Could You Be Suffering From Low Testosterone? Hormone Replacement Therapy Can Help
Most people associate hormone replacement therapy with women. However, men who are experiencing signs of andropause, with an associated testosterone deficiency can also benefit from this unique therapy. If you're a man over the age of 45, this is what you should know.
What are the symptoms of low testosterone?
Testosterone, which is produced in your pituitary gland, is the primary male sex hormone. The level of testosterone in your body is at its peak in your teen years and gradually begins to decline after age 30. Testosterone controls your sex drive, but its function is actually far more complex than that. It also contributes to your ability to be assertive and energetic in general, and it contributes to your ability to avoid illnesses like diabetes and heart disease. As testosterone decreases, you may begin to notice a number of symptoms:
- erectile dysfunction
- muscle loss
- reduced libido
- hot flashes
- memory loss
Low levels of testosterone have even been linked to diseases like Alzheimer's. While scientists aren't sure of the exact link between the two, enough studies have been done to clearly connect testosterone to healthy, happy aging.
How is low testosterone diagnosed?
Your doctor will likely ask you a series of questions about your general health, mood, and symptoms. He or she will want to rule out any other possible causes for your symptoms, including any medications that you might be taking. He or she may also ask you questions about your sex life, libido, and ability to keep an erection. A blood test will also likely be required in order to determine the actual level of testosterone in your body. These are usually done in the morning when testosterone levels are the highest. Anything lower than 300 nanograms per deciliter is considered abnormally low.
If you are diagnosed with low testosterone, hormone replacement therapy is a possible solution.
How does testosterone replacement therapy work?
Testosterone replacement therapy does have some problems. Testosterone in pill form can be difficult to absorb. If the dosage is off, it can cause acne, enlarged breasts, and oily skin, just like male teens can experience during puberty. Many doctors prescribe the hormone in the injectable form to make sure that the dosage is right, but you may not want to deal with having to give yourself daily shots.
As an alternative, you can get your testosterone treatments from a compounding pharmacy, like Jeff's Prescription Shop, which can carefully tailor the dosage to your doctor's instructions and provide you with the hormone in a transdermal cream or gel instead.
Testosterone replacement therapy is still considered controversial by some doctors, just like estrogen therapy is for women. However, if you believe that low testosterone might be the cause of your lost sense of vigor and other problems, discuss the situation with your doctor as soon as possible.