Testosterone Overview, Discussion and Treatment

A significant problem in testosterone levels is a problem that plagues many men of all ages, although it becomes more prevalent after the age of thirty. Testosterone is produced in the testes and is responsible for a healthy sex drive and staving off erectile dysfunction. However, testosterone is vital to a man’s health and overall well-being, his sex life being only one area that is affected when levels drop. When a man experiences low testosterone, his mental clarity weakens and it becomes harder to concentrate on important matters on a daily basis. Fatigue to the point of exhaustion makes getting out of bed a battle. Muscle tone diminishes and body fat begins to accumulate. Anemia and fluctuating cholesterol levels are a problem as well, not to mention osteoporosis and hair loss. If a man is dealing with low testosterone, it’s important to receive a proper diagnosis and find a solution to the problem.

Causes of Low Testosterone

According to MedicineNet.com, low testosterone is caused either by a decreased production of testosterone in the testes or a problem with communication from the pituitary gland or hypothalamus. This condition is also referred to as hypogonadism. Regardless of the root of low testosterone levels, this condition can be treated.

Diagnosing Low Testosterone

While men may experience the symptoms of testosterone deficiency and suspect the cause, only a physician can actually determine if low testosterone is the problem. It is important that men consult their doctor when struggling with any of these common symptoms. Erectile dysfunction is a particular matter of concern as it can be an indicator of a serious heart condition or high blood pressure. After a thorough evaluation, a physician will take several blood samples to check testosterone levels. If lack of testosterone is pinpointed, testosterone replacement therapy is a possible solution.

Testosterone Replacement Alternatives

According to the Cleveland Clinic’s Health Hub, men have several options to address decreased testosterone levels. While oral pills may be advertised or available from online sources, none have been approved in the United States and could actually cause damage to the liver. Approved methods include a testosterone gel that is worn on the skin and a patch worn on either the scrotum or body. An implant can be inserted under the skin that releases testosterone for a prolonged period of time. Men can also opt for injections. However, these must be repeated as much as every two weeks.

Risks Involved with Testosterone Replacement

It is important that men consider possible disadvantages of hormone replacement therapy, especially when they are inundated with advertisements about the many wonders of products that are available on the market at this time. According to the US National Library of Medicine, there are many potential risks that come with hormone replacement therapy. Men may be at an increased risk of serious heart problems, including heart attack and stroke. In addition, it could actually cause sleep apnea conditions to become more aggravated. Although studies are not conclusive, there is a common belief in the medical field that testosterone replacement therapy increases production of cancerous cells in the prostate gland. This is a matter of concern for any man who has already been diagnosed with prostate or breast cancer.

Discuss Pros and Cons with the Doctor

Anyone considering testosterone replacement therapy should consult a doctor to have a physical examination and appropriate testing. It’s advised to discuss any dangers involved with treatment options. From that point, men can weigh their options and decide if testosterone replacement therapy is the answer.

Sources

http://www.medicinenet.com/low_testosterone_low_t/article.htm
http://my.clevelandclinic.org/services/testosterone_replacement_therapy/hic_testosterone_replacement_therapy.aspx
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2701485/