Testosterone is the most famous hormone
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is the most famous hormone. The thought of it brings thoughts of muscles and manliness. In reality, testosterone affects mostly the sex organs and muscle mass, but also regulates mood and bone density. When its level falls below the norm, a doctor can prescribe injections, gels, or testosterone pills. But a discussion first must be had about its uses.
Age and testosterone level
The steady fall of testosterone levels is part of the normal aging process, referred to as “andropause,” the male equivalent of menopause. For many men, it brings about no significant problems or harmful symptoms. Others can notice changes such as mood swings, fat gain, and declining interest in sex.
Low testosterone levels and the body
Low levels of testosterone hormone can lead to noticeable changes in some men, such as the following:
- Declining muscle mass and strength
- Loss of hair
- Tenderness of testicles
- Mass gain in chest area
Low testosterone affects the bones
You may think that osteoporosis, the sickness of brittle bones, stands to be unique to women, but it can just the same affect a man with low testosterone. When levels fall, the bones can become thinner, weaker, and much easier to break.
Low testosterone and sex
The fall of testosterone does not always hurt a man’s sex life, but it can bring complications for your mind and body, consequently ability to get and hold an erection. Some men can notice a decline in libido, meanwhile others can lose interest in sex altogether. A low level of testosterone can make it rough to get and hold an erection.
Testosterone, mood and thinking
Some men have problems such as irritable mood or other drastic changes in mood, poor concentration, and less energy. These signs can easily be caused by other problems of health such as anemia, depression, or a sleep disorder, along with a chronic disease.
Low testosterone levels and impotence
Testosterone helps the organism generate sperm cells. When its level falls a lot, the sperm count can be very low, as well. Without a certain amount of spermatozoids, a man can be left without the potential of creating a baby.
What brings low testosterone?
Old age – it’s the most simple reason to explain the fall of testosterone lev els. But sometimes other sicknesses are at fault, such as the following:
- Type II Diabetes
- Kidney or liver disease
- Chronic lung disease
- Problems with iron content
- Trauma to the testicles
Radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and steroid-based medications can also affect the level of testosterone in the body.
Should you be tested?
Your doctor can recommend that you get your testosterone levels tested if you have:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Low sex interest
- Low sperm count
- Hair loss
- Significantly lowered muscle mass
If you are sick with a disease that lowers testosterone levels, your doctor might want to check the levels of all your hormones.
Testing for low testosterone
Testosterone is usually measured with the help of a blood test, taken early in the morning when levels are highest. The norm for testosterone varies between 300 tot 1000 nl/dl. The doctor can recommend that you get tested once more before stating a final diagnosis of low testosterone.
Therapy for low testosterone
If your blood content is low in the testosterone hormone and you experience symptoms that affect your everyday life, your doctor can recommend that you treat your body with testosterone. Not every person with a low level of testosterone will need therapy. You can talk with a specialist to discuss the risks and potential rewards of therapy. Schedule an appointment with a doctor that specializes in hormonal dysfunctions.
Testosterone replacement therapy
If you are in need of therapy in order to raise your testosterone levels back to normal, you will need a doctor’s prescription for testosterone. Some studies have shown that it can strengthen the muscles of a person, protect their bones, as well as increase the interest and satisfaction from sex. But the results could vary greatly from one person to the next.
Testosterone is released in a couple different forms, including injections, gels, patches and pills. Injections are the most affordable and safest option, but they can be hurtful. You will need to be checked on every 7 to 22 days, depending on the doctor’s recommendations. Your testosterone level could rise and fall between dosages.
Testosterone gels or patches
They are applied directly to the skin. The hormone is absorbed by the skin, and very slowly goes into the blood stream. Because gels and patches are applied every day, they contain a limited amount of testosterone. Besides this, they can bring about side effects such as irritation of the skin, itching, and even blisters. Women and children should not touch the treated skin area on which the gel or patch was applied.
Pills are taken orally and placed on the gums above the teeth every 12 hours. Tablets, just like gels, dissolve as they slowly release testosterone into the system. Pills can cause a bitter taste in the mouth, irritation, and headaches. These side effects can be noticed over time. Nevertheless, you can eat, drink, kiss, and do other normal activities while using testosterone pills.
Risks of testosterone therapy:
It’s important to note that testosterone therapy does have some drawbacks. Some men may develop the following:
- Increased number of erythrocytes (red blood cells)
- Sudden development of sleep apnea
- Enlarged Prostate
- Development of acne
The exact risks and benefits of the use of testosterone over the course of several years is not known.
Use of testosterone and cancer
There is some concern lingering that long-term use of testosterone can cause prostate cancer, especially in the elderly. Men taking testosterone will be checked regularly for any early signs of prostate cancer. This generally applies to all men over 50, as well as some men over 40 with a family history linked to prostate cancer, along with all African-American men.
Who should NOT take testosterone?
Men should not take testosterone if they have:
- Prostate or breast cancer
- Heart disease
- Untreated sleep apnea
- High red blood cell count