Testosterone is the major sex hormone, produced largely in the testes of men, which is responsible for developing the primary and secondary sexual characteristics in males. The development of male sex organs, lean body mass (your muscles), and facial hair all are the result of testosterone production. In addition to the development of male sex organs, testosterone is also responsible for controlling sexual drive and sexual function, sperm production, and fat metabolism.
Several issues can result in low testosterone levels in males. There are even some conditions that can result in lower testosterone levels in women (who naturally have a low level of this hormone in their bodies). Understanding the cause of the issue, whether it is related to age, genetics, or medical conditions, is the first step in finding the right solution.
Several things could be impacting the production of testosterone in your body, but hormone replacement therapy can provide a solution for just about all of the potential issues that you may be having. Some of the most common conditions or issues that can cause a drop in testosterone levels to include:
By talking with your doctor about the symptoms that you are experiencing, you may be able to identify that you are dealing with low testosterone levels that could be impacting other areas of your health in several ways.
As men reach their mid-20s, just as with the other major hormones the male body produces, the body begins to slow down the production of testosterone. This is why, very often, men as young as 30 experience significant symptoms as a result of testosterone depletion. Some of the symptoms associated with testosterone depletion are decreased libido (your sex drive), inability to produce or maintain steady erections, decreased muscle mass, increased levels of body fat, depression, poor concentration, mental cloudiness, and suboptimal cholesterol profile.
Here are some things that could be happening to you:
Male hypogonadism is a condition in which the body doesn’t produce enough of the hormone testosterone — the hormone that plays a key role in masculine growth and development during puberty. This condition could also result in reduced production of sperm, and some men may experience one or both symptoms. This failure of the body to maintain proper production could be the result of several health conditions either related to the testicles and reproductive system or the pituitary gland and hypothalamus.
Some of the conditions that could result in hypogonadism, when there is an underlying cause, could include things like:
Andropause is the male version of menopause; however, it occurs more gradually, over a longer period than its counterpart. During andropause, men experience a gradual decline in testicular function and testosterone production. Many physiological and psychological changes occur during this time.
Between their mid-40s and early 70s, men experience a drop in testosterone of about 50%; however, it is often noted as young as 30. Men with reduced testosterone production have an increase in upper and central body fat, decreased muscle mass, diminished libido, and erectile dysfunction. Cognitive impairment and depression are also common in men that have low testosterone.
While this doesn’t result in a shutdown of the reproductive organs as it does for women, it does impact the body’s ability to produce appropriate hormone levels. Another important thing to note is that not all men experience andropause, and everyone who does may have different symptoms or treatment options. The issues that can present themselves are physical, sexual, and even psychological.
The problem with the symptoms of low T levels in men is that a lot of them could be caused by other issues or conditions, as well. Several men go without treatment for a hormone deficiency for quite some time simply because they don’t realize that is what is causing their issues.
Some other symptoms that men experience include decreased testicle size, hot flashes, swollen or tender breasts, and loss of body hair. In some cases, this condition has even been linked to an increased risk of osteoporosis in men, but this is much rarer and typically only affects men who are around the same age as women who are starting to enter menopause.
Having appropriate testosterone levels can improve cardiovascular function, including helping improve blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as reducing your risk of heart disease and heart attack. Check out the studies below to learn more about testosterone and its effect on heart disease.
Proper testosterone levels will ensure that you have optimal memory capacity and focus. It can also help improve concentration and mental acuity and make you feel more alert overall. With improved focus and attention, other benefits will follow, as well.
Testosterone is primarily known for its many effects on the overall mood and energy of those who are impacted by decreasing levels. The low testosterone itself can result in poor mood and energy levels. Appropriate replacement therapy can increase stamina and energy, improve endurance, and even help improve your overall happiness and feeling of wellbeing.
This is partly due to the hormone itself being more balanced, and partly due to your increased satisfaction in other areas. A lot of men struggle with the sexual effects of low T, so having the levels balanced can reduce that impact, as well.
The sexual organs need the appropriate levels of hormones to function properly. With hormone replacement therapy to improve testosterone levels, men can experience more frequent erections, longer-lasting erections, and more enjoyment sexually. They will also find their libido increases and they are more engaged in and interested in their sexual encounters.
Testosterone therapy can assist the muscles and bones in the body, as well. It can help prevent bone density loss and reduce the risk of osteoporosis in men of a certain age. It may also assist in increasing muscle mass and overall strength.
Because every individual is different, their response to hormone therapy will be unique, as well. There are some instances where synthetic hormones can cause side effects or adverse reactions, which is why it’s important to discuss your condition with your doctor and decide on the best course of action, given your lifestyle, overall health, and other influencing factors.
There are always risks when you are tampering with the levels of hormones in the body. However, with the appropriate medical support, you can find alternative options for hormone therapy that may be less dangerous than synthetic hormone replacement. It’s all about exploring your options and finding the best solution for your needs.
If you believe you may be experiencing testosterone production issues, we may be able to help. Contact Palm Oaks Family Practice (409-515-3915) for more information on the many benefits of testosterone therapy for men and be sure to schedule an appointment.