Secreted primarily in the testicles, testosterone is a critical hormone responsible for male growth and masculine characteristics. The levels of testosterone increase exponentially in childhood and hit a peak during adolescence, then begin to decline by about 1 percent every year between the ages of 30 and 40 years and older. The gradual decline can be due to either normal aging processes or a condition called hypogonadism. Hypogonadism is a disorder in which the body fails to produce normal quantities of testosterone. It often occurs when there is a problem with the pituitary gland (which controls the testicles) or with the testicles themselves. For men with testosterone levels below the normal range, testosterone replacement therapy can relieve symptoms of low-T and provide many benefits.
Normal Testosterone Levels
For men, the normal range of total testosterone is 300-1,200 ng/dL (nanograms per deciliter). Men with testosterone levels within this range rarely have any problems associated with low testosterone. However, since total testosterone does not usually provide the full picture, doctors often measure and use the levels of free testosterone to assess a man’s vulnerability to low-T symptoms. Free testosterone means the amount of testosterone hormone that is active in the body at any given time. Men with total testosterone levels within the normal range can still suffer from the classic low-T symptoms if their free testosterone levels fall short.
Implications of Low Free Testosterone
The free testosterone level is a clearer indicator of a man’s true testosterone status. In fact, low free-T is almost exclusively associated with sex difficulties. Low testosterone diminishes sex drive in men and results in loss of energy and motivation and poor performance in bed. Men with low testosterone also may suffer from fewer spontaneous erections, slightly lower sperm count, increased body fat, decreased muscle strength and mass, fragile bones, tenderness or swelling of breast tissue, hot flashes, increased fatigue, feelings of depression and sadness, trouble with concentration and memory, lowered self-confidence and motivation, and a degraded overall sense of well-being. These symptoms can be relieved through testosterone replacement therapy.
Benefits of Testosterone Replacement Therapy
There is no doubt that testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) can quickly revive a man’s interest in sex, boost his ability to maintain an erection and recreate the “wow” factor of his orgasms. Treating sexual symptoms is a good enough reason for men to start testosterone therapy. But because testosterone therapy also can improve a man’s health beyond the bedroom, bringing testosterone levels back to normal is a good decision for every man who wants to feel better. Replacement therapy improves bone mineral density, boosts overall bone strength, increases muscle mass and strength, boosts red blood cell production, enhances hemoglobin levels and corrects both iron deficiency anemia and unexplained anemia. Testosterone therapy also improves mood, alleviates depression, irritability and fatigue, relieves disorders linked to testosterone deficiency such as osteoporosis and boosts insulin sensitivity, which can benefit men with diabetes or minimize the risk of diabetes in men with functioning pancreas.
Should You Opt For Testosterone Therapy?
Testosterone replacement therapy is ideal for men with testosterone levels below 300 ng/dL or those experiencing symptoms of low testosterone. Undergoing replacement therapy can help you restore your testosterone levels to normal and improve your libido, cognition, mood, bone density, muscle mass and red blood cell production. However, you should remember that the therapy is only necessary if you have low T. If you are not sure whether the therapy is right for you, speak with your doctor. The doctor will conduct the requisite tests for low-T and guide you accordingly.
At Advanced Urology Institute, we help men recover from their old, tired and depressed selves through safe and effective testosterone replacement therapy. We deliver this therapy after accurate measurements of testosterone levels to ensure that we give testosterone only to the right people. If you have symptoms of low-T or suspect that your levels could be low, speak to one of our urologists. We will ensure to get you back to a more energetic, motivated and happy self. For more information on the diagnosis and treatment for low testosterone, visit the “Advanced Urology Institute” site.