There are many advertisements and discussions about low testosterone in men. Often referred to as “low T” or hypogonadism, low levels of testosterone can be very impactful on a man’s health and well-being. Testosterone therapy to raise levels of the hormone can be very effective at reversing some side effects of low T, but is it something all men eventually will need? Here is what you need to know about testosterone therapy and how it is used to benefit male health.
Testosterone: Why Do You Need It?
Testosterone is one of the androgens or male hormones that help regulate many functions in the body. Both men and women produce testosterone in their adrenal glands and the testes and ovaries respectively. The pituitary gland helps regulate testosterone production, which is much higher in males than females.
Testosterone is a reproductive hormone. It is vital for the formation of the sex organs in males, and it impacts libido in both men and women. Testosterone also helps with muscle mass and strength, as well as strong bones. Women need the hormone, but in much smaller doses. For males, it is a spurt upward of testosterone that helps them achieve puberty and transform into adult males.
Increases in testosterone in the adolescent and teen years are responsible for male changes in the body. Facial and body hair appears, and the voice begins to deepen and change. Teenage boys begin to fill out more with muscle and have quick growth in height as their adult bones develop. Sexual changes also occur, with increased libido, sperm production and enlargement of the genitals.
Beyond puberty, testosterone continues to be an important factor in overall health, especially for men. Their metabolism, energy, reproductive responses, mental health and body strength are all tied to testosterone. But, with age, the testosterone levels do decrease and there are noticeable changes. However, there is a difference between male hypogonadism and normal reduction of testosterone with aging. Not all lower levels of testosterone will require the need for hormone therapy.
Lowering levels of testosterone are normal and should be expected with male aging. Women experience menopause when they have a dramatic drop in estrogen, which causes many symptoms that vary depending on the individual. Men also have a similar change in their main male hormone, testosterone, but it does not drop as quickly. For men, this low decrease in testosterone is called andropause, but it occurs over decades, not in a few years like menopause.
Men hit their peak levels of testosterone in their 20s and by 30, most men will begin to slowly produce less testosterone every year. The decrease is so slight, about 1%, that it is very discrete and mostly unnoticeable. While men may notice small changes in metabolism, muscle strength or hair production by the time they are in their 40s, this is normal. It is not the same for men who have hypogonadism or low T.
What Is Low T?
Not all men will experience low T or hypogonadism. This is a condition separate from andropause and normal lowering of testosterone with age. Some men are born with hypogonadism, which impacts their ability to produce certain androgens like testosterone. More commonly, low T occurs later in life, usually showing symptoms in men above the age of 30. They may notice a significant difference in their weight, endurance, energy levels and sex life when a large drop in testosterone occurs.
Low testosterone is a drop in production that creates unusual symptoms. Beyond genetic and congenital hypogonadism, some possible disorders and conditions can create lower levels of testosterone. Some possible causes of low T include:
- Injury to the testicles
- Inflammatory diseases
- Stress, lack of sleep and other lifestyle factors
- Medications, alcohol abuse and medical treatments
- Organ and gland disorders – kidney, liver, pituitary, hypothalamus and adrenal
- Certain diseases like Kallmann’s syndrome
When there is a significant drop in testosterone, changes occur in the body. The systems that rely on testosterone such as the reproductive area, muscle growth and bone density may begin to change. Some of the symptoms of low T include:
- Loss of muscle mass and strength
- Lower bone density
- Changes in hair growth – less body, facial and scalp hair
- Decreased stamina and energy
- Higher rates of depression or anxiety
- Erectile dysfunction
- Lowered libido
Men with normal decreases in their testosterone over time may have some of these symptoms but at a much less noticeable level. When testosterone drops suddenly, major changes can occur in health and well-being. It is men who are experiencing multiple symptoms of low T that should seek hormone balance evaluation to determine whether they could benefit from testosterone replacement therapy or TRT.
Who Needs Male Hormone Therapy?
Just like not all women need hormone therapy for menopause, not all men need testosterone therapy. However, for those with lower levels of testosterone or an unnatural drop due to hypogonadism, male hormone therapy may be beneficial. Hormone imbalance is treatable and restoring normal levels can improve health and quality of life.
Hormone replacement therapy begins with a hormone evaluation. This includes looking at the medical history and symptoms experienced by the individual. If there are indications of low testosterone, lab testing can be performed to determine whether testosterone therapy could be beneficial.
Many men may have some of the symptoms of low T but still have normal testosterone levels. For them, TRT may have little to no effect. There are other possible causes of low energy, weight gain or erectile dysfunction which may need to be addressed. However, for those with diagnosed low T, treatment can have incredible results.
Testosterone Therapy in Phoenix, AZ
If you have experienced symptoms of hypogonadism or low T, consider seeking a hormone balance evaluation at Arcadia Wellness Center in Phoenix, AZ. Our providers at our facility are highly respected hormone therapy experts that have helped many men throughout the greater Phoenix, AZ area restore healthy testosterone levels. Our providers will perform a comprehensive evaluations and testing to determine whether testosterone therapy could offer benefits for your health.
Testosterone replacement therapy can quickly restore normal hormone balance to impact your health. Many men notice their energy increases within a few days and other changes begin occurring over the following months. Sex drive can increase, along with other sexual improvements. Metabolism and muscle growth can improve, especially when TRT is combined with a healthy diet and exercise routine. It is common for our male patients to enjoy a higher quality of life and improve their overall health with hormone therapy.
Our testosterone replacement therapy at Arcadia Wellness Center is discrete and convenient. We do not require weekly or monthly visits for your hormone therapy sessions. You can perform your treatments at home with routine visits every few months to monitor your therapy.
Not all men will eventually need testosterone therapy, but for those that do, the treatment can greatly improve their health and overall wellness. If you have experienced a drop in energy or sex drive, or decreased metabolism or muscle strength, call us at Arcadia Wellness Center or contact us online. We can book your hormone evaluation at our facility in Phoenix to determine if you are a good candidate for testosterone replacement therapy.