Talking about testosterone levels or “low T” can be a touchy subject for men of a certain age. Despite being produced in both men and women, testosterone is the hormone that controls the development and maintenance of male characteristics; including the growth of facial and body hair, bone and muscle mass, the deepening of the voice, libido and many other bodily functions. However, when testosterone levels begin to drop naturally with age or other health conditions, all of the functions the hormone regulates can start to suffer, along with a man’s sense of masculinity.
According to new research from a study conducted by the New England Research Institutes, as many as one out of every four men over the age of 30 have low testosterone levels, but only one out of 20 men displayed symptoms linked to testosterone deficiency. The survey tracked men aged 30 to 79 and compiled data based on factors such as testosterone levels, symptoms of testosterone deficiency and medications that may impact hormone levels. Based on their findings, researchers predict that by the year 2025, there may be as many as 6.5 million American men between the ages of 30 and 79 with symptomatic testosterone deficiency — a staggering 38 percent increase from the year 2000.
At Body Symmetry MD, many of our providers understand firsthand how detrimental the effects of low testosterone can be to your intimate relationships, self-esteem and quality of life. We also know that despite its prevalence, low testosterone is a condition that often goes undiagnosed and untreated in adult men. In fact, it’s estimated that only five percent of men with low testosterone are receiving testosterone replacement.
If you suspect you have low T and are experiencing adverse systems, now is the time to get your testosterone levels checked. Side effects of low testosterone can feel emasculating or be wrongly attributed to getting older, but you do not have to suffer these symptoms in silence. Low testosterone is a common condition that can be treated safely, effectively and affordably with testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) at Body Symmetry.
What Causes Low Testosterone?
The most common cause of low testosterone in men is the aging process. It is estimated that by the age of 30, testosterone production in men will decrease progressively by one percent each year. There are other potential reasons for low T, such as damage or malfunction of the testes or issues within the pituitary axis of the brain, but the condition rarely occurs in men under 30. The likelihood of men having low testosterone levels in their later years of life are high, but many are unaware that their symptoms are a result of low T or are too humiliated to seek solutions.
While low testosterone is frequently associated with problems in the bedroom, the condition can lead to a wide range of physical, psychological and sexual issues, including:
- Low energy or fatigue
- Cognitive difficulties and trouble focusing
- Erectile dysfunction (ED)
- Diminished libido
- Depression or anxiety
- Decreased muscle mass and reduced strength
- Decreased bone mass
- Insomnia or changes in sleep patterns
- Increased body fat
- Hair loss or thinning
Left untreated, low testosterone levels can put you at risk for more severe health conditions such as heart disease, osteoporosis and diabetes. Yet because of the sensitive nature of these concerns, many men are hesitant to ask their health care provider for help. If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, a simple blood test at Body Symmetry can help you determine if your testosterone production has fallen below a normal range.
Who is Testosterone Replacement Therapy For?
TRT is prescribed to men whose testosterone levels have dropped below an optimal range to help restore and maintain health and well-being. Because the long-term health risks of TRT have not yet been established, it is critical that only those with confirmed low testosterone levels and low T symptoms undergo the therapy. TRT will not provide benefits men whose testosterone levels fall within a healthy range.
The most common symptoms that lead men to seek TRT is a decreased or diminished sex drive and/or erectile dysfunction. While testosterone is not the only hormone that fuels sexual desire in men, low T can contribute to less staisfaction with sex, a lower libidio and less frequent or firm erections. However, a low libido doesn’t necessarily mean you have low T; some men experience these symptoms due to other underlying health conditions. Your medical history and blood results will be carefully assessed by our hormone experts to determine if low T is the source of your issues before moving forward with the treatment.
What are the Benefits of Testosterone Replacement Therapy?
Because every man’s low T levels and symptoms will vary significantly along with their TRT dosage, it is difficult to predict how they will respond to their treatment. Many men report improvements to their sex drive, quality of erections and overall energy levels, as well as better moods, increased muscle mass and increased bone density. Whether these effects will feel significant or barely noticeable will vary for each individual.
The key to successful TRT often relies on finding the right dosage for you. Our providers can adjust your TRT dose as necessary to ensure your testosterone levels are optimal. Most men will start to experience improvement in their symptoms within one to three months of starting TRT.
Busting the Low T Stigma
As many consider testosterone to be the hormone that makes men, men, it’s easy to understand how low testosterone levels can become a reflection of your masculinity, or a lack thereof. We live in a culture in which male sexuality and virility are deeply intertwined, and any hint of either of these qualities wavering can easily diminish your sense of self worth or manliness.
It’s important to acknowledge that low testosterone is a very real health condition and does not make you any less of a man. If you are struggling with symptoms of low T, there are a number of things you can do along with TRT that can help you to break the negative stigma surrounding low testosterone, including:
Men often feel better about having low T once they’ve learned more about the symptoms, prevalence and treatment options available to them. If you want to learn more about the effects of low testosterone or wish to have your levels tested, contact Body Symmetry today to schedule an in-person consultation.
There are a handful of lifestyle changes you can implement to help alleviate your symptoms or even improve your testosterone levels. For example, if you are overweight, losing weight through a healthy diet and exercise is proven to raise testosterone levels. Establishing sleep patterns that allow you to get a good night’s rest each night can also help to combat fatigue.
Discuss Your Concerns
We know low T and its symptoms aren’t the easiest topics to bring up, but having an honest discussion with your significant other, friend or doctor about what you are going through can bring immense relief to the psychological elements of this condition. Normalizing low testosterone starts with men being forthright about their condition concerns.
If you are interested in learning more about low testosterone or how testosterone replacement therapy can improve your health and quality of life, contact Body Symmetry MD today at 833-789-2639 to schedule your free consultation.