You suffer through periods of feeling unbearably hot. You wake up several times throughout the night to use the restroom. You don’t initiate sex anymore. You have uncontrollable rage or irritability. These are all signs of low testosterone, most often caused by aging. While this can’t be reversed, the condition can be treated with hormone therapy. At Androgenix Advanced Health and Wellness in North Palm Beach, FL, we believe everyone deserves a happy, quality life, regardless of age.
What Is Low Testosterone?
Testosterone is a sex hormone produced by men in the testes and women in the ovaries and adrenal glands. In men, a healthy testosterone level is between 300 and 1,000 nanograms per deciliter. Low testosterone is diagnosed as a level lower than 300 nanograms per deciliter.
How Is It Diagnosed?
The most common method for diagnosing low testosterone, also known as Low-T, is blood testing. Also referred to as a serum test, this diagnostic test can show testosterone levels, luteinizing hormones, blood prolactin levels, and blood hemoglobin (Hgb). We prefer the serum test over the saliva test because it is far more accurate.
The total testosterone level test must be taken on two separate occasions before noon. The later it is in the day, the lower your testosterone is. Moreover, illness can lead to a false-positive test result. High prolactin in your blood may also indicate tumors or pituitary issues. If you have high levels of prolactin in your blood, we will repeat the test.
What Other Diagnostic Tests May Help?
If you want to have children in the future, the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) test verifies you are making fertile sperm. Your semen may also be tested. An HbA1C test may be run to see if you have diabetes. If you develop gynecomastia (male breasts), you will be given an estradiol hormone test. Depending on your symptoms, an MRI may be made of the pituitary glands.
How Is Hormone Therapy Administered?
There are several delivery systems for hormone therapy. The best method for you will depend on several factors, including your lifestyle. Options include injections, implanted hormone pellets, creams, ointments or lotions, and oral supplements. During your initial consultation, we will identify the best method for you.
If you travel frequently, you may benefit the most from implanted testosterone pellets. These pellets are implanted beneath the skin of your buttocks or upper hip. Before the testosterone pellets are implanted, you will be injected with a local anesthetic to numb your skin.
Then, a tiny incision is made so the pellets can be implanted. Many of our clients love this method because the pellets dissolve so slowly. Depending on how many pellets were implanted, you will only need to come in for treatment every three to six months.
Some of our clients like hormone therapy in the form of an intranasal gel. Simply pump the correct dosage into each nostril three times daily.
Oral or Buccal
Buccal testosterone comes in the form of a patch placed above your incisor. The oral medication looks like a tablet, but it is not to be chewed or swallowed. The medication must be taken every 12 hours. While this drug does not harm the liver if it is swallowed, it works best when it is dissolved in your mouth.
At Androgenix Advanced Health and Wellness in North Palm Beach, FL, we offer both short-acting and long-acting testosterone injections depending on your unique needs. The long-acting injections are administered into the muscle.
The short-acting injections may be administered into the muscle but may also be injected just beneath the skin. You may receive injections weekly, every two weeks, or every month.
Transdermal (topical) hormone therapy may come in the form of patches, liquids, creams, or topical gels. This type of medication usually lasts around four days. For maximum absorption, cover the testosterone supplementation with a water-tight or air-tight dressing.
Gels, liquids, patches, and creams should be applied to dry skin, which is free from cuts and scratches. The area should not be washed until it is time for your next dose. You must wash your hands thoroughly after applying a gel, cream, or liquid. You must also take special care to not let women, children, or pets touch the treated region. Patches are less likely to transfer testosterone.
Problems Hormone Therapy Can Address
How you will benefit from hormone therapy depends on what symptoms of Low-T you are experiencing. Here’s a brief overview of the most common symptoms hormone therapy can address:
Testosterone plays a critical role in libido in both men and women. Unfortunately, by the age of 30 for men and 35 for women, the production rate of testosterone decreases dramatically. Therefore, by the age of 40 for men and 45 for women, libido usually decreases significantly. Hormone therapy corrects imbalanced hormone levels to restore libido.
Testosterone isn’t just responsible for sexual desire. It is also responsible for directing blood flow to the penis so a man can achieve and maintain a full erection. An erection is only possible when receptors in the brain produce nitric oxide. One of the most common signs of Low-T is fewer spontaneous erections, such as those that happen during sleep.
