When the blood serum has low concentration of testosterone, the condition is popularly known as andropause. It hits 39% of men around the age of 45. The irony is that the condition only gets worse with aging. If we go deep into the stats of testosterone depletion in aging men, we would come to a conclusion that there is some sort of crisis in the country.
Identifying low t signs
Testosterone is not only responsible for sexual characteristics. Some other symptoms are also linked to testosterone deficiency. With declining hormone levels, the person experiences reduced sex desire, poor erectile function along with an increase in body fat deposition and reduction in lean muscle mass. In some patients, depression and mood swings are some of the inevitable signs. Men having high cholesterol and high blood pressure will show a marked decline in testosterone levels.
Moreover, the history of other diseases like obesity and diabetes further increases the chances of low testosterone. The diagnoses of AIDS and HIV further slims the chances of a healthy lifestyle and these males are bound to have low t. A history of any chronic disease will increase the chances of the disease following low testosterone.
Possible treatment options
Soon after diagnosis of the condition, the doctor will prescribe testosterone replacement therapy that can be introduced in the form of injections, patches, skin gels or in some cases orally. Of all these modes of delivery, the gel therapy is more frequently used. A whooping 70% of the patients will rub the testosterone gel over their arms after shower. The second largest mode of testosterone delivery is through injections and a good number of males use testosterone patches. A very few number of users are using testosterone pellets or some form of oral capsules.
What happens after treatment
When administered in correct doses, testosterone hormone can improve sex drive, energy and increase muscle mass in males. After proper treatment, the patient experiences elated mood, more spontaneous erections and sound slumber. The deposited body fat also declines in males taking testosterone therapy. It also improves the bone mineral density, reducing the chances of fractures. It must be noted that once identified, testosterone therapy is like a life-long treatment. Reducing dosage or stopping it altogether will through you in a place worse than before.
Diagnosis of low t
Blood test is used for the diagnosis of low testosterone. But first the signs and symptoms of low t must be confirmed. Moreover, the physician will further analyze the person for prostate cancer and then ask for a hematocrit. PSA determines the possibility of prostate cancer whereas, hematocrit shows blood cell count.
Precautions for testosterone therapy
- If a man has already been diagnosed with breast or prostate cancer, then testosterone replacement therapy has to be discontinued.
- Men who have been on testosterone therapy run a higher risk of worsening urinary infections
- Any patient with an existing kidney, heart or liver problem will get edema or water retention with testosterone. The therapy can also cause problems for sleep apnea patients and a man can also lose his fertility with continuous use.
How testosterone is linked to prostate cancer
A major and growing concern for most patients on testosterone therapy is about the possibility of prostate cancer from testosterone replacement therapy. There have been a few studies that show testosterone can accelerate prostate cancer but there is no evidence that supports the formation of cancer due to testosterone.