It’s a fact of life that testosterone production eases off after a man hits his 20s and declines steadily for the rest of his life. But many conditions are affected by low T (also called testosterone deficiency or hypogonadism) which are not linked to a man’s age.
Testosterone hormone therapy is used to treat the following:
- changes in sexual desire
- accumulating body fat, especially around the abdomen
- reduced muscle strength
- decreased bone mass
- difficulty in maintaining an erection
- tender breasts
- unexplained fatigue
Diabetes may contribute to infertility and erectile dysfunction, which are treatable with testosterone hormone therapy. Men who are taking certain medications or who have thyroid problems may have some of the above signs and symptoms, and may be candidates for testosterone hormone therapy.
Testosterone hormone therapy starts with a blood test
The only way to know for sure if low T is a factor is to draw a blood sample and have it analyzed in the lab. The timing of the blood draw is important because testosterone is released in bursts, about six times a day. Thus the amount of circulating testosterone could vary depending on what time the sample is taken.
Men taking testosterone hormone therapy should be monitored by their doctor. Too much testosterone can transform a man into a raging bull; just the right amount will have him purring like a tiger. (Testosterone is the feel-good natural chemical that gives men their vitality, strength and joie de vivre.)
Men in their 30s are considered to have a healthy level of testosterone if it’s in the range of 600 ng/dl (nanograms per decilitre). Hypogonadism for this age cohort is considered to be in the 200-300 range. By the time a man is in his 50s, he may have total testosterone below 300. That’s usually when he notices the signs of the dreaded male menopause: loss of sex drive, flabby belly, loss of strength. Not surprisingly, these factors may trigger depression.
Andropause arrested by testosterone hormone therapy
It’s unfortunate that many men are reluctant to talk about these changes, even with their doctor. In our society, we are told to ‘man up’ and ‘stop whining’. This is a good attitude for the playing field, but it doesn’t win points in the bedroom.
It’s especially sad because low T is now considered a very treatable condition. Testosterone hormone therapy has been used successfully on millions of men. With ads for Viagra and Cialis bringing erectile dysfunction to the forefront of public consciousness, our collective reticence may change over the next few years. For now, a man whose drive and love life are ebbing away needs to take the initiative and contact a testosterone clinic.
Because testosterone levels fluctuate (released in about six spurts over the course of a typical day), it’s good to consult with a medical professional before embracing testosterone hormone therapy. The doctor will take into account an individual’s general health— diabetics, for instance, tend to have lower levels than healthy men— and prescribe a dosage appropriate to the man’s age and condition.
There are some natural ways to increase testosterone, such as getting more physical exercise or losing weight. However, many doctors say that testosterone hormone therapy is the fastest and most reliable way to increase the amount of testosterone in the body.
If a man struggles with obesity, diabetes, erectile dysfunction, high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia, osteoporosis, or COPD— or if he has a handful of vague complaints— he may be a candidate for testosterone hormone therapy.