Testosterone is an essential male steroid hormone that is responsible for a number of essential bodily functions. Levels peak in most men during the early to mid-20s and start to naturally go down after age 30. About 40% of men over age 45 develop low testosterone as hormone-producing cells begin to wear away. Unfortunately, a lot of men don’t know the signs of low T, and their symptoms become increasingly more problematic as time goes on. Here’s everything you need to know about low testosterone, from telltale symptoms to the benefits of hormone replacement therapy.
1. There may be several causes.
Though the cause of low T can vary, there are often many factors involved. Prescription drugs may affect sexual function and reduce testosterone levels, while other stressors can include nutritional factors, insomnia, stress and other life-style issues. When these conditions are recognized and treated, testosterone may normalize without the need for testosterone treatment.
2. There are key warning signs.
Key symptoms of testosterone deficiency include depression or low moods, fatigue, low sex drive, irritability, hair loss, thinning and wrinkling of the skin, weight gain and weakening or loss of bone and muscle tissue. Many men have low T and no symptoms, which doesn’t require treatment.
3. Low testosterone can set the stage for more serious conditions.
Eventually, hormone imbalances can lead to the development of heart disease, osteoporosis, pre-diabetes, and erectile dysfunction. Catching a hormone imbalance early is essential to maintaining your overall health and wellbeing.
4. There is an easy way to help you detect symptoms.
The Androgen Deficiency in Aging Males (ADAM) questionnaire was developed at St. Louis University Medical School to detect the symptoms related to decreased testosterone levels in men. It contains the following questions:
- Have you noticed a decrease in libido (sex drive)?
- Do you have a lack of energy?
- Has there been a decrease in strength, endurance, or both?
- Have you lost height?
- Have you noticed a decreased enjoyment of life?
- Are you sad, grumpy, or both?
- Are your erections less strong?
- Have you noted a recent deterioration in your ability to play sports?
- Are you falling asleep after dinner?
- Has there been a recent deterioration in your work performance?
Any man answering “yes” to question 1 or 7 or any three other questions has a high likelihood of having low T.
5. Hormone replacement helps.
Once you start hormone replacement therapy, you’ll almost immediately notice an increase in your energy level, sex drive, and mood. Over time, you may also see a decrease in body fat and an increase in muscle. If you have erectile dysfunction (ED), you’ll see improvement in your ability to achieve and keep an erection.
The proper hormonal balance is essential to maintaining your optimal health. At Sarapy Clinic, your consultation for hormone replacement therapy is easy and discreet. After initially testing your hormone levels through a quick blood draw, you will return for an appointment to review the results. If your level is low and you are a candidate for hormone replacement therapy, your first dose will be given at the clinic followed by instructions on how to administer your next doses at home.
Call us today to schedule your first appointment.