Men like to make jokes about Low Testosterone but a deficiency in this hormone is no laughing matter. Finding yourself unable to perform can be an alarming first for many men. However, few realize that low T can lead to serious illnesses like diabetes, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease.
A simple blood test can reveal if you have low T and, in this article, we will discuss the role of testosterone, lesser-known effects of low T, and treatment options to consider.
What is Normal?
Loss of testosterone is gradual, dropping by about 1% to 1.5% each year beginning at around age 40. This steady decline as a result can leave men feeling less energetic, depressed and less manly.
A normal testosterone level will measure in a lab via a blood test at 300 to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter. However, a confirmation is needed to determine if someone has low T since these hormone levels can fluctuate throughout the day.
The Role of Testosterone:
Testosterone plays an important role in the development of men. This hormone is the main driver of puberty and is responsible for a man’s deep voice, facial hair, and muscle growth. Without testosterone, men wouldn’t have pubic hair or produce sperm. Importantly, testosterone is what gives men their sex drive.
A decline in blood testosterone after a certain age is normal however there are other, more serious causes of low T. Testicular cancer including chemo and radiation therapy as well as other forms of cancer can deplete testosterone. Excess alcohol and certain medications may be the cause in addition to pituitary and thyroid conditions. Injuries to the testes may also drain your testosterone.
What if you have Low Testosterone?
Low T can be a serious condition if left unaddressed. While a simple blood test can determine if you have low T, there are some lesser-known effects low testosterone can have on the male body:
- Decreased bone density which can lead to osteoporosis
- Irritability, depression and an inability to focus
- A build up of body fat around the midsection which can lead to serious illnesses like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers
There are a number of treatments that raise testosterone back up to a normal level, which should typically hover around 300 to 500 ng/dL.
Deep muscle injections are the most common and cost effective method of treatment. Administered every two to ten weeks, patients will feel the largest bump in testosterone during the first few days, after which levels begin to drop. If you are shy of needles, this may not be the best option as the injections themselves can be quite painful.
Patches and gels are another form of low T treatment and can be applied daily to the skin where the testosterone is absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream. A simple and easy to use method of treatment, some side effects include skin irritations like rashes and itching. This product must also be kept out of reach of children and your partner. A nasal gel is now available to help protect others from exposure.
Implants under the skin are the newest methods of treatment. Once they are inserted, they work continuously for six months. While infections, bleeding and bruising around the insertion point are possible, these side effects are rare.
Side Effects do exist:
Testosterone treatment can come with several risks. For some men, testosterone treatment can turn off the body’s own testicular function including both sperm and testosterone production therefore, treatment is not always recommended for men who want to conceive a child.
Testosterone replacement therapy may also increase a man’s risk for blood clots and can accelerate age-related enlargement of the prostate. Though, little evidence exists suggesting that T therapy can cause prostate cancer.
As long as you are taking testosterone, however, your doctor will likely monitor the health of your prostate.
Keep Watch of Your Health:
While considering a treatment plan, also take into account your overall health. Maintaining a healthy diet and the right amount of exercise is vital to balanced hormones.
Fat speeds up the metabolizing of testosterone. The more fat you carry, the faster you will burn through an already depleted hormone. If you want to get the most out of testosterone therapy, put your health first and exercise regularly, eat a diet rich in whole plant foods and keep your weight down.
Natural supplements for Testosterone have shown added benefits as well:
A study out of University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Texas examined the effects of fenugreek supplementation on strength and body composition in resistance-trained men. Researchers found that while both the placebo and fenugreek groups significantly increased their strength during the first four weeks, only the fenugreek group saw significant increases in strength after eight weeks of training and supplementation. These findings suggest that fenugreek could help men continue to increase strength after reaching a dreaded plateau. Additionally, only the fenugreek group saw significant increases in lean body mass at both four and eight weeks. Fenugreek has also shown to improve sexual function and well-being.
Fenugreek derived Protodioscin is the primary ingredient in a safe and natural supplement known as Chemforce which has been clinically evaluated for safety and efficacy and is a patented ingredient. In addition to boosting testosterone, it has shown to improve sperm count, sperm morphology, and can help protect the male reproductive system. For more information, visit www.chemforce.in.
The statement and product have not been evaluated by the FDA to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.