss of muscle mass or strength

Low testosterone can cause various complications or even change a man’s body. For instance, it can lead to obesity, hair loss, muscular atrophy (less muscle mass), softer testicles, smaller testicles, cardiovascular problems, larger breasts and brittle bones (osteoporosis).

Causes of low testosterone

Even though aging is the most frequent cause of low levels of testosterone in men, several other factors may be involved. Common causes of low-T include:

  1. Kidney disease
  2. Diabetes
  3. Testicular injuries
  4. Liver disease
  5. COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  6. Radiation therapy
  7. Steroid medications
  8. Pituitary gland disorders
  9. Chemotherapy

Men also may be tested for low-T if they have very low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, low sperm count, hair loss, reduced muscle mass or osteoporosis. And because the symptoms of low testosterone are not specific, a doctor may want to first rule out other conditions with similar symptoms before treatment.

Treatment of low testosterone

Testosterone replacement is the most common treatment for men having low-T. The therapy is administered to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life. The testosterone used in the replacement therapy is usually available in various preparations, including gels, capsules, skin patches and injections. The doctor will decide if testosterone replacement therapy is appropriate for a patient. For instance, the treatment is not appropriate for men with prostate cancer and breast cancer. Men with an enlarged prostate, liver disease, kidney disease or who are using blood thinners may or may not undergo replacement therapy depending on their medical history.

At Advanced Urology Institute, we have a long history of treating low testosterone. We put the interest and health of our patients first and always discuss with our patients in great length their conditions and medical history before we administer treatment. For more information, visit the “Advanced Urology Institute” site.