The male sex hormone is called testosterone. The production of this hormone occurs in the testicles. Testosterone is very important for the functions and sexual development of males because it impacts numerous factors such as bone mass, muscle mass, and sexual development. A low level of testosterone is commonly referred to as Low-T. When the level is too low, the result is often a wide variety of negative symptoms. Numerous men have received testosterone therapy because the hormones for low testosterone are provided during the treatment. This can restore the male’s testosterone to the correct level to eliminate or relieve the symptoms of Low-T. The production of testosterone will naturally decrease as the man ages. The result is often testosterone levels that are too low.
When a young man becomes a teenager, their male features are developed by their testosterone. This includes muscle strength, a deeper voice, and facial and body hair. Testosterone is necessary for the production of sperm. Lower levels are most common in older men due to the aging process. Many of the organs in the male body are also affected by testosterone. This hormone affects thinking, mood, aggression, and sex drive or libido in the male brain. Visual skills and verbal memory can both be improved by testosterone. When the testosterone level is increased, men have shown improvement in depression and fatigue. Testosterone is responsible for the growth and strength of muscles, penile growth, sperm production, body hair growth, and the stimulation of the blood and stem cells in the kidneys and bones.
Testosterone also controls erections, beard growth, and prostatic function and growth. Testosterone influences the way a man looks and his basic characteristics. When the level of testosterone is too low, the medical term is testosterone deficiency syndrome — also known as TD. This means the male body no longer has the necessary amount of this hormone to function correctly. The reason this is considered a syndrome is because TD is classified as a health condition. When the male body has below 300 nanograms of testosterone per deciliter, it is considered Low-T. The most common symptoms for this condition include:
• Low sex drive
• Erectile dysfunction (ED)
• A decrease in lean muscle mass
There are a lot of potential causes for these symptoms including a mental or congenital condition the male had from birth, opioid use, obesity or excess weight, diabetes, and harm or loss to the testicles. There is no way to know exactly how many men are suffering from Low-T. According to the latest data, the estimate is 2.1 percent or about two in every 100 men. Less than one percent of younger males are believed to have TD. Approximately half of all men above the age of 80 are believed to have this condition. Low testosterone can result at birth due to Noonan syndrome, Klinefelter syndrome, and ambiguous genitalia. This is when the male sexual organs do not develop in a typical fashion. The other factors that may cause Low-T include:
• Removing the testicles due to cancer
• A hormone deficiency caused by a disease of the pituitary gland
• Radiation and chemotherapy
• Accidental damage to the testicles
• An autoimmune disease causing the body to produce antibodies that begin to attack the healthy cells of the body
If the amount of testosterone produced by the male body is below normal, the eventual result is a drop in the testosterone level. Numerous cases of low testosterone have been linked to:
• Using specific medications including narcotic pain prescriptions and antidepressants
• Metabolic syndrome including high blood sugar, belly fat, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels
Low-T can also result from specific health conditions. Approximately 30 out of every 100 men with HIV have Low-T. Roughly 50 out of every 100 men with Aids also have low testosterone. The only way to be certain if a man is suffering from Low-T is to consult with a medical professional. A physical examination will be conducted to check for:
• The size and presence of any abnormalities of the testicles
• Enlarged breasts or gynecomastia
• The size and presence of any abnormalities of the prostate
• Triglyceride levels
• Metabolic syndrome including the symptoms of high blood sugar, high blood pressure, excess fat in the waist, high cholesterol and the location and amount of hair growth
Some or all of the following tests may be performed. This includes:
• The blood prolactin level is checked. This blood test will be repeated if the result is high to eliminate any error. This can indicate pituitary issues including tumors.
• Blood prolactin level. If your prolactin level is high, our professionals may repeat the blood test to make sure there is no error. High prolactin levels also may be a sign of pituitary problems or tumors.
• The estradiol test is performed if any breast symptoms are present.
• In some instances an HbA1C test is performed to rule out diabetes.
