- Dangers of having low testosterone in your body
- Causes of low testosterone condition
- Testosterone through healthy diet
- Doctor’s advice
- Types of treatment
Dangers of Low T
Low testosterone or “low T” is a common condition in older men since testosterone naturally declines with age. Deficiency in this hormone can cause various problems in man’s body since testosterone is responsible for both physical and mental state of a person. Therefore, the health consequences of low testosterone levels can be quite ranging. Low T is responsible for:
- Loss of libido
- Loss of facial and body hair
- Loss of muscle mass
- Weight gain
Also, it is important to know that men who have a low testosterone level in their bodies have a higher-than-average chance to develop cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and osteoporosis.
Causes of Low T
Testosterone levels in men start to decrease every year after age 30. Sometimes, young men, children, and even babies can have this problem. Hypogonadism in males happens when testicles don’t produce enough testosterone and it can start happening during fetal development, puberty or during adulthood. If hypogonadism starts during fetal development, the male fetus can even start developing female genitals. During puberty, lack of testosterone in males can cause problems with body hair growth, muscle and voice chord development or genitals. When it comes to full grown men, hypogonadism can manifest through fatigue, infertility, depression, loss of libido and muscle mass. In most cases, hypogonadism is caused because of several reasons:
- When testicles fail to descend from the abdomen before birth
- Because of Klinefelter’s syndrome when male is born with three sex chromosomes
- Because of too much iron in the blood
- When the patient suffered testicle injury
- Because of chemotherapy
- Because mumps infection that can injure testicles
- Because of drugs
- When patient is infected with AIDS/HIV
- When patient suffers from inflammatory diseases
- Because of kidney failure
- Because of Kallmann syndrome that affects hypothalamus
Healthy diet can increase testosterone in your body
In order to boost your testosterone levels in your body, you may look for a “natural way” to increase the level of this hormone your organism. Of course, that could be helpful only if the doctor believes so. If you are not yet ready for testosterone therapy but you have testosterone deficiency, you should consider adapting your diet to your condition. It crucial for you to consume food that is rich with vitamin D. This vitamin helps your body to absorb calcium and boost testosterone production. Having healthy bones and strong immune system is a good start to combating any illness or condition. Therefore be sure to eat a lot of tuna, eggs (egg yolks especially), oysters, shellfish, red meat and beans. Milk is a good choice for replenishing calcium and testosterone too. Also, it is important to fortify your breakfast with some brands of cereals that are rich in vitamin D and orange juice.
When you start to feel the symptoms mentioned above, the best course of actions is to visit your doctor. You should not be surprised if you hear questions like “When is the last time you had sex?” or “Do you have problems with your erection?” If your doctor starts to suspect hypogonadism, he will give you a blood test to take. When it comes to detecting testosterone deficiency, blood tests are performed (in the most cases) early in the morning. When your results are done, there could be a few more tests for you to take in order for the doctor to gather more information. If you require a therapy, you should know what lays ahead. If raising testosterone through natural means (such as through exercise or healthy diet) is not effective, your doctor may suggest hormone replacement therapy. That means that you will need to raise testosterone levels through injections, body gel or tablets.
Types of treatment
This is the most common type of treatment. The doctors recommend weekly injections of testosterone cypionate to keep your levels optimal. Also, weekly injections of testosterone also allow for the use of the lowest effective dose, which decreases the potential for side effects. Intramuscular injections are applied deep into the muscle and then dissolve over time. These injections cause your testosterone levels to go up in the first 48 hours but within 8 days the amount is reduced by half. This is why you need to take weekly injections. On day 7, your numbers are exactly where they should be.
Creams, gels, and patches
Not every patient is suitable for injection therapy. Therefore, some patients are much more suitable for topical (AndroGel, Testim, Axiron, and Fortesta) testosterone gel preparations. This is a very simple form of therapy. The patient needs to apply gel on a daily basis (this is the only kind of the low testosterone treatment options that requires daily dosage). Because you are not required to visit the doctor every day it is easy to overlook some side effects that could develop. For the start, you should reduce your physical contact with other to a minimum, because gel could come off your skin and affect other people. If you have skin problems (infections or rash) you should not choose this kind of treatment. One of the most common problems is a high failure rate. Somewhere between 30-40% of men simply cannot absorb sufficient level of the topical through their skin. Also, this kind of treatment can be very expensive.
Surgically implanted into your skin, pellets release the medication over a period of months. Pellets are compounded testosterone medications that, when implanted, start to dissolve in your body at once. It could be quite risky, since pellets increase testosterone level in the first month, usually in larger amounts than your body needs. Then, for the next 3-4 months, your testosterone levels will drop, keeping you in the target range. Finally, your levels will drop again until you get another implantation of pellets. Also, you will not be monitored during the time when you are at risk of developing complications.