What does testosterone do?
The hormone called testosterone is produced in the testicles and is utilized by the body to maintain fat distribution, bone density, sex drive, the production of sperm, muscle mass, and the production of red blood cells. Testosterone levels typically are at their apex during the adolescent stage and early adulthood. After the age of 30, men will usually experience a slow decline in testosterone levels at an approximate rate of 1 percent per year.
What are the causes of low testosterone?
Low testosterone can be caused in a myriad of ways. Some of the more common causes of low testosterone are:
- An injury to the testicles.
- Treatment of the testicles for cancer.
- Chronic disease of the liver and/or kidneys.
- Certain medications.
- Type two diabetes.
- Hormone disorders.
What are the usual symptoms of low testosterone?
The symptoms of low testosterone vary in different men, but the most common signs and symptoms associated with testosterone deficiency include:
- Physical changes in the body such as increased body fat, decreased muscle tone and strength, less bone density, and hair loss.
- Emotional changes such as depression, irritability, a decrease in self-confidence, and a general lack of motivation.
- Changes in sexual function such as a lessened libido, weakened erections, and sexual apathy.
How can I get my testosterone levels checked?
There is only one way to accurately check your testosterone levels. This is accomplished by a doctor performing a laboratory blood test.
Can I effectively increase my testosterone levels with exercise and dieting?
Though we encourage all patients to maintain a healthy diet and regular activity for general health, there is currently no known documentation that suggests a change in lifestyle can cause the testes to produce more testosterone over an extended period of time.
Are there side effects associated with testosterone replacement therapy?
The following side effects have been experienced in varying degrees by some testosterone replacement patients:
- Increase in activity in the sebaceous gland.
- Tender breast tissue.
- Blood lipid value changes.
- Blood volume increase (polycthemia).
- An elevation of blood calcium levels.
- Liver function changes.
NOTE: Though multiple scientific studies have shown no correlation between TRT and malignancy development, the use of testosterone with either breast or prostate cancer is contraindicated as the testosterone therapy has shown to stimulate the growth of these cancers. Those who have been diagnosed with these cancers are not considered candidates for TRT.