However, Low-T is not the only cause of erectile difficulties. Therefore, it is important to consider the presence or absence of other symptoms and have your serum testosterone levels tested. Here are a few other causes of erectile difficulties:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Alcohol overuse
- Excessive nicotine consumption
- High LDL (bad cholesterol) levels
Low Semen Volume
Men who suffer from low levels of testosterone produce low volumes of semen. Since semen plays a critical role in the motility of sperm, men who want to have children but have fertility issues may need hormone therapy to improve fertility.
While androgenic alopecia is the most common cause of hair loss in men, low testosterone is a strong runner-up. If you are experiencing the loss of facial hair or body hair while balding, there is an excellent chance you would benefit from hormone therapy.
Do you get plenty of sleep every night? Do you struggle to find the motivation to exercise? Do you feel like you have far less energy than you used to? Are you eating nutritious foods and staying adequately hydrated?
You may be experiencing chronic fatigue. There are several potential causes of chronic fatigue, such as hypothyroidism, major depressive disorder, and insomnia. However, in conjunction with other signs of Low-T, it is a very strong indicator of imbalanced hormone levels. Hormone therapy can put the pep back in your step so you can get back to enjoying your life to the fullest.
Loss of Muscle Mass
Even if you manage to maintain your level of physical activity, if you have Low-T, you may notice a decrease in muscle mass. But testosterone doesn’t just play an important role in building and maintaining muscle. It also plays a role in muscle strength. If you notice your muscle mass or strength diminishing, testosterone replacement therapy can help.
Increased Abdominal Fat
Another common sign of low testosterone is an increase in abdominal fat. There are several reasons why low testosterone increases abdominal fat. First, it decreases muscle mass. Since muscle is more metabolically active than fat, the less muscle you have, the fewer calories you burn at rest.
Moreover, Low-T increases your body’s production of the stress hormone (cortisol) and the hunger hormone. Simultaneously, it decreases your body’s production of the fullness hormone. Cortisol not only makes you crave fattening foods, but it also tells your body to store the excess fat around your abdomen. This is the dangerous kind of fat that increases your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Besides gaining abdominal fat, many men who suffer from Low-T also find that they store excess fat in their chest. Moreover, due to the relationship between testosterone and estrogen, men sometimes grow glandular tissue in the chest. This creates the appearance of male breasts.
Decreased Bone Mass
Reduced muscle mass and reduced muscle strength can often cause reduced functionality in muscles. Given this, the lower your serum testosterone levels are, the more likely you are to fall. Unfortunately, testosterone also plays a critical role in bone mass. If you have a family history of osteoporosis, you already have a significantly higher risk of developing this devastating bone condition.
Combined with Low-T, there is a very high chance that you will experience brittle bones. The lower your bone density, the higher the likelihood your bone will fracture when you fall. If you have a family history of osteoporosis, call Androgenix Advanced Health and Wellness in North Palm Beach, FL today to get your serum testosterone levels tested.
Many people know women experience mood swings due to hormonal imbalances. Fewer people know that low serum testosterone levels can also cause mood swings and mood disorders in men. For instance, Low-T can cause major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. Unfortunately, anxiety can cause irritability and anger in some people.
Moreover, low testosterone can cause “random” mood swings. You may be happy one minute and crying without a noticeable trigger the next minute. You may also find that you cry when sad songs play in movies when you never have before. Hormone therapy can help you regulate your mood and treat or prevent anxiety disorders.
One of the most dangerous signs of lower testosterone levels is cognitive decline. For instance, you may have difficulty holding a conversation because you can’t remember the words you used to use easily every day. You may also forget where you put your wallet or forget your anniversary.
If you have difficulty forming new memories, it is essential that you have your serum testosterone levels tested. You may suffer from a more serious neurological disorder, like Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
Smaller Testicle Size
Shrinking testes are not a normal part of the aging process for men. If your testes are disproportionately small relative to your penis, there is an excellent chance you suffer from low T and could benefit from hormone therapy.
Learn More About Hormone Therapy Today
Do you think you or someone you love suffers from low testosterone? If so, hormone therapy can help. For a treatment plan to help you restore your quality of life, we welcome you to contact us today at Androgenix Advanced Health and Wellness in North Palm Beach, FL, to schedule your initial consultation.