Women aren’t the only ones who experience declining reproductive hormone levels starting in middle age; men also produce less testosterone as they get older. When testosterone levels dip too far, however, the resulting hormonal deficiency can give rise to a range of bothersome and disruptive symptoms.
As seasoned primary care experts who specialize in men’s health, our team of board-certified providers at Direct Primary Care New Braunfels offer a full scope of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) services — including Low-T replacement — to help you counteract the effects of age-related hormonal changes and restore your quality of life.
Here, Dr. Thomas Kay, Dr. Georgina Bustamante, and nurse practitioner Becky Spencer discuss the ins and outs of low testosterone, explore its common signs and symptoms, and explain how Low-T replacement can help.
Made in your testicles, testosterone is the male reproductive hormone that supports normal sexual development and function. In addition to playing a key role in your physical maturation during puberty, testosterone helps you maintain muscle mass, facial and body hair, a deeper voice, and a healthy sperm count through adulthood.
When your testosterone levels are normal, your muscle strength, bone density, sexual drive and function, and sperm production are well-supported — and more likely to be healthy.
Although men don’t go through a defining hormonal shift like female menopause, they do experience a natural decline in testosterone as they age. After testosterone levels peak in early adulthood, they remain steady and then begin to decline gradually, usually starting around age 30.
Diminishing testosterone levels may be a normal part of the aging process, but levels that drop too low can affect your health and wellness. The American Urology Association (AUA) estimates that 2% of all men in the United States have low testosterone, also known as testosterone deficiency syndrome, male hypogonadism, or more simply — Low-T.
The statistics on low testosterone look different among specific groups of men, however. For example, research indicates that Low-T affects about 50% of older men, 30% of overweight men, and 25% of men with diabetes.
The AUA defines Low-T as having less than 300 nanograms of testosterone per deciliter of blood (ng/dL). Given that not all men experience concerning changes at this level, however, our team always takes symptoms into consideration when diagnosing Low-T.
Five of the most common signs of Low-T are:
With Low-T, you may also experience irritability, depressed mood, memory difficulties, and fertility issues related to low sperm count; you may notice shrinking testicles and a thinning of armpit hair or pubic hair, too.
While each of the symptoms associated with Low-T can have many potential causes, when they occur together, they form a strong indication of a testosterone deficiency.
To determine if your muscle loss, fat gain, low energy, and sexual dysfunction are symptoms of Low-T, our team performs a comprehensive physical exam and measures your total blood testosterone levels. We may also test your levels of luteinizing hormone, which helps control how your body makes testosterone.
If we find that you do have Low-T, we may be able to offer customized Low-T replacement therapy — or a prescription supplement of testosterone hormones to help re-optimize your levels, alleviate your symptoms, and restore an improved quality of life.
Available in the form of an injection, transdermal skin patch, topical gel, or implantation pellet, Low-T replacement can help you ease or eliminate the symptoms caused by hypogonadism. The treatment provides a range of benefits, including improved:
To find out if you’re a candidate for Low-T or learn more about the HRT services available at Direct Primary Care New Braunfels in New Braunfels, Texas, call or click online to schedule a visit with one of our experts today.