What is testosterone?
Testosterone is a hormone that is necessary for proper muscle development and masculinity. Testosterone is produced in the testicles (testes). Women also have testosterone, but in much smaller amounts than in men. If testosterone levels are below normal, a doctor may prescribe one of several types of treatments. However, there is a debate about who needs to be treated.
What does testosterone do?
Stimulates the sexual impulse Add muscle mass. Regulates the mood Regulates bone strength.
Testosterone and aging
Testosterone levels decrease as men get older. Sometimes, this lower level of testosterone is called "andropause" or "male" menopause"The symptoms of male menopause may not be caused by low levels of testosterone, but additional research is needed.Many men do not show any symptoms of decreased testosterone levels.
The symptoms of male menopause
Changes in the body caused by low testosterone
How low testosterone can change the male body
Less muscle mass (atrophy of the muscles) Obesity Loss of body hair Smaller testes Smoother testes Larger breasts
Low testosterone affects bones
Although osteoporosis (fragile bone diseaseIt is generally thought to occur mainly in women, the disease in men is commonly caused by low testosterone levels. Low testosterone levels can cause bones to thin, weaken and be more prone to fracture.
Low testosterone and sex
Low testosterone does not always interfere with sex, but it is possible. Some men with low testosterone levels may experience a decrease in libido, while others lose interest in sex altogether. Low testosterone levels can make sex more difficult because it can be more difficult to obtain or maintain a erection. Low testosterone may not be the only cause of low libido; Stress, lack of sleep, depression and chronic medical conditions can also alter a man's sexual desire.
Testosterone, humor and thought
Some of the changes that can occur with a low testosterone level are nonspecific symptoms, such as easy irritability, mood swings, lack of concentration and feeling fatigued or having less energy. However, these symptoms may be caused by a condition other than low testosterone.
Other health problems that reflect symptoms of low T
Anemia Sleep apnea Depression Other chronic diseases
Low testosterone and infertility
One of the many functions of testosterone is to help produce sperm. When testosterone levels are low, the "sperm count" may also be low. If the sperm count is very low, it is possible that the man can not be a father.
What causes low testosterone?
Although increasing age is the most common cause of decreased testosterone levels in men, there may be other causes. Other common causes include:
Should the low testosterone test be done?
You may have to undergo a low testosterone test if you have erectile dysfunction (ED), a very low sex drive, low sperm count, loss of body hair, decreased muscle mass and osteoporosis. The different conditions of low testosterone could be the underlying cause of the symptoms. A doctor will want to rule out other conditions before diagnosing and treating low testosterone.
Low testosterone test
Tests for testosterone levels are done by taking blood samples early in the morning when testosterone levels are higher. Your doctor may want to perform a second test a few days later to check the consistency in the measured testosterone levels. Normal testosterone levels range from approximately 300 to 1000 nanograms per deciliter (ng / dL), although some laboratories consider that 200 ng / dL is the limit for low testosterone. Your doctor will help you interpret the tests for you.
Low testosterone treatment
If you are diagnosed with low testosterone, your primary care physician may suggest that you consult a specialist, such as a urologist or an endocrinologist. Not all people with low testosterone levels will need or qualify for treatment. These specialists will help guide your treatment and design an approach to your low testosterone problem that is best for you.
Treatment with low testosterone level: testosterone replacement therapy
The treatment with low testosterone is designed to increase testosterone levels. Studies suggest that this increase in testosterone can strengthen muscles, protect bones and improve sexual desire. Testosterone replacement therapy is only recommended for men who have blood levels that show low levels of testosterone. Such treatments can have different effects from one man to another, so it is difficult to predict the treatment results for any individual.
Methods of testosterone supply
Intramuscular injections Gels and topical patches Buccal patches Implantable pellets
Low testosterone treatment: testosterone injections
Testosterone injections are the least expensive form of testosterone treatment, but they can be painful. The injections are given approximately every 7 to 22 days and the body slowly absorbs testosterone into the bloodstream. The injections can be administered in the muscles or implanted as granules. Testosterone levels can increase and then fall between injections.
Low testosterone treatment: Gels or testosterone patches
Gel treatments or patches for low testosterone are placed directly on the skin. The hormone is filtered out of the patch or gel and passes through the skin, and is slowly absorbed into the blood. Gels and patches are applied every day and, as a result, the level of testosterone remains fairly stable. One drawback of these treatments is that they can sometimes cause itching, skin irritation and blisters. In addition, women or children should not come in contact with skin that has been treated with a gel for 2 hours to prevent absorption of testosterone.
Low testosterone treatment: mouth patches
Mouth patches are placed on the gums on the incisors (teeth) Approximately every 12 hours and slowly release testosterone. They are not effective if they are ingested. Mouth patches can cause a bitter taste, irritation of the tissues of the mouth and gums, and can cause Headaches. Fortunately, these side effects diminish over time. The patient can eat, drink and Kiss others while using mouth patches because they are not directly exposed to testosterone.
Treatment with low testosterone level: risks of testosterone therapy
Although testosterone therapy has been proven in many people, the risks and benefits of this treatment for many years are not yet known because such studies are still underway. Testosterone should not be given to men who do not receive treatment. prostate cancer, untreated sleep apnea, or untreated breast cancer. In some men, testosterone therapy may be necessary if the risks outweigh the benefits.
Side effects of testosterone treatment
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