From the time men enter their 30s, testosterone loss is a threat. One in every five men over 60 suffer from low testosterone. Unfortunately, very few men want to speak with their doctor about their testosterone concerns. The professionals at Male Medical Group in San Antonio, TX want to help as many men as they can with hormone replacement therapy. Low testosterone can be addressed with a doctor’s help.
A discussion of testosterone hormone replacement therapy must begin with an understanding of hormones. While our genes determine a lot of the traits we carry, hormones are equally important in making us unique. Hormones are a family of chemicals in the body.
Our bodies have tissues that secrete hormones into our blood and other bodily fluids. When the hormones reach cells, the cells interpret the chemicals as instructions. The hormone might instruct the cell to grow faster or to stop growing.
One hormone can instruct a cell to communicate hunger to the brain. Another hormone can then tell the cell that your body is full and desires no more food. Other hormones can instruct your body to burn nutrients as fuel.
Particular hormones are more prevalent in one sex than the other, but none are exclusive to male or female bodies. Estrogen is one of many hormones that have multiple roles. In a woman, estrogen affects body shape, milk production, bone strength, sexual characteristics, and more.
What Is Testosterone?
Just as estrogen plays a huge role in the female body, testosterone plays a parallel role in males. Testosterone is a male hormone made in the testicles and is the predominant hormone in male sexual development and activity.
Testosterone leads children through puberty when facial hair grows, muscle tone develops, and the voice changes. Men need testosterone to produce sperm. However, just as testosterone levels increase during puberty, they often begin to decrease in a man’s 30s or 40s.
Aside from sexual functions, testosterone also factors into your body’s bone strength, red blood cell health, body fat, and more. The average man has testosterone levels between 300 and 1,000 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). Blood tests ordered by a doctor can reveal your personal testosterone level.
Low testosterone, often referred to as low-T, means the body has a testosterone level less than 300 ng/dL. Symptoms that often accompany low-T can include a loss of sex drive, fatigue, loss of muscle mass, erectile dysfunction, depression, and more.
It is important to note that some men can suffer combinations of similar symptoms unrelated to low testosterone. Obesity, drug use, and bodily injuries can lead to similar conditions.
Results of Low Testosterone
When there is too much or not enough of a hormone in your bloodstream, you suffer from a hormone imbalance. It takes only a small imbalance to result in noticeable symptoms. Symptoms of hormone imbalance often include a number of direct and indirect difficulties. Low testosterone levels can present many challenging obstacles for men.
Low testosterone can make it difficult for men to achieve erections. When testosterone reaches tissues in the penis, it results in the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is necessary to begin the reactions that end in an erection.
Like almost all symptoms of low testosterone, other variables can lead to erection difficulties, such as smoking, cholesterol levels, stress, alcohol use, and high blood pressure.
Erection difficulties not only jeopardize a man’s confidence level, but they can also lead to difficulty in relationships with spouses who may feel rejected or unwanted. While it can be difficult for men to bring this up with doctors, professional medical help can change a patient’s life for the better.
Male ejaculation is comprised mostly of semen. The job of the semen is to move the sperm through the female body toward the egg. One of testosterone’s many roles is to communicate the ongoing need for semen production.
A low testosterone level can result in the diminishing of semen. When a male orgasm results in less semen, it can be difficult on the man’s self image as well as a hindrance to fertility.
Low testosterone levels can slow a man’s metabolism and make fat burning more difficult. Sometimes combined with food cravings, the temporary relief of the craving through foods high in fat, sugar, and processed ingredients can lead to weight gain, especially around the belly.
In an even worse-case scenario, men with low testosterone sometimes develop gynecomastia, which causes an enlargement of the male breasts.
It can be common for men to experience hair loss as they age, and heredity and other factors are often responsible. However, hormone levels do correlate to hair loss and regrowth. Men sometimes find that receiving testosterone hormone replacement therapy experience increased hair growth as a secondary perk.
Reduced Bone Mass
Testosterone improves the production bone tissue supporting strong bones. As a hormone communicator, testosterone instructs the bone marrow to continue producing red blood cells. Together, these scenarios promote strong, healthy bones. Men with low testosterone levels often have more fragile bones and sustain fractures more easily.
Lost Sex Drive
Just like women who have low estrogen levels sometimes avoid sex because vaginal dryness makes sex painful, men sometimes avoid sex because they fear failure to reach an erection. However, aside from erection difficulties, low testosterone levels can cause a noticeable reduction in sex drive. This can be difficult for marriages and relationships.
Even though testosterone is associated with men, both men and women produce testosterone, and it bears a direct impact on sex drive. Testosterone can affect sexual desires as well as sexual satisfaction. However, unwanted effects of testosterone in women require the careful oversight of a trained medical professional.
Hot flashes are common in women going through menopause. It is true that hot flashes are a common symptom of imbalanced estrogen levels in women, but low testosterone levels can also cause hot flashes in men. Hot flashes can be a nuisance to deal with and embarrassing in some social situations.
Lack of Sleep
Hormonal imbalance can affect your sleeping patterns. Like progesterone, released from the female ovaries, low testosterone can also make it difficult for men to fall asleep or maintain uninterrupted sleep. Sometimes the natural difficulty sleeping is compounded by hot flashes through the night that further hinder good rest.
When imbalanced hormones result in sleeping difficulties, fatigue can be a natural consequence of a body with too little rest. On the other hand, imbalances such as low testosterone can cause your body to tire regardless of sleep. Good sleep is always important to the human body, and a hormonal imbalance that affects it in any way should be addressed.
