Testosterone is important to male health, and in more ways than you may know. While it is known as the most significant male hormone for sexual and reproductive performance, there is more to this hormone than just libido. If testosterone is too low, it can have a significant impact on many different systems in the body. When testosterone is affecting a man’s physical, mental and sexual health, testosterone replacement therapy may be recommended.
Understanding the Role of Testosterone
Testosterone is considered the most impactful male hormone and all genders have this hormone within their body. While males produce much more of this hormone, women also need testosterone for proper development and health. Testosterone is vital for the development of sexual organs, but it also affects many other aspects of the body.
For males, testosterone levels increase as they hit puberty in adolescence. The increase begins the transformation from boys to men. The genitals increase in size and the hormone stimulates sperm production. Body and facial hair begin to grow, and the voice deepens. Testosterone levels are responsible for increasing libido, muscle size/strength and bone density, all of which impact the maturing of the male body.
Testosterone has an impact on metabolism, energy and maintaining healthy bones. It can impact mood and mental clarity. When it is kept within normal ranges for the individual’s age, it can help them maintain a healthy mind, body and reproductive system.
Testosterone levels reach their peak in males in the late teens and into their 20s. This is when males are at their highest level of performance, physically and sexually. Most males do begin to see a decrease in their testosterone levels starting around 30 years of age, but these are natural and normal changes. Most men will continue to have normal health in relation to their testosterone as long as there are no abnormal drops in production.
Causes of Low Testosterone Levels
Aging is the main cause of lower testosterone levels. For most men, levels decrease about one percent a year as they enter their thirties and forties. This gradual decrease in testosterone is similar to what occurs in women at menopause but at a much slower pace. It is often referred to as andropause and it is a normal part of getting older.
The concern for most men is not andropause; it is when other factors contribute to a more significant drop in testosterone. There are many possible contributors to low T that can have an impact on physical, sexual and mental health.
Damage to the Testicles
Injury, infection or disease that damages the testicles can cause low levels of testosterone. The hormone is produced in the testes and production can decrease when they are damaged.
Pituitary or Adrenal Gland Dysfunction
The pituitary and adrenal glands are important in regulating hormone production, including testosterone. When these glands are impacted by disease, injury or other disorders, it may affect testosterone and other hormone levels.
Kidney and Liver Disorders
Dysfunction of other organs in the body may be responsible for affecting testosterone levels. Men with liver or kidney health problems may see a quicker drop in testosterone.
Chemotherapy and cancer treatments can lower testosterone. Prostrate cancer treatment in particular poses a high risk to testosterone production.
Stress and Lifestyle Concerns
Stress, poor diet, low activity levels, obesity, poor sleep and other lifestyle factors can contribute to low T. Anything that impacts your overall health may have an impact on hormone production. The use of certain substances like alcohol can also affect testosterone levels.
Symptoms of Low T
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is often the first symptom people consider when they hear “low T” but this is not always the case. ED can be caused by many other factors that have nothing to do with testosterone. While ED is one of the possible symptoms, there are usually a combination of the following symptoms if you are experiencing low T:
- Low energy or fatigue
- Loss of hair (face, scalp and body)
- Decreased sex drive
- Decreased muscle mass and strength
- Increased body fat
- Male breast enlargement
- Decreased bone density
- Mood swings, such as depression and anxiety episodes
When there is a combination of these symptoms, it is worth starting the process of considering testosterone replacement therapy or TRT. The effects on muscles, bones, metabolism and mental health can be devastating, which can be reversed to a great effect by the use of hormone therapy.
Benefits of Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Men experiencing symptoms of low T can benefit greatly from medical treatment and lifestyle changes. Eating healthier, exercising, improving sleep and reducing substances like alcohol can be beneficial for raising testosterone levels, but it may not be enough for some men. Hormone therapy can offer a more dramatic increase in testosterone, which can work wonders when combined with healthy lifestyle changes.
The first step in obtaining testosterone replacement therapy is seeing a hormone replacement expert. Our providers at Arcadia Wellness Center in Phoenix, AZ have extensive experience and expertise in providing TRT for men with low T. Patients receive a thorough exam and evaluation of their symptoms and medical history to determine if low T may be contributing to their health concerns. If low T is suspected, lab testing can be performed to confirm hormone imbalance.
At Arcadia Wellness Center, we use testosterone injections for hormone replacement therapy in men with low T. These injections can have a significant impact on the health and wellness of our low T patients. Unlike many clinics that offer TRT, we do not need our patients to visit us weekly or monthly. Most patients can see us every few months to monitor their progress.
The effects of TRT are felt differently by every patient. Some patients notice an almost immediate difference in their energy levels, but it can take weeks or months for improvements. Once testosterone levels are normalized, some of the possible benefits can include:
- Improved energy and stamina
- Increased muscle mass and strength
- Higher libido and decreased episodes of ED
- Decreased fat and weight
- Mental and emotional balance
The goal of TRT is to help men feel more like their younger selves. Many men reveal after receiving their hormone therapy for a few months that they recognize how much their low T was affecting almost every aspect of their lives. With the right levels of testosterone, they can become healthier and enjoy life to the fullest again.
Is Testosterone Replacement Therapy Right for You?
It is impossible to know whether you suffer from low T or hypogonadism unless you see a medical professional. There are many other health conditions that can cause similar symptoms to low T and may require different treatment. If you think you may have a hormone imbalance, come see our team at Arcadia Wellness Center. We offer hormone therapy for men and women, including TRT.
Testosterone levels can have a huge impact on your health and well-being. If you are concerned that you may have low testosterone, it is worth the effort to seek treatment. Contact our staff at Arcadia Wellness Center in Phoenix, AZ to schedule your hormone therapy session with one of our experienced providers. If you are a good candidate for testosterone replacement therapy, you could be on your way to better health and a higher quality of life.