Everything You Need to Know about Low Testosterone
Aug 17, 2018 12:13
Low testosterone, also known as low-T is a very common health problem for men. In the U.S. alone there are over 4 million men who suffer from this condition. It is most common for older men, but it can also affect younger men, and it is particularly dangerous if it happens to teenagers, as it can significantly affect their growth and development. If you suspect that you are suffering from this condition, you need to inform yourself properly about it, and seek treatment as soon as possible. Keep on reading to discover why this condition occurs, how it manifests itself, and what is the right way of dealing with it.
What is testosterone?
You probably already know that testosterone is the main male hormone, and that it is responsible for the sexual organs and the reproductive function. But did you know that this hormone is also responsible for other vital functions. It affects the whole male body, from the muscle distribution, to the body fat and body hair distribution. It is even responsible for your mood and your emotions. Most importantly, it is responsible for your red blood cell count, and when testosterone levels drop significantly low, it can lead to serious health problems?
What is the right level of testosterone
All hormones are unstable and there isn’t a single value that is considered perfect. Throughout a man’s life, his testosterone levels will vary, depending on his age, on his lifestyle, on his health, and on other external factors as well. Generally, anything between 280 and 1080 nanograms per deciliter of blood is considered to be healthy, although the values that are close to the extremes should be reason for concern. High testosterone is rather uncommon, but low testosterone is very frequent. A man’s testosterone levels will peak during puberty, when the body needs a boost of hormones in order to make the transition from a boy’s body to a man’s body. The highest levels are usually recorded around the age of 20, and they start decreasing after the age of 30.
What are the symptoms of low-T?
Low testosterone can manifest itself in many ways. For most men, the symptoms are very subtle and are often discarded as stress or tiredness. However, some symptoms are more severe, and they can significantly decrease a man’s quality of life. It is essential for all men to recognize the early signs of low testosterone, before this condition has a chance to affect their lives. Here are the most common symptoms.
•Erectile disfunctions (the inability to have an erection or to maintain an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse)
•Low libido (while it is normal for men to not be in the mood from sex from time to time, if this happens frequently, it is a reason for concern)
•Decreased muscle mass and physical weakness (decreased muscle mass will automatically lead to physical weakness, but low-T can also cause a general lethargy and tiredness)
•Increased body fat (the overall body fat distribution is regulated by testosterone, but low-T manifests itself particularly through fat gain around the abdominal area)
•Emotional distress (anything from mood swings, to anxiety, lack of motivation and even chronical depression)
•Less body hair (boldness and loss of hair in other body areas are common symptoms of low testosterone)
•Decreased red cell count
•Sudden changes in sleep patterns (insomnia or even restless sleep)
•Worsening of existing conditions such as sleep apnea or congestive heart failure
While these are the most common symptoms, in some extreme cases, testosterone levels can drop without showing any symptoms. As such, men are advised to take regular blood tests to check their testosterone.
What causes testosterone levels to drop?
For most men, testosterone levels drop due to the natural process of aging. However, there are also other factors which can affect testosterone, and which can lead to alarmingly low levels even in younger men.
Among the most common causes you will encounter:
•Chronic medical conditions (liver or kidney diseases)
•Disorders that affect the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland
•Drugs, alcohol and smoking
There are several ways in which you can bring testosterone levels back to normal. If the hormone levels are not too low, you can opt for some natural remedies. Otherwise, your best option is testosterone replacement therapy.
•A healthier lifestyle (a healthy diet rich in proteins, carbohydrates and healthy fats, combined with plenty of physical activity)
•Vitamin and mineral supplements (the most effective ones are Zinc, Vitamins B2, D and E)
•More restful sleep
•Testosterone boosting herbs such as ginger, Tribulus Terrestris, Fenugreek, Ashwagandha
Testosterone replacement therapy
The therapy can be applied either as skin patches, as gels, as injections and as pellets. There are also pills that you can take, but since pills tend to affect the liver, they are not a recommended option. Skin patches are effective, but they can cause discomfort for most men. Gels are a more popular option, but they can be dangerous for other people that might come in contact with the area where the gel was applied. Pellets are rather unpopular, since they need to be implanted into the soft tissue, so they require medical intervention. The best TRT options for most men are injections, which deliver the most accurate dosage and can be injected by the patients themselves.
In order to determine if you are eligible for therapy, you will have to go to a specialized clinic and take a blood test. Since each individual is unique, the effects of the therapy will be different for each man. While some can see results in just a couple of weeks, for others it can take months for the results to be felt. Nonetheless, the therapy comes with numerous benefits such as increased libido, enhanced erectile quality, more energy, better concentration, improved sleep quality, increased muscle mass, weight loss, improved bone density, improved joint health and am overall sense of well-being.
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