You know there are several reasons men suffering from low testosterone levels may not sleep well. However, low testosterone levels also correlate to sleep apnea cases. A dangerous condition, sleep apnea may stop breathing during sleep.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a result of throat muscles relaxing as the body sleeps and preventing air from passing as you rest. Along with a lack of sleep and fatigue, OSA presents particular dangers that should be addressed with the help of a medical professional.
Did you ever walk into a room and forget why you went in there? Have you finally caught somebody’s attention only to forget what you wanted to say? Brain freeze happens to us all, but it can be especially common among those with hormonal imbalances. Declining testosterone levels can play a role in memory difficulties, and they also go hand-in-hand with other symptoms.
For instance, if imbalances are causing you to sleep less than your body needs, memory difficulties can also flow as a natural consequence of sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation can lead to fatigue and stress, and your foggy memory may continue.
What Is Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a treatment that helps relieve symptoms related to hormonal imbalances, including men’s testosterone levels. From weight gain to bone loss to sexual dysfunction, HRT helps combat symptoms related to the diminished levels of hormones, especially as men age, through medications containing hormones to replace those the body no longer makes.
Well-executed HRT identifies imbalanced hormones in the human body. When a lacking hormone is identified, replacement bioidentical hormones are added to achieved balanced hormone levels. Treatments should allow for easy integration into the body where cells can receive instructions from the hormone replacements for optimal functioning and the patient’s overall well being.
Every patient has a particular hormone dosage requirement based on his specific hormone loss. By identifying the hormones that are imbalanced and supplementing them with the proper replacement dosage, alternative health concerns can also be eliminated or identified for further consideration.
HRT is most effective when tailored to a patient’s unique needs and routinely re-evaluated for safety and effectiveness. Particular treatments and delivery methods are also selected for particular patient needs.
One form of testosterone delivery is a low-T shot, also known as testosterone replacement therapy. While there are some scenarios allowing patients to administer their own testosterone injections, most low-T shots are administered in your doctor’s office.
The shot is applied in the buttocks, and the thigh is used for self-injections. Low-T shots are sometimes suggested by a doctor when your testosterone levels fall below 300 ng/dL.
Testosterone Pellet Therapy
One of the most effective delivery methods in hormone replacement therapy is accomplished with pellets. This therapy is delivered by placing a pellet under the skin for a fast and safe method of replacement hormones. Unlike other delivery methods, pellet therapy ensures users receive a consistent dosage throughout the day.
Pellet therapy is highly advanced for safety and efficiency while offering comfort and overall health benefits. The small, consistent doses of hormones released into the body provide optimum therapy.
Some patients using oral or cream therapies experience fluctuating hormone levels that result in varying energy levels and wide mood swings. Pellet therapy, on the other hand, uses compound hormones compliant with strict federal guidelines to create a pellet smaller than one grain of rice. The pellet is easily implanted through an in-office visit, and the difficulties of other therapy methods are avoided.
Pellet therapy can compound testosterone as well as estrogen and can be used in the health of both men and women. The pellets last up to six months.
When men reach their 30s, the body’s production of human growth hormone (HGH) usually begins to decline. Sermorelin treatments replace lost HGH with a compound called Sermorelin acetate. Sermorelin acetate is considered a bioidentical synthetic hormone. It is meant to stimulate the pituitary gland.
When stimulated, the pituitary gland releases growth hormone. This therapy is particularly helpful to clients who suffer low energy levels, decreased muscle mass, and extra body fat.
hCG Testosterone Booster
Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is another bioidentical synthetic hormone used in replacement therapy to replace the body’s luteinizing hormone. The luteinizing hormone instructs the testes to produce testosterone. Your hCG testosterone booster will be administered by an injection that can often be administered at home.
The booster can be prescribed to increase testosterone production when levels are below 300 ng/dL. It is also prescribed to boost fertility.
What Is a Bioidentical Hormone?
Bioidentical hormones are hormones with the same molecular structure as the hormones naturally created in the human body. While bioidentical hormones are not naturally found in the body, they are synthesized from natural sources such as yams or soy.
For instance, human growth hormone is a natural hormone, and sermorelin acetate is the bioidentical hormone. Bioidentical hormones are an effective treatment because they act identically to the hormones your body is losing. The human body cannot distinguish bioidentical hormones from natural hormones.
Are You a Candidate?
As men age, they go through noticeable changes in their body functions. Some men suffer from thinning hair and others notice increased belly fat. Hormone imbalances can happen at any stage of life, but they are exaggerated and more likely as you age.
It is also important to note that every element of the aging process is not necessarily a hormone imbalance or result of low testosterone. A medical professional can test your hormone levels to determine if your hormones are unbalanced. If so, hormone replacement therapy could be for you. The best candidates for this treatment among men are those who:
- Experience mood swings
- Feel depressed
- Lose sex drive
- Notice thinning hair
- Fail to achieve erections
- Have trouble sleeping
- Gain weight, especially in the belly
When these symptoms begin to interfere with your life and relationships, it may be time to reach out for a professional consultation. Certain characteristics that make patients less likely candidates include ongoing or untreated medical conditions, such as heart problems. Men with certain types of cancer may not be a match. Only a doctor can evaluate your symptoms and medical history to say for sure.
Make the Call
Do any of these symptoms ring true to your own experience? Do you think you may be suffering from low-T levels? The professionals at Male Medical Group are ready to sit down for a consultation with you. They can perform tests to diagnose your hormone levels and offer the best treatment plan to restore your testosterone and all the perks that go with it. Give Male Medical Group in San Antonio, TX a call today.