Low Testosterone

As men age, their testosterone levels drop. That is a fact of life, but it does not mean you must accept it. Testosterone therapy does more than revive your sex life, although that is important. It can make you feel better about yourself in general – more like yourself again, rather than just “another old guy.” A skilled hormone replacement therapy doctor can help you feel and perform the way you did decades ago. Testosterone treatments mean that men no longer must accept the side effects of aging and a knowledgeable doctor can help.

Low Testosterone and Aging

Testosterone production reaches its peak when a man is in his mid-20s. Fast forward to age 30, and men start losing about 1 percent of their testosterone annually. That slow decline means gradual changes, until a man reaches his 50s or 60s and those changes become obvious.

That does not mean every man of a certain age develops low testosterone, but it is a condition affecting between 20 and 25 percent of males in that age range.

Classifying Common Symptoms

Anyone experiencing the following symptoms may be suffering from low testosterone:

  • Decreased libido
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Mood changes
  • Facial and body hair loss
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Depression
  • Weight gain

Men suffering from low testosterone may also encounter fertility issues. However, a man hoping to sire children should let the doctor know, as that may affect treatment decisions.

Low Testosterone Therapy

Before beginning therapy, the doctor performs urine, blood, and saliva tests to determine testosterone levels. The doctor must also rule out other conditions that can mimic low testosterone, including hypertension and some cardiovascular issues. It is also important to determine whether the individual is suffering from hypogonadism, a condition that testosterone therapy can treat but involves more than just low hormone levels.

Several forms of testosterone treatment are available. While oral testosterone is available, it is not generally recommended as the body does not absorb the hormone as well in this formulation. Instead, men may receive injectable testosterone once or twice a month or have testosterone pellets implanted in soft tissue. The latter method allows for a gradual release into the body. Testosterone is also available in topical forms, including gels and patches.

Results of testosterone therapy are not immediate. A man should not expect to have an injection or implant and instantaneously feel better. Careful monitoring is necessary and that may include dosage changes over time. Given time, however, men should experience the benefits of testosterone therapy.

What are the Benefits of Therapy?

Many men may seek testosterone therapy for sexually related matters, but they should find themselves in a better mood and with more energy after the hormones go into effect. Better sleep, firmer skin, greater strength, and an overall quality of life improvement are just some of the benefits of testosterone therapy.

Side Effects and Contraindications

While testosterone therapy is safe for most men, not every male should undergo this treatment. A man who has been diagnosed with active prostate cancer, congestive heart failure, or lower urinary tract disease is not a candidate for testosterone therapy. In most cases, neither are men dealing with sleep apnea.

Side effects of testosterone therapy may include:

  • Acne
  • Balding
  • Testicular shrinkage
  • Urinary problems
  • Swelling in the legs and feet

Contact the doctor at once if experiencing more serious side effects, such as urinary issues. Less severe side effects, such as hair loss, can probably wait until the next doctor’s appointment.

Contact a Doctor to Discuss Options for Treating Low Testosterone

You do not have to accept the symptoms of low testosterone. If fatigue, loss of libido, weight gain, and other symptoms are negatively impacting your life, testosterone therapy may help. If you are experiencing low testosterone symptoms, or would like more information about testosterone therapy, call the offices of Dr. Edward Jacobson today and arrange a consultation.