Andropause, also known as low testosterone, is a condition similar to menopause but experienced by men. Unfortunately, this condition will not resolve itself and needs to be treated with testosterone therapy. Today, our hormone experts at Indian Lake Medical Weight Loss & Wellness in Hendersonville, TN are discussing everything you need to know about testosterone replacement therapy, including its benefits.
What Are the Benefits of Testosterone Therapy?
Men who suffer from low testosterone often suffer from gynecomastia, or male breasts. Sometimes, gynecomastia is caused by excess fat storage in the chest. Since low testosterone decreases your metabolism, it can cause you to store excess fat. Depending on your genes, you may store excess fat in your chest.
Additionally, low testosterone levels combined with high estrogen levels can cause men to develop excess glandular tissue in the chest. If you undergo an invasive medical procedure to correct gynecomastia, it will return if you do not balance your sex hormone levels.
Reduced Abdominal Fat
One of the most dangerous consequences of low testosterone is excess abdominal fat. Several factors result in excess abdominal fat storage, including reduced muscle mass and increased stress. Reduced muscle mass leads to increased abdominal fat storage because muscle is approximately 2.5 times more metabolically active than white fat. In other words, the more muscle mass you lose, the more you need to decrease your calorie consumption to maintain a healthy body fat percentage.
You can expect an increased libido after testosterone replacement therapy. Most men experience a significant reduction in libido around the age of 40 because the rate of testosterone production starts to decrease significantly around the age of 30. If you want to restore the spark in your love life, you may need testosterone therapy.
Increased Bone Mass
Low testosterone levels increase the risk of osteoporosis (brittle bones). The lower your bone density is, the more likely you are to break a bone when you fall. If you receive testosterone supplementation, your existing bone mass will be preserved and you will slowly build your bone mass back up.
It is imperative to maintain your bone density as you age because muscle mass decreases as you age. Additionally, muscle functionality suffers as a result of the aging process. Unfortunately, this means your risk of falling is higher. If you preserve or increase your bone mass, you are much less likely to suffer from a bone fracture when you fall.
Increased Muscle Mass
Testosterone supplementation can also increase your muscle mass. Testosterone plays a significant role in maintaining your existing muscle mass and building new muscle mass. Additionally, adequate testosterone levels are important for maintaining the strength and functionality of your muscles. If you have noticed you can’t lift as much weight as you could when you were younger, low testosterone may be to blame.
Improved Sex Life
Low testosterone can lead to erectile dysfunction. If you struggle to achieve and maintain a full erection, your serum testosterone levels may be too low. Testosterone plays a critical role in erections because certain receptors in the brain need to produce nitric oxide for an erection to occur. With low levels of testosterone, these receptors can’t produce enough nitric oxide for a full erection to be sustained.
That said, the inability to produce enough nitric oxide isn’t the only cause of erectile problems. Thus, a diagnostic test is required to determine whether it is low testosterone that is causing your erectile difficulties. Here are some of the other factors that cause problems achieving and maintaining a full erection.
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Type 2 diabetes
- High levels of LDL (bad cholesterol)
- High blood pressure
Increased Semen Volume
If you are trying to get your partner pregnant, testosterone replacement therapy may increase your chances of a successful pregnancy. Testosterone supplementation will increase the volume of semen and sperm motility.
Increased Hair Growth
Although most men who experience hair loss suffer from androgenic alopecia, low testosterone is the second most common cause of hair loss. If you are simultaneously balding and losing facial hair, there is a very good chance testosterone replacement therapy can benefit you greatly.
Increased Energy Levels
Your energy levels are also affected by the amount of testosterone you have. Men with low testosterone levels often suffer from chronic fatigue. Signs of chronic fatigue include a lack of motivation to exercise, exhaustion despite a healthy diet and sleep routine and difficulty concentrating.
There are several potential causes of chronic fatigue, including hypothyroidism, insomnia, depression and chronic dehydration. However, if you are chronically fatigued and experiencing other signs of low testosterone, hormone therapy may put some pep back in your step.
Testosterone replacement therapy isn’t a magic treatment that will make you happy all the time. However, it will stabilize your mood. One of the symptoms of low testosterone is mood swings, including feeling sad when you hear a sad song in a movie or extremely irritated at a small inconvenience. If you are experiencing mood swings that are affecting relationships, you may need testosterone replacement therapy to keep your mood stable.
Improved Cognitive Performance
Testosterone levels play a very important role in cognitive performance. If your testosterone levels are inadequate, you could experience symptoms of cognitive decline, including difficulty recalling long-term memories and an inability to form short-term memories.
It is particularly important to test your serum hormone levels if you struggle to form short-term memories. This is also a sign of serious neurological problems, like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
If you have noticed your testes are shrinking, you probably suffer from low testosterone. Schedule a serum testosterone level evaluation right away if your testes are disproportionately smaller than your penis. Hormone therapy may increase the size of your testes.
Reduced Risk of a Heart Attack
Testosterone replacement therapy may also reduce your risk of a heart attack. Remember, LDL is bad cholesterol and can cause the development of plaque inside artery walls. Eventually, this can cause atherosclerosis.
When the coronary artery is completely blocked, heart attacks occur. Testosterone supplementation decreases LDL levels without decreasing HDL (high cholesterol) levels.
Do I Need Testosterone Replacement Therapy?
To find out if you have low testosterone levels, also known as low-T, you need a blood test to identify how much testosterone is in your blood. Sometimes called a serum test, this diagnostic tool reveals such crucial information as Hgb (blood hemoglobin) and blood prolactin levels, total testosterone level and luteinizing hormone. Serum tests are recommended over saliva tests because they are far more accurate.
For the most accurate results, you should take two total testosterone tests separately before noon. There are several reasons why it is ideal to take two testosterone tests. For example, if you are sick at the time of the first test, you may get a false-positive test result. Additionally, you will need to be retested if the level of prolactin in your blood is high. Too much prolactin in your blood may indicate pituitary problems or tumors.
What Is Low Testosterone?
Low testosterone is defined as fewer than 300 nanograms of testosterone per deciliter of blood. Healthy men have testosterone levels ranging from 300 to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter of blood.
How Is Testosterone Replacement Therapy Administered?
There are several ways testosterone replacement therapy may be administered. During your initial consultation, we will discuss your lifestyle, symptoms and personal preferences to identify the most effective way to deliver your testosterone. Here’s a closer look at some of your options.
Injections are a popular testosterone delivery method because they are so convenient, safe and effective. If you opt for testosterone replacement injections, you will receive intramuscular injections as needed based on your unique needs. You may receive fast-acting or long-lasting injections weekly, biweekly or monthly.
You may also benefit from transdermal testosterone delivery. There are several ways for testosterone to be administered transdermally. For example, you may receive testosterone supplementation through creams, patches or topical gels. If you opt for this method, you should expect to reapply the medication every four days.
Book Your Appointment Today
If you think you could benefit from testosterone therapy, you need to get your serum testosterone levels checked. Contact us today at Indian Lake Medical Weight Loss & Wellness in Hendersonville, TN to book an initial consultation and find out whether testosterone replacement therapy can benefit you.