• The test for the total testosterone level is performed on samples taken during two different times before noon. As the day progresses, the testosterone level will be lower. This test must be postponed if the man is ill because there may be a false result.
• Hgb or blood hemoglobin testing. The medical professional will first search for other causes for a low Hgb including smoking tobacco, sleep apnea and climate altitude.
• The (LH) Luteinizing hormone test is performed to determine the cause of the low testosterone level. This is the hormone controlling how testosterone is made. If the level is abnormal, the cause is often an issue with the pituitary gland.
• The FSH or follicle stimulating hormone test check to see if the sperm producing function is performing correctly. This test is usually performed if the man intends to have children. Additional semen testing may be necessary. This test is also performed prior to providing hormones for low testosterone.
The popularity of TT or testosterone therapy has increased for males between 40 and 64. Many of these men have been prescribed testosterone after being tested for Low-T. The testosterone has a positive impact on:
• Sex drive
• Bone density
• Exercise tolerance
• Muscle mass and strength
• Production of red blood cells
• Body and facial hair
• Fat distribution
• Sperm production
Hormone Therapy for Low Testosterone
Testosterone replacement therapy is a good option for low testosterone. Low levels impact normal functions contributing to a decreased libido and less muscle mass. Therapy involves prescribing testosterone medication. This is available in a few different forms, each with different pros and cons. The medication increases the overall level of testosterone to decrease many of the symptoms.
The Benefits of Hormones for Low Testosterone
• When the heart is healthy, the blood is pumped throughout the body to provide the organs and muscles with the oxygen required for ideal performance. Hormones for low testosterone are important for ensuring there is a production of red blood cells in the bone marrow. Low testosterone levels have been linked to numerous cardiovascular risks. One study revealed men who had testosterone therapy when suffering from heart disease did see an improvement. The walking distance of some of the participants showed an increase of 33 percent. Another study revealed healthy arteries are widened by hormone therapy. A recent study encompassed 83,000 men. Once the testosterone had reached a normal level, the study revealed the risks for a heart attack decreased by 24 percent. The risk of a stroke dropped by 36 percent.
• Sexual activities and arousal will naturally result in a rise of the levels of testosterone. When the man has a higher testosterone level, the amount of sexual activity will increase. More testosterone is required for older men to help ensure erectile function and libido. Although many instances of erectile dysfunction result from a low level of testosterone, some cases are caused by medications or medical conditions. Studies have shown both sexual performance and health can be improved through the use of hormones for low testosterone. The level of testosterone must increase to a higher level before there will be an increased sexual response. In many instances, increasing the level of testosterone also increased the libido.
• The level of testosterone is critical for bone mineral density. As the level of testosterone drops due to age, there is a decrease in bone density. This means the risk for osteoporosis and weak bones increases. Strong bones are necessary to support the internal organs and muscles. This boosts exercise and athletic performances. Research has demonstrated when the dose of testosterone is high enough, testosterone therapy will increase bone density. Clinical trials studying the impact of testosterone on bone density showed the bone density of the hip and spinal bones both increased. Testosterone will not only increase bone mineral density but decrease the risk of fractures.
• Testosterone is what increases muscle mass. A lean body mass increases energy levels while helping to control weight. Studies have shown when a man has a low level of testosterone, increasing the level can increase muscle strength and size and reduce fat mass. When exercises for strength training are combined with taking hormones for low testosterone, the result is an increase in both strength and lean body mass.
• Low levels of testosterone have been linked to a poor lifestyle quality. When the testosterone level drops the symptoms include irritability, fatigue, and depression. This is especially true if the man has been diagnosed with hypogonadism. The impact of depression is significantly lower for men whose level of testosterone decreases naturally and gradually over time.
• According to research, men with a higher level of testosterone have a reduced risk for Alzheimer’s disease. The evidence showing a strong link between testosterone and cognitive abilities such as a quicker processing speed and a better verbal memory is strong. Spatial memory in males between the ages of 34 to 70 has improved with testosterone therapy.