The aging process often causes a natural drop in hormones for both men and women. Whereas women may experience a drop in progesterone and estrogen levels, men tend to experience a decrease in testosterone production as they age. Men with low testosterone, also known as “Low T,” begin to experience certain signs and symptoms such as a lower sex drive, or even subtle changes in body shape and energy levels.
Testosterone is a sex hormone found in both males and females, however the normal levels are much, much higher in males. Testosterone production starts to rise as males approach puberty, peaking in their mid-20’s, and gradually starting to decrease after the age of 30. Typically, the levels slowly decline at around 1% each year after the age of 30.
Exercise and losing weight can slow the loss of testosterone, as can eating a healthy diet that includes foods that naturally boost testosterone production. Your doctor can advise you as to natural and medical ways to maintain healthy testosterone levels.
Because many important bodily functions, such as sperm production and bone density, are linked to testosterone levels in men, symptoms may begin to develop as testosterone levels begin to dip. Below is a helpful guide to low testosterone, including the signs of low T that men should not ignore:
Signs and Symptoms of Low T in Males
· Reduced sex drive
· Emotional changes (feelings of depression)
· (ED) Erectile dysfunction (although not a common cause of ED, it can be related to Low T)
· Sleep apnea
· Decrease in body hair
· Hot flashes (yes, men can get them too)
· Swelling and or tenderness of breast tissue
· Decreased muscle strength and or lower muscle mass
· Effects on cholesterol metabolism
· Lower sperm production
· Changes in fat distribution (increased body fat)
· Decreased red blood cell production
· Lower bone density (increased risk of fractures)
The above signs and symptoms can be caused by lower testosterone levels, but they can also be caused by other normal, age related changes in the body. In order to properly diagnose and treat low testosterone levels, you need to be evaluated by a highly-qualified men’s health expert such as Dr. Desiderio Avila, Jr., a specialist in men’s health.
Dr. Avila can order the correct blood tests and determine if testosterone therapy is right for you. Testosterone therapy is an option for many men experiencing the effects of low T. Testosterone can be administered in one of several ways, including topical gels applied to the skin, patches, pellets that are designed to be inserted under the skin to deliver a constant slow dose, oral medicine, or by injection. Not all men are candidates for testosterone therapy. Men who have had or are at risk for prostate cancer, for instance, should not undergo hormone replacement therapy.
To learn more about low T treatment and testosterone replacement therapy in the Phoenix area, visit Dr. Avila, a urologist with years of patient experience under his belt. If you, or a loved one have questions about men’s health, please contact Dr. Desiderio Avila at (480) 961-2323, or request an appointment online today.